February is always a long winter month even though it is the shortest in days. With spring seemingly taking forever to arrive, there is always a lot of extra time for reflection about the previous season and previous years. It is also a great time for anticipation and planning for the coming season projects and hopes. As I prepare for steering Sherck Seeds in a new direction (I will have more about this in a future post this spring), I also want to take the opportunity to highlight the work of some of the fellow seed stewards I have met over these last 7 years. This will be the first of a number of planned posts where I introduce some of these folks and their work with seed saving, seed stewardship and procurement, as well as plant breeding, methodology of growing and networking.
I met Scott Malpass a number of years ago. Like many introductions I have had, our friendship started with a “seed trade”. I asked him to write up brief description of his work and future aspirations for Scottland Farm. I do know that his efforts involve not only himself but other interested parties including growers and artists, all pooling their efforts to facilitate useful and meaningful rare seed stewardship.
“Scottland Farm is managed by Scott Malpass, a plant explorer and tribal seed keeper in Harford County, Maryland. Scottland Farm is comprised of small connected gardens and gardeners throughout the Mid-Atlantic area. We do work with a lot of amazing people such as Cody Frayser, who helps maintain a small heirloom garden in Powhatan, Virginia. The main goal of Scottland Farm is to teach traditional farming practices and maintain heritage seeds. These heritage seeds and practices are important to cultivate for future generations. One of the more traditional farming practices at my farm is a three-sister garden method in which when squash, corn and beans grow, support and benefit each other. We have one of biggest squash and pumpkin collections known, encompassing over 200 varieties. Many of these varieties happen to be endangered or close to extinction. We have ambitious plans for next year such as formalizing the company.”
As I write this post, Scott is currently enrolled in college, taking classes that will aid in his future plans (I believe he is studying for finals as I write this post). As he moves forward, I wish him and his colleagues all the best. Keep an eye out for future developments from Scottland Farm. You can currently find information about Scott’s work on Facebook.