Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 19:30 EDT

Try Your Hand at Growing Forgotten Foods Native to Southwest Pennsylvania

June 14, 2012

Heritage Seed Co. Provides Local Farmers with Heirloom Foods in Danger of Extinction

PITTSBURGH, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 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.” Says 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.”

“Blackberry Meadows Farm has recognized the importance of introducing greater biodiversity into the agricultural system,” said Dustin Stiver, Program Officer at The Sprout Fund. “At Sprout, we were able to support grassroots initiatives like these through our Spring program that catalyzed 20 projects to enhance biodiversity in the Pittsburgh region.”

Interested growers can buy seedlings from Blackberry Meadows Farm at the Farmers@Firehouse market at 2216 Penn Avenue 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, and from the farm itself (by appointment only, call 724-226-3939). Supporters and fans can also donate to Heritage Seed Co. on their website, www.heritageseeds.org.

About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund supports innovative ideas that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh. Through its programs and activities, Sprout enriches the Pittsburgh region’s vitality by engaging citizens, amplifying voices, supporting creativity and innovation, and cultivating connected communities.

Spring supported local biodiversity initiatives that inspired greater stewardship of natural resources. Spring awarded $190,000 to 20 biodiversity projects that galvanized community action on environmental issues.

SOURCE The Sprout Fund

Source: PR Newswire