our seeds are Happy, non-GMO, untreated, patent free, and Cutie patootie certified

No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides

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About the farmers

James Young and Guy Banner are the co-owners and farmers of Grand Prismatic Seed. They are committed to growing high quality open pollinated seeds that can withstand the stresses associated with high desert crop production. Over time they expect to release new vegetable varieties adapted to the Intermountain West. James has a passion for growing plants/seeds used for natural dyeing. He learned his seedy ways from Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon. Guy has an affinity for medicinal herbs and plants native to the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Colorado Plateau. His background includes ethnobotany, habitat restoration, agroecology, native seed production, and ornamental gardening.


Farming Practices

All of our practices are organically approved, but we are not currently organically certified. Our vegetable varieties are open pollinated (see below). We do not use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. We are not opposed to using limited plant and mineral based insect deterrents such as fresh tobacco concoctions, clay, and other mild organic substances that repel select insects from certain crops. We rely on decaying mulch, nitrogen fixing plants, organic compost, and limited use of organic fish emulsion to feed our crops and soil. In the future we are hoping to make our own fish emulsion out of invasive fish in the Green River.


Open Pollinated Seeds

We believe a cornerstone of food sovereignty is the ability of farmers and gardeners to save their own seed and adapt varieties to meet the needs of their environment and community. Because of this belief, we grow open pollinated varieties that will produce true-to-type seeds when saved by their new stewards. Open pollinated plants are allowed to naturally pollinate within their variety, while hybrids are formed by controlling the pollination of two inbred lines to create a new uniform variety with specific attributes. If you save seeds from hybrid parents, it's unlikely that their progeny will have the traits you had originally desired, because of this, gardeners and farmers must return to the hybrid growers year after year to re-purchase their seeds.


Our location

Our farm is located at an elevation of 4780' on the foothills of the Wasatch Range in Fruit Heights, Utah. Our climate is characterized by hot dry summers and snowy winters. We often receive early and late frosts, which will help us select for varieties that are cold hardy. Due to the "lake effect" from the Great Salt Lake, our area often receives "The Greatest Snow on Earth" (true for 2017 but not 2018). One of our goals is to breed new open-pollinated varieties and adapt standard heirloom varieties to the extremes we experience at the confluence of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains.


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We are offering a few varieties this year that forward-thinking plant breeders have listed as Open Source Seeds. These varieties will be designated with the OSSI logo (above) in their variety description. The following information is from the OSSI website:

OSSI was created by a group of plant breeders, farmers, seed companies, and sustainability advocates who want to free the seed!

Today, only a handful of companies account for most of the world’s commercial breeding and seed sales. Increasingly, patenting is used to enhance the power and control of these companies over the seeds and the farmers that feed the world.

Patented seeds cannot be saved, replanted, or shared by farmers and gardeners. And because there is no research exemption for patented material, plant breeders at universities and small seed companies cannot use patented seed to create the new crop varieties that should be the foundation of a just and sustainable agriculture.

Inspired by the free and open source software movement that has provided alternatives to proprietary software, OSSI was created to free the seed – to make sure that the genes in at least some seed can never be locked away from use by intellectual property rights.

How OSSI Works:

OSSI works with plant breeders who commit to making one or more of their varieties available exclusively under the OSSI Pledge: You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives. This “copyleft” commitment ensures that the Pledge is transmitted with any further distribution of the seed or the seed of any new varieties bred from it. In this way, OSSI preserves the unencumbered exchange of plant germplasm for breeding purposes and guarantees the rights of farmers and gardeners to save and replant seed.