The Utopian Seed Project

Supporting diversity in food and farming
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The Utopian Seed Project is a hands in the earth non-profit committed to trialing crops and varieties in the Southeast to support and Celebrate diversity in food and farming. OUR VISION is an engaged community of growers, gardeners, farmers, foodies, cooks and chefs (actually, everyone) WHO embrace regional biodiversity for a resilient and delicious food and farming system.


THe Experimental Farm

We growing many different things in Western North Carolina to explore what could be grown in a more diverse food and farming system. In our farm work we explore emerging crops for this region as well as variety trials for traditional crops. Diversity and experimentation is at our core!

Crop Stories

Crop Stories is our way of speaking about, educating and celebrating the crops that we are working with. Crop Stories includes a crop-specific event series, a crop-specific magazine and a supporting podcast, with a high degree of synergy between these three platforms.

The People's Seed

The People’s Seed allows us to keep seeds front and center of our work, knowing that seed sovereignty is critical to sustainable and equitable food systems. We engage in education and community outreach, as well as our own seed saving, plant breeding and regional adaptation work.

I was lucky enough to attend the @ujamaafarms fall convening a few weeks back and teach a workshop with @ira.wallace on @heirloomcollards. All the educational workshops, seed cleaning and sorghum pressing happened on the Saturday, but here is a group photo from the Sunday, where a smaller group participated in a meeting of the members of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance to give updates and dream big and envision the future.

#food #farming #seeds #heirloomseeds #culturalseeds #seedsaving #seedkeeping #seedpeople

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We had a last minute Seedy People in the Park meetup at the recent @carolinafarms Sustainable Ag Conference in Durham. Great to see folks, old and new, interested in SE Seed!

#seseed #seedgrowing #seedsaving #seed #seedfarmers

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Terri Terrell (@chefttlivinandlovin) joined our board to help make this #TrialToTable events a reality, and so it's extremely exciting that she's cheffing it up tomorrow šŸ˜

There wasn't enough space on the image to do her dishes justice, so here's the full rundown:

Catfish Hot Pepper Soup w/ Magic Beans and Yacon

Roasted Okra Seed Flour Tart w/ Mixed Sweet Potato and Sorghum Rum Soaked Yacon Raisins w/ Roselle Ice Cream (Collaboration with @harriettstomato & @gospel.avl)

Chef Terrellā€™s roots and influence run deep. Her journey began by her grandmotherā€™s knee, where she devoured all she could learn of the Southern Delta cuisine in Clarksdale, Mississippi, her childhood home. This became the inspiration for her wildly popular storytelling and dining pop-up experience: The Clarksdale. As an active voice and participant in the Asheville food scene for 19 years, Chef Terrell was one of the first to highlight local and sustainable ingredients by running Ashevilleā€™s beloved first Farm to TableĀ restaurant, HomeGrown, for 12 years. Chef Terrellā€™s mission to build a more collaborative and equitable culinary scene has been woven into her community work as the Culinary Director of Chow Chow, Western North Carolinaā€™s premier culinary festival, and as a culinary consultant. Chef Terrellā€™s passion is to nurture and support her peers in crafting a future that both celebrates and facilitates all the unique and talented voices that make up the Asheville culinary scene. After all, good food with purpose bonds us and is a true form of nourishment.

Grab a ticket via the link in our bio.

#ashevillenc #asheville #ashevilleevents #chef #food #farming

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Next up for our Trial to Table chefs is Jamie Swofford - founding board member, self proclaimed 'recovering' chef, and amazing farmer at @oldnorthfarmwnc

Jamie is doing a double duty at the event. He'll be cooking with skill and style and creativity, but also serving @oldnorthshrub - his farm crafted and entirely delicious shrub.

Tickets via our bio.

#shrub #farm #farmer #chef #food #ashevillenc #asheville #ashevilleevents #TrialToTable

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Chef Ashleigh Shanti (@foodordeath_) is keeping it classic but delicious with Cornbread (freshly milled Cown Corn from our farm) and Collards (she needed a lot, so it's a mix of our Ultracross Collards and @heirloomcollards from @gainingroundfarm).

Ashleigh is a board member of the Utopian Seed Project, @bravotopchef final five, and owner/creator of @goodhotfish.

Food not to be missed! Tickets via our bio for Nov 12 130-430 at @smokypark event space (The Boathouse).

#chef #topchef #collards #cornbread #trialtotable food #farm #asheville #ashevillenc #ashevilleevents

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So excited for our guest chef this Saturday, @luismartinezcreative of @tequiofoods

Luis Martinez was born in Santa Catarina Loxicha, Oaxaca, in a small Zapotec pueblo. He came to the US in 2005. Upon arriving in the US, he worked as a farmworker in Indio, California. After returning to the restaurant industry, Luis worked in several restaurants and cuisines alongside other Oaxacans. These chefs taught Luis how to infuse Oaxacan culture and cuisine into his cooking using various methodologies, from traditional ingredients to Asian techniques. Now based in Asheville, NC, Luis combines his love for cooking with his passion for social justice.

Join us with a ticket via our bio.

#trialtotable #chef #food #farming #tamale

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The Experimental Farm Notebook

We’ll be publishingĀ  updates throughout the growing season so you can stay up to date with what we’re up to and how the experiments are going. This will be an informal narrative of our highs and lows, successes and failures, with photos and fun facts!

Follow Along With Our Notes From The Field

Thanks to our Sustaining Sponsors

Two Seeds in a Pod - Sustaining Sponsor
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Sustaining Sponsor