Organic is a strict classification of seed production which requires the seeds to have been produced in a certified organic environment, according to organic certification protocols. The European designation for this production method is known as ‘bio’.
Organic methods generally include such practices as composting, soil enrichment with organic matter, biodynamic and others. In these methods, amendments and soil enrichment are accomplished through the introduction of non-chemical components such as seaweed, kelp, bio-char and other soil organism enhancing practices.
The use of vermiculture (worms) and properly constructed compost bins or piles (with enough mass to obtain internal temperatures between 130 to 150 °F) will provide a micro-organism rich, nutrient dense finished product to support healthy plant growth and seed production.
Organic production relies on an understanding of the natural relationships between plants, soil, and micro-organisms in order to provide a nutrient dense growing medium which improves the local environment while producing healthy food. The key components of organic production are the exclusion of petrochemicals, poisons, or pollutants as defined in the organic certification guidelines.
Many organic producers must work for several years to achieve the ‘cleaning up’ of their property due to practices of former owners, or presence of local contaminants which must be remediated before certification can occur. These practices are designed to provide chemical free healthy food while restoring a healthy environment of the farm through increased top soil, erosion control, areas of wildlife habitat restoration and better water resource management.
Over the last several decades the interest in and demand for new varieties and diverse seeds which are also organic has helped to support a good crop of organic seeds companies now firmly established and capable of delivering a rich and varied selection of seeds for the home gardener, market farmer and commercial grower’s market. This is an important and happy result of an increasing awareness of the importance of healthy food and organic farming practices. It has also led to a large diversity of plants and seeds for the home gardener. From Pak Choy to Arugula, heirloom tomatoes to Delicata squash, there are plenty of wonderful choices beyond the old models of a family vegetable garden. No more is the family plot limited to beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and maybe some radishes and a few heads of lettuce. There is plenty to choose from even for a small space container gardener in the city.
Mother Earth News: Organic Seed Companies Respond to Increasing Demand
VegetableGardenHub: Vegetable Seeds