In This Episode:

>> How Tom got started with seed saving and grew his hobby into
a business

>> How growing seeds is different from market gardening

>> How he built an effective team and empowers employees with responsibility and ownership

>> Tom’s thoughts about the state of the organic seed industry

Quotes from the episode:

“One of the most important things for me is to make sure I have a team that is aligned and that is better than I am at all the things that they’re doing”

“I love nothing more than having a wall in front of me”

“Taking a longer view has been really essential. There are always ups and downs on a farm and in business and keeping an eye on the direction and goals that you have is really key to help you not get lost in the weeds”

About the Guest

Tom Stearns began gardening at an early age at his family home in Connecticut. Prior to completing a degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Prescott College in Arizona, he began saving seeds. A hobby was born in 1996 in Vermont when Tom began sharing these seeds with others through a small flyer. High Mowing Organic Seeds has since expanded into one of the leading organic seed companies in the U.S., supplying home gardeners, commercial growers and retailers. Tom’s vision has always been to create a company that would help support the re-building of healthy food systems, first in Vermont, followed by the rest of the U.S. He has also taught numerous workshops since 1996 on many topics such as agricultural education, economics, community supported agriculture, genetic engineering, plant breeding, local food systems, sustainable business investing and more. His informal, personal style, ability to explain complex issues and infectious enthusiasm makes him a popular and inspiring speaker. In addition, he has served on the board of several agricultural organizations including NOFA-VT, The Center for an Agricultural Economy, and Sterling College. He lives on 50 acres in Vermont with his wife Heather and their two girls, Ruby and Cora.

Resources and mentions

High Mowing Seeds Website