by Jenn Bradford
Social Venture Partners Boulder County (SVP) recently concluded a board development project with MASA Seed Foundation. The SVP volunteers working on the project felt so strongly about MASA Seed Foundation’s important work in Boulder County that they spent their free time volunteering in the fields. Keeley Stokes, one of the SVP Partners who worked with MASA, says, “MASA is a wonderful example of a thriving bio-regional seed farm, committed to growing heirloom seeds that are local to our region. They are incredibly passionate about what they do and the community they serve. And they have a real vision for how we can create a more regenerative, healthy food system in Colorado.”
MASA Seed Foundation began in Boulder County in 2019 to provide Boulder County with agricultural and horticultural education driven plant production. Founder Richard Pecoraro wanted to create a seed bank for plants selected to grow well in the Front Range, to educate others about agriculture and horticulture, and to provide seeds and fresh produce to the public. He refers to MASA Seed Foundation as a “social science project,” which provides the public with a “community-oriented seed association and farm.”
MASA Seed Foundation provides both services and conducts research. They train and educate people who wish to join the small-scale farming movement, they consult on residential and agricultural landscapes, they provide fresh plants and produce through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and they develop seeds adapted to Colorado.
Richard’s passion is educating others on the importance of regionalizing agriculture and selecting seeds and plants that are adapted to and will thrive in our changing Front Range environment. He estimates about 30% of the work MASA Seed Foundation does is research and development of crops and seeds. They are currently conducting seed varietal trials of sunflowers. The goal is to determine which variety of sunflowers best suits the needs of Boulder County. They have several other projects underway to select and make seeds available that perform well in Colorado to benefit our entire region.
To continue to grow and thrive, MASA Seed Foundation needs good people to get involved. That is why MASA Seed Foundation began working with SVP. According to Richard, the SVP volunteers “really saw what [we] needed and adjusted the project based on those needs. They showed us what to do and not do. They taught us to develop relationships rather than to just sign people up.”
Diane Ladd, another SVP Partner who volunteered with MASA, says, “they involve many members of the community as volunteers at the farm and are expanding their educational offerings to Boulder Valley schools to teach young people about healthy farming techniques.” If you would like to get involved you can join the CSA, become a MASA Member, volunteer on the farm, in the office, or join the board.
MASA Seed Foundation has an exciting and needed opportunity to expand their growing space and increase the educational offerings with a gift of several large greenhouses which must be moved to their location. If you would like to donate to help MASA Seed Foundation relocate those greenhouses to their property, please click here.