Pandora Thomas, EARTHseed Farm

Pandora Thomas

EARTHseed Farm is a 14-acre solar-powered organic farm and orchard located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Peoples in Sebastopol. The farm’s name was inspired by Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower series. 

With the permission and blessings of Graton Rancheria Tribe, the farm is operated and rooted in AfroIndigenous permaculture principles, and built on the long legacy of earth wisdom traditions of people of African descent. Permaculture is a relationship-based ecological design system embedded in indigenous wisdom that elevates ecosystem health while meeting human needs. 

In this Member Spotlight, we chat with Founder and Farm Manager Pandora Thomas about the farm and its deeper purposes. 

Farm Trails member since 2022

EARTHseed Farm, 3175 Sullivan Road, Sebastopol | earthseedfarm.org

How did you get interested in farming?

Carrying on my ancestral legacy of earth stewardship.

What is the history of your farm?

Earthseed Farm was established in March 2021. We’re a young and motivated business in our third season and we are continuing to grow our business and the team. We offer wholesale, U-pick, tours, retreats, and glamping.

What do you grow? 

The farm is CCOF organic certified and we grow, sell, and donate produce through wholesale, U-pick, and nonprofit partnerships. Our main crops are Asian pears, apples, persimmons, pineapple guava, pluots, raspberries, and blackberries.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

We refer to EARTHseed as a work and learn environment. We strive to serve as an inspiring model that showcases resilience strategies needed to help humans continue to work to heal and restore earth systems. 

We are a permaculture farm and a learning center that serves as a space for reconnecting communities to Afro-Indigenous practices and principles for living in our world today. 

What do you value about being a member of Farm Trails?

Being a part of the community and making connections with other farmers, business owners and local residents. 

What are your hopes for the future of your farm?

EARTHseed’s intent is to go beyond traditional organic farming practices by not only taking into consideration the soil, crops, and human needs but by also designing relationships between the different aspects of the entire ecosystem of the site. Permaculture design does not grow farms solely for feeding humans but as an integrated home for all parts of the ecosystem to be fed. 

What advice would you give to a new farmer? 

Don’t go it alone. Find someone who’s doing what you’re interested in and do your best to support and learn from them.

Photos by Lisa Rose