Meet Beth & Nathan of Meadowlark Hearth Farm near Scottsbluff, NE!
What Meadowlark Hearth offers:
- Vegetable seeds for your own garden (*online ordering & shipping available!*)
- Certified organic & certified biodynamic vegetables & herbs
- Fermented & preserved vegetables
- Whole or Half Beef
- Year-round CSA Program (weekly vegetable membership)
- Biodynamic Vegetable Seed Internships!
- Annual family-friendly SEED Festival over Labor Day Weekend
Meadowlark Hearth - A whole farm ecological seed project!
Masters of their craft, Beth Everett & Nathan Corymb have been growing seed for over thirty years. After spending time in Minnesota & New York growing seeds, Beth & Nathan moved back to the land that Beth's family homesteaded in western Nebraska. Back in Nebraska, Meadowlark Hearth continues their passion of integrating seed growing into every day agriculture. Seed saving is a commonly overlooked aspect of agriculture. Where and how do the seeds I use in my garden come from? How does someone "save seeds", which means to collect seeds or other reproductive material from vegetables, grains, herbs, flowers for use from year to year. It is a fascinating topic that includes getting to know the life cycle of your vegetable garden in a completely different way!
For instance, if you want to save turnip seed, you will need to wait two years from when you start to harvest your first turnip seed. This is because turnips are a biennial plant, whith means it takes the plant two years to go from germination to reproduction. In addition to understanding if your plant is an annual, biennial, or perennial plant, you also must consider how you will separate the "seed from the chaff" or the seed from the seed pod/dried plant material (which involves two steps called threshing &winnowing). After cleaning the seeds by threshing & winnowing, one then must find proper storage with an environment that is both cool and dry in order for the seeds to stay fertile to be able to plant in your garden next year. Imagine doing this for every plant you want to grow or eat in the next year?
Join Meadowlark Hearth at their annual Labor Day Seed Festival!
If you are interested in learning more about harvesting, saving & storing seeds, I highly recommend attending Beth & Nathan's hands-on annual seed festival! Not only will you be able to take part in the action yourself, you'll also get to experience the stars at night like never before and enjoy the farm fresh meals made by Beth & Nathan. You'll walk away with a newfound appreciation for growing and saving seeds!
To learn more about seed saving, a few of our favorite seed saving websites/books include:
The Biodynamic Approach
Beth & Nathan were trained in biodynamic agriculture, a holistic & ecological-focused whole farm approach where fertility is created on-farm through compasting, integrating livestock, cover cropping, and crop rotation. Biodynamic Principles & Practices are rooted in the work of philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner of Germany. Operations are certified to be biodynamic by the Demeter Biodynamic Association.
A few valuable practices seen being utilized at Biodynamic Farms are:
- The farm as a living organism
- Cultivating diversity
- Bringing plants & animals together
- Generating on-farm fertiilty (not importing organic compost or conventional synthetic fertilizers)
- Compost enlivened with "biodynamic preparations" that include medicinal herbs to support the farm ecosystem
To learn more about Biodynamic Farming, visit: https://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamic-principles-and-practices
Picture on the right: Nathan & Intern at the Scottsbluff Farmers Market
Picture on the left: BFBLN Colleague Skylar Falter at Meadowlark Hearth's 2016 Annual SEED Fest, learning a traditional seed dance to help remove the seed from the chaff.
Where to find Meadowlark Hearth:
- Conveniently order a variety of seeds, onion starts, seed garlic, & more online!
- Sign-up for their vegetable membership (Community Supported Agriculture) - for more information: https://www.meadowlarkhearth.org/
- Order whole or half grass-fed, grain-finished beef - learn more here!
- Contact information