Slow Food Corvallis presents the “Future of America’s Food Traditions” (FAFT), aka “Seed Day” at Gathering Together Farm (GTF).


Our Sunday Lunch Menu at Seed Day will feature:

Purple Tomato Bruschetta

Roast Peppers with 4 Cheeses

Polenta Stuffed Delicata Squash

Green Salad

Curried Roast Chicken

Garlic Greens

Ginger-infused Melons

Most of the fruits and vegetables used to prepare the lunch were grown from seed lines developed by Frank Morton or Jim Myers!

Join us for a day of seed education and culinary delight at GTF in Philomath, Oregon on Sunday September 13th. This will be a day to learn about the techniques involved in breeding new and organic plant varieties, to become informed about some of the issues involved in seed production such as patents, property rights and GMOs, as well as learning how to harvest and clean seed for storage. As important as it is to preserve and maintain the productive and efficient varieties we currently have, it is also imperative that we invest in creating new, well-adapted and strong varieties for our future.

Spend the morning learning about breeding techniques from local plant breeders Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed and Jim Myers of Oregon State University, and learning seed cleaning and preserving techniques from Laurie McKenzie, formerly of Wild Garden Seed. Stay for a lunch highlighting the work of Frank Morton and Jim Myers by incorporating produce grown from varieties they have personally developed. Purple tomatoes anyone? Lunch will be prepared by local Corvallis chef Intaba of Fireworks Restaurant and served on the picturesque porch of the GTF farmstand.

We will begin the day with GTF’s famous potato doughnuts and coffee as we meet, greet, and mingle. After introductions and announcements we will break into two groups, one heading out for a field session with Frank and Jim and the other accompanying Laurie to get shaking with some seed cleaning and storage. Each session will last one hour. Groups will then switch so that everyone gets the full spectrum of breeding and cleaning knowledge.

The breeding session with Frank and Jim will include discussion about many of the key issues involved in seed production today. Have you ever wondered just what plant breeding is and what it involves? Modern varieties have much to offer the world of organic farming, yet we can use plant breeding to combine the best of the old with the new to create varieties best suited for organic production. Did you know that most plant varieties produced for organic production are developed under conventional conditions? Come learn about organic seed production and plant breeding and see how the innovative work of both Jim and Frank is helping to shape the face of organic plant breeding. Organic plant breeding is actually a relatively new phenomenon; also learn how and why it is distinct from conventional breeding. Ever wonder what exactly a GMO is and is not? What is the difference between traditional plant breeding and genetic engineering? Frank and Jim will let you know. You will also learn a bit about Intellectual Property Rights, who “owns” seed and why. Seeds used to be common property of the people, available to all and owned by none. Why has this changed? Come to the FAFT Seed Day and find out!

The seed cleaning session with Laurie will cover the basics from harvest to storage of dry seeds (most likely lettuce will be our example). Learn how to assess when your crops are ready to harvest, what to do with them post harvest, field cleaning techniques, and tricks for getting the seeds to the final clean stage. This section of the morning will be a demonstration followed by time for questions and answers.

Lunch will follow the morning sessions with time to mingle and ask any more questions you may have of Frank, Jim, and Laurie.

Please join us for this thought-provoking day of learning and enjoyment. Tickets for the two parts of the event are available separately; field tour/seed demo tickets are $15, or $10 low-income (self described) and students*. Lunch tickets are $20, or $15 low-income/student*.

Or, buy tickets for both parts of the event together and save! Regular price for both lunch and the tour/demo will be $25/$20 low-income/student.

Tickets are available at Corvallis Brewing Supply and at Gathering Together Farm  and will be sold at the Corvallis Farmers’ Markets.


9:30     Meet, Mingle, Coffee and Doughnuts
9:45     Introductions/Thank you for coming/Logistics
10:15   Groups depart for field tour/seed cleaning demo
11:30   Groups switch
12:30   Lunch
1:30     Wrap Up/Thanks and acknowledgements

*To maximize accessibility, ticket prices for this event are set as low as possible–just enough to cover our costs. If the price of the tour portion of the event presents a problem for you, please contact slowfoodcorvallis (at) to inquire about a scholarship. Any proceeds in excess of our costs will be used to support Slow Food Corvallis’s local food initiatives.