Sitting at nearly 4,000 feet altitude, Meadowlark Hearth spreads out over 492 acres in western Nebraska. The site is good for seed production, offering a warm, dry climate and a high water table on the Ogallala aquifer with 140 acres of irrigated crop ground and 16 inches average annual rainfall. Vegetable seed grown includes cabbage, onion, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, parsnips, annual herbs, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melon, cucumber and squash. The farm also produces bedding plants, a vegetable CSA (Community Agriculture project), grass fed dairy cows, and Berkshire pigs. Beth and Nathan Corymb farm land Beth's grandparents homesteaded, and where Beth grew up. She left as a young person, but "always held the dream and long-term goal of returning to bring organic and biodynamic agriculture to this special piece of Mother Earth." After farming together in internships in Camphill Villages in the early 1980's, they knew agriculture was their chosen path. They committed themselves to sustainable farming early on. "We both trained biodynamically, which is a whole farm approach with the garden integrated in the farm. We love nature and wanted to see Nature supported in the farming practices," says Beth. Their inspiration to grow seed, and their training, began with a life time membership in the Seed Savers Exchange, followed by Nathan's internships at Sativa biodynamic seed (Switzerland) and Bingenheim biodynamic seed (Germany) in the early 1990's. A reduction in the availability of favorite varieties strengthened their motivations to grow seed.. These aspirations have been realized, as the Corymbs began farming the site in 2010 and the land is now certified Organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic for seed growing. They are working to develop a demonstration biodynamic farm combining seed growing, Community Supported Agriculture, biodynamic training and social work. They produce seed, vegetables and heirloom livestock. In 1994, Nathan and Beth founded the Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative (in Minnesota) to distribute Biodynamic seed in the US, then spent three years on the front range in Colorado. In 1998 they brought Turtle Tree to Camphill Village in Copake, NY, and combined it with social therapeutic work for special needs adults gifting it to Camphill Village USA. From Nebraska. Corymbs continue to work with a network of biodynamic growers. They are committed to reintegrate seed growing into everyday agriculture on diverse, sustainable, human-scale farms, and developing a welcoming and nourishing farm environment that included people from many walks of life, ages and abilities. Lawrence and Ursula Holmes, long time biodynamic farmers and gardener brought their pasture fed dairy cows to Meadowlark Hearth. Currently Meadowlark Hearth offers classes in seed growing, dairying and vegetable fermentation. Internships are available both for 2013 autumn and 2014 spring. Email or call us if interested.
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