Second Generation is a collective of Asian American growers devoted to the preservation and improvement of heirloom Asian herbs and vegetables. Committed to continuing our foodways, we invite our community to reclaim the narrative around Asian crops.
For centuries, farmers and the crops they tended to shaped each others' experiences and character. Through small scale selection and variety improvement based on growing characteristics and regional culinary preferences, robust and dynamic food cultures emerged. Distinct cultivars were developed, creating a wealth of unique genetics specific to the communities who grew them. Biodiversity in all forms on the farm and within the seed was critical to vigor and resilience.
Second Generation aspire to honor our lineages by offering high quality, organically grown, open-pollinated varieties that are invaluable to the people who love them. We hope to support and incentivize small scale seed production by creating meaningful economies for Asian-American farmers and food advocates. Through our collaborations with growers, breeders, chefs, and community organizations, we work to identify and develop desirable traits for Asian crops, in our hopes of imbuing them with relevance for the future.
Through online and in-person experiences, we aim to widen our circle of dialogue about all the elements needed to pass on old stories, and imagine new ones. We want to design new forms of participatory research that excite and empower our communities. Ultimately we want to support all of you in your seed adventures, so that our decisions and practices uphold the integrity we desire for the world. While we hope this seed line makes accessible rare and unique crops, we want the real product to be a sound and strong network of growers invested in one another, whose efforts in growing these seeds each season will result in a wealth of widely adapted seeds suited for a multitude of places.
We believe that seeds are storytellers, protectors of our traditions. In choosing to grow them and save them each season, they remind us of our collective memories, and we commit ourselves to keeping those memories alive for generations to come.
Take a look and then get involved!
SEED STEWARDS: We work in tandem with community organizations, chefs and food advocates to work on a season long seed preservation project. We help support internal community building to identify, remember and deepen our relationships to heritage crops and cultural foodways. Our "Farm HQ" in Winters, California, shares tools, resources and space for our seed stewards to learn every aspect of growing a crop from seed sowing to seed cleaning. Community partners facilitate storytelling sessions to help us collectively remember the place these crops have had in our histories, and chefs and food advocates energize the conversation by creating culinary iterations steeped in tradition.
GROWERS' COLLABORATIVE: We work with growers around the country to share, multiply and adapt seed stocks to various climates. We are working on creating online tools to facilitate a decentralized seed bank, where preservation means actively growing and continually improving. We also know that biodiversity should always go hand in hand with other forms of diversity, and that we need to keep alive the stories and details of our real relationships to plants, not merely the genetics.
Who we are
Kristyn grows plants and seeds significant to Korean-Americans in California's Central Valley. Her work focuses on no-till/strip-till methods for vegetable production, as well as learning from traditional natural farming methods that yield nutritious produce and robust soil without external inputs.
Winters (Southern Patwin territory), CA
Kellee is a farmer and educator at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz. Kellee focuses on growing seed keepers, creating pathways for people to connect to ancestral foodways, and cultivating seed stewards that are rooted in community.
UC Santa Cruz, Center fro Agroecology and Sustainble Food Systems (unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe, presently stewarded by the Amah Mutsun tribal band), CA
Scott is the farmer at Shao Shan Farm, a 5.5-acre organic vegetable farm specializing in cool season Asian vegetables. He is a 4th generation Californian and strives to grow produce that is regionally appropriate or adapted to the Bay Area’s cool summers. Scott is particularly interested in the wide varieties of leafy vegetables that thrive on his coastal farm, as well as crops like kabocha, tomatoes, and winter melons that he grows with little to no irrigation.
The farm is located in Bolinas, CA. We sell at the Point Reyes Farmers market and the Clement Street Farmers market
Ari de Leña
Ari de Leña is the owner of Kamayan Farm, a small vegetable, flower, and medicinal herb farm located on Snoqualmie land, just east of Seattle. Prior to farming, Ari spent 10 years working in environmental and social justice movements supporting communities in their struggles for food sovereignty, freight transport justice, safe reentry from prison, and climate justice.
Alvina is the Campaign and Organizing Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). In her role, she fights the displacement of low-income and working-class Asian immigrants and refugees while building their leadership to fight for environmental justice. Alvina has been organizing with Second Generation, supporting our farmers with her incredible insights and skills. She's also an avid baker!