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The Seed Stewards

Articles: The Seed Stewards

Namu Farm is in Winters, in the western Sacramento Valley about 65 miles north of Oakland. Photo: Melissa Hung
On a sunny day in May 2018, Kristyn Leach uncoiled a length of garden hose outside a greenhouse on her farm. With a baseball cap as her only shade, she hosed off several plastic seedling trays, which she planned to fill with a potting mix of her own making—part soil from the farm, part compost, and part rice hulls—before planting seeds for eggplants, soybeans, and long beans. Under the half-circle shelter of the greenhouse, seedlings in similar trays placed atop folding tables sprouted all around, their green leaves like tiny flags staking a claim on life.
That day, like most days, Leach, 35, worked alone on the farm with her dog Bebe, a Chihuahua-terrier mix who follows her through the farm’s two acres, which she leases from another farmer. She is tan from days spent out in the sun, working with her hands.
Leach’s Namu Farm is known for supplying organic produce to San Francisco chef Dennis Lee. Lee and his two brothers, the sons of Korean immigrants, run three eateries, with more on the way. Na...


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