Roberta Bailey

About twenty years ago, Keith Goldfarb, Nicolas Lindholm and I started the Maine Seed
Saving Network. The three of us did all the pieces, a newsletter, a seed listing, a lending
library, a seed catalog for which we grew, packed and mailed out the seed,and a booth at
Common Ground Fair.

 With news of recent decisions at Seed Saver’s Exchange, I had been thinking it
was time to re-start Maine Seed Saving Network We had let it go because SSE was
covering the bases and two of the founding members had young children and busy farms.
When I mentioned this to Will Bonsall, he told me of the early plans for Grassroots.
Early on, I expressed interest in being involved. So here is a bit about my history and
what I may bring to the board.

I started saving seed when I moved to Washington County in 1977. After hearing
Kent Whealy at Common Ground Fair, I joined Seed Saver’s Exchange. Since then, seed
has been the central focus of my world. I collected and listed over 50 varieties per year.

I have worked at Fedco Seeds since 1989. As Division Co-ordinator, I manage
inventory, oversee the seed packing and envelope printing, run the germination test lab,
help decide the direction of the seed catalog offerings/listings, and purchase seed for the

On Seven Tree Farm, which has been certified organic since 2000, my sole focus
other than personal food production is producing commercial seed crops. I currently raise
hot pepper, flower, rice, barley, cucumber, arnica, tomatillo, and tomato seed for 4 seed
companies. I also maintain about 50 varieties for personal listing as well as an heirloom
orchard and over 100 other tree fruits. My husband, Rob Lemire, raises 1000 lbs of garlic
each year.

As a freelance writer, I publish in Mother Earth News, Organic Gardening, and
the MOF&G where my Harvest Kitchen column has run for 30 years.
I regularly give talks on seed saving and seasonal food preparation.
I would be able and willing to travel for board meetings near and far and/or to
meet via computer.