Meadowlark Hearth Farm
Beth and Nathan Corymb run Meadowlark Hearth Farm in Scottsbluff, NE. Sitting at nearly 4,00 feet altitude, their site is ideal for seed production, offering vast acreage, a hot and dry climate (12 inches of rain per year) and a high water table on the Ogallala aquifer. They have 493 acres, including 140 acres of irrigated crop ground, and an average annual rainfall is 16.33 inches. The grow seed and vegetables on three acres, and hay and pasture on 450. Their seed line up is diverse, including cabbage, onion, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, parsnips, annual herbs, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melon, cucumber and squash.
They farm on land Beth's grandparents homesteaded, and where Beth grew up. She left for a time, but "always held the dream and long-term goal of returning to bring organic and biodynamic agriculture to this special piece of Mother Earth." 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.
Beth and Nathan, who also grew up on a farm, 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: short horn cows and Berkshire pigs.
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 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 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.
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. From Nebraska. Corymbs continue to work with Turtle Tree's network of biodynamic growers.
The Corymbs 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. They plan to offer classes in seed growing and internships, and look forward to engaging many more people in bringing successful seed growing back to every farm and garden. These motivations led the Corymbs to join FFSC, working with others "to do something about the state of the seed in society," Beth explains.
Meadowlark Hearth Farm
Beth and Nathan Corymb
Certified Organic by Stellar Certification Services, Inc., accredited by the USDA National Organic Program.