IBG Seeds for the Snake River Seed Cooperative
By: Daniel Murphy, IBG Collections Curator | 11/18/2021
Snake River Seed Cooperative is a collective of family farmers in the Intermountain West who work together to produce a wide diversity of locally-adapted seeds.
We started growing seeds for Snake River Seed Cooperative a few years ago.
Initially, we were doing vegetable garden seeds. Radishes and then amaranth and millet. We were never very good at it though.
Last year, Reiley Ney (who is the seed production manager at Snake River Seeds), asked us if we wanted to start collecting seeds of native plants for them.
We already have lots of the plants they are interested in growing here, and since the plants are already growing, it’s less likely that there will be a crop failure. It is a perfect way to share!
The challenge instead is actually getting around to collecting the plants. Next year we want to recruit more volunteer help for seed collecting and seed cleaning.
This year I’ve collected Rocky Mountain bee plant, blanketflower, showy milkweed, butterflyweed, and several different species of penstemon which will be combined in a penstemon mix.
Snake River Seeds has a Winnow Wizard for cleaning the seed, where it separates the seeds from the chaff. They let growers use it to aid the process.
We put our blue flax seed through the Winnow Wizard! Check it out:
After this whole process is complete, the seed is packaged up, and made available so others can get packets of the seeds we collected. The seeds are available at some local stores, so be on the lookout!