This revolution will be farmed

Experimental farm network-mouse melons

BY LELA NARGI / CIVIL EATS – A long-bearded, bespectacled Nathan Kleinman is standing inside a hoophouse in Southern New Jersey he proudly announces he got for free from a local farmer. Excitedly, he holds up plastic baggies containing his latest accessions of seeds. “These are Chinquapin chestnuts—they’re sweet and small,” he says, pouring what look like dark brown cap-less acorns into his palm. Back into their bag they go so he can show off the rest of his prizes: “Korean stone pines—they’re really rare. Bittenfelder apples, which are good to use for rootstock. Oh, these are cool; they’re from monkey puzzle trees, which are native to Chile.”

The tree seeds are all part of Kleinman’s ever-growing collection of perennials—plants that grow for more than two years and, critical for Kleinman’s purposes, have the ability to combat the effects of climate change. Later today, he will mix these and others with soil, vermiculite, and water, then set them in his fridge to germinate …

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