On Monday I talked about what I perceived as a deliberately obscure piece in the New York Times recently by Margaret Roach about her reasons for choosing organic seeds because they required fewer “inputs.” Maybe it’s just me but if you don’t find the choice of the word “inputs” deliberately obscure….
In any event, I said that I didn’t deliberately seek out “organic” seeds. Interestingly enough, I discovered, in researching this issue, that most, if not all of the seed companies that I deal with do offer organic seeds either exclusively or as an option. And remember, even Burpee offers a limited selection of organic seed choices (actually their selection of organic seeds is quite large–it’s just “limited” when you consider the offering of its entire catalog).
Certain companies are exclusively organic and I have ordered from those companies in the past and still do order on occasion. It’s just that I don’t need a lot of seeds every year so it’s always a challenge to not spend a fortune in postage by ordering from every catalog I’d like to patronize. Two that stand out–from opposite coasts–are
High Mowing Seeds and Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (whose fruit and vegetable seeds are certified organic).
One of my all-time favorite seed catalogs–and one that I do order from just about every year–is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (and so sorry–Wordpress’s linking feature stopped working after the links above. It’s “rareseeds.com”) Not only do they have a huge selection of heirlooms–larger than any catalog I’ve ever seen–but I love their philosophy, which you can read about at their web site or in the beginning of every catalog. I own their book and subscribe to their heirloom growers magazine as well. But the catalog is a visual treat–you’ve likely never seen such a large selection of unusual vegetables in your life! I’ve been a Baker Creek customer for well over a decade.
While their seed is not “certified” organic, they are untreated and free of pesticides.
I’m an even bigger fan now that Baker Creek’s owners have purchased one of my local seed sources, Comstock, Ferre and Co. While their catalog isn’t quite as large as the Baker Creek catalog, it is local–and best of all, I can actually visit the store!
Many of my other favorite catalogs have organic sections as well. One in particular is Renee’s Garden. Renee’s Garden is extremely generous to garden writers (including me) and she always makes a variety of seeds available every year for garden writers to trial. I’ve taken advantage of this program for several years and I am extremely grateful to the company for its support.
Renees Garden has a good selection of vegetables and herbs that are certified organic, including 7 types of tomatoes, 3 types of peppers, 6 types of lettuce–you get the idea. It’s certainly not a small selection. An organic gardener could easily choose all organic vegetables from this catalog alone.
And there are more catalogs offering organic seed as well including the Cook’s Garden, Seed Savers Exchange, and Territorial Seed, which has 27 pages of organic vegetables.
Once again, I do apoligize for not offering links–I tried to link up to these sites on 2 different computers for more than a week but WordPress apparently had other ideas. They’ve changed so much about uploading lately that I may have to change blog sites to continue blogging.
But that isn’t your issue–it’s mine. Just forgive the glitches you see on the blog.
Just know that organic seed is not hard to find, nor is it in short supply. Do not be frightened of–or believe–everything you read.