organic seeds

Why You Should Buy Organic Seeds

Starting a spring garden? There are lots of good reasons to go the extra mile to find organic seeds for your flowers and vegetables.

Why You Should Buy Organic Seeds

Organic seeds come without a chemical coating.

Below is a list of seed companies, many of which sell nothing but organic seeds, recommended by the Organic Seed Alliance. Of course, finding a local company that sells seeds is even better. "Just call them up and ask where their seeds come from. You want to hear that they're producing seeds themselves or buying from farmers in your region."

Siskiyou Seeds
Uprising Seeds
High Mowing Seeds
Seeds of Change
Native Seeds SEARCH (Navazio notes that this nonprofit collects seeds from native peoples of Mexico and the southwestern U.S., so its seeds are best suited to regions with similar climates)
Seed Savers Exchange

Once you get your garden going, you can start saving seeds from year to year, which means you won't have to buy seeds at all. And as technical as it sounds, it isn't that hard, says Shannon Carmody, membership manager of Seed Savers Exchange. "People have been doing this for thousands of years, and everyone has their own way of doing it." She suggests starting out with tomatoes and dry beans, which are the easiest to save year-to-year. "With beans you just leave them on the vine, let the pods dry out, and then save the beans inside," she says.

Tomatoes are a little more involved. "If you've ever squeezed out the guts of a tomato, you know there's this gelatinous coating. It contains chemicals that inhibit the seeds from germinating." To save the seeds, you just need to take that coating off. You can simply wash it off, but at Seed Savers, Carmody says, they let the seeds "ferment." Squeeze that gelatinous mix into a jar, then let the jar sit for a few days, after which a thin layer of mold forms on the top of the mix. That removes the coating, she says, and the seeds sink to the bottom. Any liquid leftover gets poured off, and the seeds are laid out to dry. After they dry, she says, store the seeds in a cool place, preferably your refrigerator. "Cool and dry is the rule of thumb, but a dry place is more important," she says. Not the freezer, though; the freeze-and-thaw cycle can lead to moisture buildup on your seeds, and that can ruin them.

For instructions on saving a wider variety of seeds, Carmody recommends a book called Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. You can also download a free seed-saving guide from the Organic Seed Alliance's website.


Published on: March 30, 2011

More from our Authors

Ready to turn your tired soil into no-toil garden gold? Learn how you can enjoy bumper crops, less watering and fewer weeds in one easy step.
Free Download!
Sign up for our free newsletters and get a FREE guide to herbs for your pets. Shower your furry friends with love using natural food, care tips, and treats! Click here for the 6 herbs your pet needs to be happy and healthy, naturally.

Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!

You may unsubscribe at any time.

Your Privacy Rights. About Us.