PITTSBURGH — In 2011 Blackberry Meadows Farm started Heritage Seed Co., the first and only seed bank in the southwestern Pennsylvania region focusing on providing local growers with seeds for heirloom varieties of plants native to the region.
To help finance this project, Blackberry Meadows Farm received a large grant from The Sprout Fund’s Spring program. “The Sprout Fund award is an inspiration for a cornerstone of our civilization and past village life to be renewed and celebrated,” said Heritage Seeds co-founder, Greg Boulos. “We are in the midst of a food global food crisis, due largely to the lack of backyard and village-scale farms. This project will enable the people to restore these lost traditions.”
Heritage Seed Co. currently offers Fish Pepper, Boston Marrow Squash, Chalk’s Early Jewel Tomato, and Amish Paste Tomato seedlings, as well as many others.
Heritage Seed Co. is also working to produce an informative manual on seed saving in seven different languages. According to Boulos, “People who want to see this project succeed can buy seedling kits and seedlings, which are investments in the restoration of our diverse food culture, and get excited about ‘strange’ foods.”
Interested growers can buy seedlings from Blackberry Meadows Farm at the Farmers@Firehouse market at 2216 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh’s Strip District on Saturday mornings; the Phipp’s Farmers Market at Phipps Conservatory in Oakland on Wednesdays from 2:30-6:30 p.m.; and from the farm itself (by appointment only, call 724-226-3939).
For more information, visit www.heritageseeds.org.