The Methow Valley Seed Collective came together over conversations about anti-capitalist business models; radical restructuring towards ecological, kincentric relationships to the world; and a love of good quality seed.
We are a budding collective of farms collaborating together to curate vegetable, flower, and herb seeds which are adapted to our bioregion: the intermountain west. We tend and breed these plant varieties to maximize resilience, pest and disease resistance, vigor, and delicious taste.
Our approach is evolving… We aim to work our land in a way that honors our human and more-than-human kin in the water, soil, and air. We farm on land that was stolen from the Methow people not long ago and are committed to pursuing work towards right relation, reconciliation, and repair of those historical and present traumas.
Our dream is that through this business we can do good work: connect with our community and provide deeper and more meaningful connection with our primary source of nourishment: the seed. For ourselves, our fellow farmers, and all who wish to grow plants and learn.
Anaka Mines: I feel rooted in a background of deep interest in ecology and natural history. Watching birds, learning field botany and exploring mountains were a foundation for getting into the business of seed. I dabbled in vegetable farming, usually veering off to pursue field botany and educational work (I founded the local school garden, Classroom in Bloom, and then directed that program for 8 years). I never committed to the farm lifestyle until I discovered seed farming. Knowing the plants from seed to seed, throughout the whole life cycle was the ticket to keeping my interest. The stories contained in seeds, the history and cultural knowledge all connect to a deep interest in community and sustainability. I started Twisp River Seed in 2013 after apprenticing with an amazing seed steward, Frank Morton (of Wild Garden Seed in Oregon), and have grown my skills and abilities through wholesale seed sales. "Build it and they will come" worked out when colleagues Cailyn and Kyle moved to the Twisp River in 2019 to help realize the dream of the retail seed business that could connect the work on the farm to the local and regional community. I look forward to a lot of growth and learning in the next few years as the Methow Valley Seed Collective builds relationships with the farmers and gardeners of the region to build a resilient and reciprocal relationship through seeds.
Cailyn Brierley: I have been sowing seeds and tending plants for over a decade in various climates and communities around the country. Much of my experience is rooted in place-based education and food access, always guided by an unwavering gratitude for seeds and soil. My journey into food systems truly began in 2010 after spending time with communities in the Andes where I experienced food so intricately woven into the story of the people and place. It was from there that I made it my mission to understand, and eventually contribute to creating, better systems at home. From education gardens to production farms, high mountain passes to river canyons, I have been deepening my connection to food, people, and place wherever I go. This journey has led me all the way north to the Methow Valley where I tend one acre of diversified vegetables, flowers, and seeds with my partner, Kyle, less than one mile from Anaka’s seed farm where we began helping out right away. Working with Anaka has brought my passion for seed sovereignty into reality through learning more intensified growing, harvesting, and cleaning methods. I consider my contributions to farming and seed saving as radical acts in support of freedom for growers and plants alike.