The Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project was recently awarded a grant of $13,000 from the Organic Farming Research Foundation! This grant will cover another year of field research and all of the lab supplies essential for exploring microbial communities in seeds, plants and soils. I am extremely grateful for this financial boost, and also see it as a vote of confidence for this research project by a very reputable ally in the organic food movement. I am looking forward to contributing cutting-edge scientific research for a more informed, innovative model for alternative food production.
Perhaps most importantly, this grant allows me to cultivate relationships with two Oregon Tilth organic certified farms in the Willamette Valley: Adaptive Seeds and Pitchfork and Crow. I have been working with Adaptive Seeds, and conducted a preliminary field trial with them this past year, with their Cascade Ruby-Gold corn variety. We were looking at the effect of organic seed disinfection techniques on the overall seed-to-seed transmission of microbes. Now we can expand this research, including exploring the effects of microbial inoculation of seeds on plant health. Pitchfork and Crow, who already collaborate with Adaptive Seeds in growing corn, graciously agreed to participate with field research. I am humbled to have the support of both of these stellar farms, and excited to embark on the next phase of research with them.
Expect more exciting details to come, as we get nearer to planting time!