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.

Last year @lovesomegreen was here in North Carolina helping to hand cross all our high oilseed okra varieties. This year we're growing out the F1 populations to start the process of developing a higher oil content variety. Here's one of the crosses growing in Arizona, where Jordan has an indoor growing operation and was able to get a big headstart. It's exciting to have collaboration across the country!

#Okra #oilseed #plantbreeding #tuspokra #oilseedokra #farming

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Check out the menu for our #trialtotable event tomorrow! Last chance to buy tickets via the link in our bio.


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@Cupatato is brewing sweet potato as a coffee alternative: a semi-sweet, roasted & full-bodied drink to enjoy hot or cold. This non-caffeinated alternative satisfies the semi-sweet, dark and roasted flavors that coffee drinkers love. Made with local heirloom sweet potatoes and a historical recipe!

Cupatato is debuting the sweet potato drink at our Trial to Table event this Saturday. Your invited to sample and then share feedback to help guide this product in its emergent stages.

@Cupatato is brewing up to be a Worker-owned Cooperative and community asset.  Taste-testing, focus groups, and inquiries into co-ownership will be welcomed.

Purchase Trial to Table tickets via the link in our bio.

#Sweetpotato #sweetpotatocoffee #asheville #ashevilleevent #TrialtoTable

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Traffic is bad today.

#farming #cows

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Very pleased that the botanically inspired cider company, @botanistandbarrel
are donating their classic Less is More cider to our event on Saturday. Trial to Table Spring Celebration at the Asheville Masonic Temple is just 6 days away. Tickets are just $35 via the link in our bio.

Less is More is a natural cider showcasing the elegance of classic old-world methods, spontaneous fermentation and minimal intervention. Fermented with ambient yeast using the Pétillant Naturel method creates a beautiful fine bubble as it ages in the bottle. Made with a blend of local eating and traditional cider apples, it's delightfully effervescent, dry with subtle minerality with honey notes and racy acidity.

#cider #TrialtoTable
#Asheville #event #botany

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At our upcoming Trial to Table Spring Celebration (ticket link in our bio) we'll have a purple sweet potato tasting, sweet potato coffee by @cupatato, and I'm very happy to announce that @baileycooks will be serving a very special sweet potato. Here is the backstory in @millardlocklear's own words:

Porto Rico Sweet Potatoes (all history is what my father passed down to me from his mother's family about history of Porto Rico Sweet Potatoes).

My daddy's mother's father and his family were woodmen. They traveled southeast part of U.S.A. cutting
timber and running sawmill in forest and bring wood out by train. Per daddy they living in Florida for several years, grandma was born on land they purchase around the Ocala National Forest, so they started raise these potatoes and always carried seed potatoes with them as they travel with sawmill.

Grandma's oldest brother and sister married in Florida. We have always my complete life raise these
sweet potatoes only these, when I married Connie daddy let us know, that she was welcome but she
could not bring here any of here family sweet potatoes. They raise a white type of sweet potatoes. In late 90’s a person came to farm asking if he could buy a bushel of them. He was telling daddy how he could improved the potatoes, that wasn’t a good meeting. The guy got daddy's oldest brother since he
stays in Clinton, N.C. to get some potatoes. After seven years the guy came back to show daddy his new
Porto Rico type. We do have those potatoes but it isn’t any way like daddy's.

Purchase tickets via the link in our bio.

#sweetpotatoes #cropstories #heritage #trialtotable #farming #farmers #food #asheville

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Very excited that @cellarestbeerproject will be a drinks sponsor for our upcoming Trial to Table event (May 14, tickets limited). An experimental brewery in West Asheville creating botanically creative beers!

The special beer they are offering for our event is Persimverance - a Smoked Harvest Lager - 4.8% - Made from a base of southern select and pecan smoked corn from @riverbendmalt. Fermented with The Seed’s house lager yeast and naturally carbonated on Brazilian Amburana wood and NC foraged persimmons (this beer is a The Seed Living Beer Project Collab).

Tickets available via the link in our bio.

#beer #craftbeer #persimmonbeer #event #asheville #brewery

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The Experimental Farm Notebook

We’ll be publishing  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