COMMENTARY

Vegetable growers in tight rotations
can’t afford seeds that fail

Give growers flexibility as dependable seed supply develops.

By Linda Grigg

Editor’s NOTE:

Response to Richard Glenister’s letter Organic farmers left holding the bag for substandard seed in response to Jeff Moyer’s column titled Let’s get real, and all commit to using organic seed.

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Posted March 15, 2007: I am a certified organic grower of vegetables. I have had several problems with the germination of organic seed, and one problem with a cucumber not being as described (and inedible). I trust organic seed coming from Johnny’s [Selected Seeds], but have had germination failure with seed from other companies – with well-known names.

I try to add organic varieties as they become available, but I have mixed feelings when I see a variety that is important to me come out in organic, for fear I will have poor germination. There is often no time to replant, as I do a lot of transplants. Timing is everything.

Of course I agree with using organic seed, but I feel that flexibility with the organic grower's seed choices is absolutely necessary for a while. The organic grower has the extra cost for organic seed, the extra time to search out the organic seed, and the extra effort to test new organic varieties to see if they can substitute for current varieties that are not available organically.

The risk of poor seed quality is an added burden. Let’s not make the organic farmer bear too many burdens all at once.

Click here for Johnny’s organic seed statement