2023 -> 2024 New Year’s Musings

It’s just a number, yet somehow as we roll into 2024, my mind’s eye pictures these numerals appearing across a screen as a spaceship slowly revolves in space orbit, in that squarish 1980s bedside alarm clock font that is so common in Sci-fi movies.  Can you picture it too? I have a feeling that some things about this modern life will continue to spiral into stranger dimensions as AI and technology continue to fascinate humanity, like some novel holiday toy in the hands of child, completely obsessing about it, while ignoring bodily functions and needs. Unfortunately, Humanity at large seems to be largely ignoring their own and the larger whole of nature too. Much like the aforementioned Sci-Fi movie, I sit at the edge of my seat awaiting the next suspenseful twist of the plot, hoping a peaceful resolve comes swiftly to the myriad of truly dismaying scenarios playing out for so many unfortunate humans, animals, ecosystems and regions. The half century of life experience I have at this point has cultivated an attitude of hopeful acceptance with a dash of skepticism, which for me evokes the old Bedouin saying,

“trust in Allah, but tie your camel first.”


My spirits are continually lifted by plants, the aspiration to grow plants and plant seeds, and most significantly the comradery of those who are also plant lovers and seed-sowers.

A sincere thank you to each of you for this devotion to hope, and an abundant future filled with green growing things, beautiful flowers, delicious sun-ripened fruits, glorious greens, and the luxuriant verdant landscapes you create. Planting seeds is intrinsically a hopeful act. These same sentiments were echoed by transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau when he wrote,

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed... Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

Reflecting on 2024 here at Siskiyou Seeds 2023, we have chosen to remain focused on quality control and assurance with better internal protocols for organic pest management, germination testing, in field variety trials, new variety development, team building, and customer service. In an encouraging evolution of our farm this year, our field work was done as a truly family farm with my 2 sons Wali (21) and Jasper (almost 17) managing the 12 acres we manage for seed production, tree fruits and pasture for sheep and goats. Farm succession is often a stumbling block for most farms in the USA, so I am grateful that we have fostered an appealing opportunity that my sons are interested in perpetuating.

New avenues that we began to develop this past year that feel like big successes for us here include offering high quality hand tools and gardening supplies. We will likely expand these offerings as we vet the right products to carry. We also began working with local friend and neighbor, Matteo Grier to construct durable quality seed cleaning screens constructed with long-lasting stainless-steel mesh. They seem popular as we seem to sell out as fast as he can make them between his other custom woodworking accounts. Our general manager, Lauriel LeBlanc has implemented an effective pre-order system for popular items such as seed garlic and comfrey root crowns to enable the early bird gardeners to get what they want. Lastly, our lead seed coordinator Taryn Hunter has produced a set of lovely and informative seed planting charts that can be downloaded and/or printed up at home. She has also negotiated more seed racks scattered around the Pacific Northwest.

Looking towards 2024, we are excited for the opportunity to discover new wonders through our on farm trials and continue to hone emergent heirlooms of tomorrow through our on farm breeding programs. You can see our new releases for 2024 here and expect more to come soon!

My New Year’s wish for each of you is that this faith in a seed continues to temper into confidence and trust as your growing abilities increase and you nurture a diverse garden ecology with the right balance of sun, shade, pollinators, beneficial insects, perennials, animals, microbes, fertility and most importantly your watchful eye. Another one of my favorite gardening quotes is one I learned attributed to an unknown ancient Chinese gardener,

“the best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener”.

Thank you for growing, Don Tipping, Siskiyou Seeds