Seeds For Your Aquaponics
If you choose to pursue organic certification, you MUST purchase organic seeds whenever they are available in the varieties you plan to grow.
Some Organic Seed Suppliers:
Albert Lea Seed House – www.alseed.com
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds http://www.rareseeds.com/
Filaree Farm – www.filareefarm.com. Over 100 varieties of organic garlic.
High Mowing Organic Seeds – www.highmowingseeds.com
Horizon Herbs, LLC – www.horizonherbs.com – medicinal and culinary herb seeds
Johnny’s Seeds (IS NOT OWNED BY MONSANTO!!) – www.johnnyseeds.com
Keeton Farms – Phone: 541-545-1918 Email: [email protected]
Natural Gardening Company – www.naturalgardening.com
Seeds of Change – www.seedsofchange.com
Seedway LLC – www.seedway.com
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange – www.southernexposure.com
Territorial Seed Company – www.territorialseed.com
Organizations working with organic seeds:
Organic Seeds Partnership – http://www.plbr.cornell.edu/psi/OSP%20home.htm. The Organic Seed Partnership will enhance and expand a set of existing complementary, regionally-focused activities to create a strong national network aimed at developing and delivering improved vegetable varieties selected for superior performance in organic systems.
Organic Seed Alliance – http://seedalliance.org. The Organic Seed Alliance has created a Seed Producers Database, which is designed to facilitate connections between seed growers and larger-scale seed purchasers. Both seed growers & seed purchasers can reach a wider audience more easily through the OSA Seed Producers Database.
Organic seed supplier lists:
ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/altseed_search.php
Among many other publications and resources, ATTRA runs a Suppliers of Seed for Certified Organic Production Database. This database provides sources for organic seed of both agronomic and horticultural crops. Some national, mail-order suppliers of untreated seed are included, with the emphasis on small alternative seed companies offering open-pollinated vegetable, flower, and herb seed.
Pennsylvania Certified Organic – http://www.paorganic.org/
This accredited organic certifier publishes an annual list of the companies its aware of which sell organic seeds. The current version was released in January 2007.
Saving Our Seed Project – http://www.organicseedsourcing.com/
The Save Our Seed Project of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association offers a comprehensive search of organic sources. Growers searching for organic seeds submit an organic seed “Wish List.”
Washington State University – http://csanr.wsu.edu/Organic/OrganicSeed.htm
The Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources at Washington State University produced a list of organic seeds by variety in January 2006.
Heirloom Seeds Versus Hybrid Seeds:
You will often see the term “heirloom seeds” used in seed catalogs; these are simply seeds that breed the same plant (relatively identical, anyway) every time they’re planted. You can let an heirloom plant “go to seed”, then collect and preserve the seeds yourself, then plant them again next year and get roughly the same plant with minor variations. You can also select seeds from the biggest heirloom plant, or the most disease-resistant, and plant those next year; continually selecting so you get the biggest, or the most disease-resistant. This is how Great Danes and Chihuahuas were bred over thousands of years from roughly the same dog (Pekingese? That’s a different story!).
Hybrid seeds were developed by the seed companies to address problems with particular varieties. Here’s an example: they might have a tomato that is really disease-resistant, but quite small, and another that is very large and juicy, but has little resistance to disease. After a lot of work, by breeding and cross-breeding these two strains of tomatoes, they end up with two final strains of tomatoes, which, when bred together (by pollinating one from the other), result in a big, juicy, disease-resistant tomato. The purpose of the hybrid seed developers is to lock you into purchasing seeds from them for that variety, because you can’t get it any other way. Here’s why:
If you save the seeds from this hybrid tomato and plant them, the only thing you can be sure of is that something will grow. You have no idea what that something will be; it’s almost never one parent plant or the other, but a third unpredictable variety. Not knowing this, I once planted seeds from a huge hybrid beefsteak tomato I’d bought at the store, thinking I’d get a big beefsteak tomato plant.
What I got was a total surprise! It was a tomato about the size of a plum, that came off a tomato bush the size of a small car, that was completely disease- and pest-resistant. I had that tomato plant for years, and it gave me hundreds of pounds of tomatoes.