|At High Mowing Organic Seeds, we strongly believe in the importance of supporting models of sustainable agriculture and seeding alternatives to our current food system. This belief drives our involvement in the following projects and organizations:
Over the course of each season, High Mowing Organic Seeds donates thousands of pounds of organic produce from our research fields and trial gardens to Salvation Farms, a local gleaning organization which makes quality food available to Vermonters in need.
Through our seed donation program, we provide schools and community groups with one of the essential components for starting abundant gardens – the seeds! – thereby helping to foster self-sufficiency, healthy eating and education about plants' life cycles.(For more information regarding our Donation Program, please see our Donations Page.)
Workshops & Outreach
Each year, we offer workshops on our farm and around the country on topics ranging from seed starting to seed saving. We believe in educating people about growing their own food and connecting with the natural cycles of food production. Click here to learn about upcoming workshops and events featuring High Mowing Organic Seeds.
Starting in 2009, we kicked off a series of monthly, afternoon Growers’ Walks at our Trial & Showcase Gardens in Wolcott, VT. Each walk focused on a different group of crops. The walks, targeted towards professional vegetable growers, offered an excellent opportunity for evaluating a wide range of vegetable, herb and flower varieties – some yet unreleased – being grown side-by-side under the same conditions. Growers were able to connect with each other and with High Mowing staff to share tips about growing specific crops, handling pests and disease for those crops, and looking at what new varieties may soon be available organically. To find out the date of future Growers’ Walks, check back on our website, or sign-up for our monthly e-newsletter to be alerted to future High Mowing events. We do not share our email list with anyone.
In 2008, High Mowing Organic Seeds helped start two Vermont non-profits: The Center for an Agricultural Economy strives to revitalize the agricultural system of the rural Hardwick, Vermont region to meet the food needs of its residents as well as build opportunities for value-added agricultural exports; and Slow Money offers a new way of funding businesses that are engaged in food-system rebuilding.
High Mowing Organic Seeds is committed to the protection and preservation of our environment’s resources.
GMO Sugar Beet Lawsuit
In January 2008, concerned about the USDA’s deregulation of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” variety of sugar beets, High Mowing Organic Seeds joined the Organic Seed Alliance, Center for Food Safety and the Sierra Club to file a lawsuit requiring the USDA to conduct an Environmental Impact Study before allowing the deregulation. In September 2009, a California judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs that the USDA failed to follow federal law requiring a full environmental study.
Sugar beet seed is grown primarily in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which is also an important seed growing area for crops closely related to sugar beets, such as organic chard and table beets. GE sugar beets are wind pollinated and will inevitably cross-pollinate the related crops being grown in the same area. Such biological contamination would be devastating to organic farmers, who face debilitating market losses if their crops are contaminated by a GE variety. Contamination also reduces the ability of conventional farmers to decide what to grow, and limits consumer choice of the foods they can eat. In his September 21, 2009 order requiring APHIS to prepare an EIS, Judge Jeffrey S. White emphasized that “the potential elimination of a farmer’s choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food, is an action that potentially eliminates or reduces the availability of a particular plant has a significant effect on the human environment.”