Introducing Seed Phytonutrients

Modern Farmer Editor-in-Chief Sarah Gray Miller with Ken Greene, founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library.

You may be wondering why ModernFarmer.com has added a “natural beauty” channel. Typically we gravitate toward serious subjects, like genetic engineering and fair farm-labor conditions (at least when we’re not giggling over goat yoga). We don’t do shampoo. Or so I thought before a certain L’Oréal ambassador came knocking on our door. Literally. A year and a half ago, Brad Farrell, Vice President of Global Marketing for one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies, showed up at Modern Farmer’s tiny Hudson, New York, offices.

Brad started talking to me about a new brand that L’Oréal hoped to launch. It would, he said, prioritize the independent farmers growing organic ingredients for hair-, face-, and body-care products. Then Brad introduced me to his boss: Shane Wolf may be a major Manhattan muckety-muck, but he’s also a Midwestern farmer’s son, and an honest-to-goodness farmer, who cultivates cut flowers and coddles rescued race-horses on 10 acres in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

These two shockingly earnest beauty execs extended an invitation to an overnight brainstorming session. Among the other sustainable-agriculture nerds in attendance? My upstate neighbor Ken Greene, founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library and a critical contributor to the Organic Seed Alliance. Ken and I must have fielded a million questions that weekend. More importantly, our hosts listened.

Still, I remained skeptical—a stance I can no longer justify. Brad and Shane and their colleagues are poised to debut a line that sources its raw ingredients from small family farms (paid in advance regardless of harvest success); that achieves zero-waste packaging; and that pushes the boundaries regarding chemical-free formations. Consider this reluctant editor a convert, proud to introduce Seed Phytonutrients to the rest of the world.

—Sarah Gray Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Introducing Seed Phytonutrients