Seeds and Organic Certification

Joan Vibert joan at
Sat Dec 15 09:50:26 EST 2001

> To me the "commercially available" clause has meant the seeds must be
> available through normal farm seed channels in normal farm quantities
> AND in the varieties you grow.
This is exactly what we decided at our market meeting recently.  Our market
is made up of all certified organic growers so this became an important
discussion point to many of us.  Since this is the year the regs actually go
into effect its sort of a wait and see year in many ways.  I can't imagine
any of us allowing the USDA to spec our tomato varieties for us - at least
not on this list.

None of us are particularly happy with OCIA and their trend toward global
trade which just isn't going to happen to us growing kale and carrots and
blackberries.  It would appear that some new, local certifying agencies will
come into being and when that happens a new term might become reality -
whatever it is.

Since our market is all certified organic - we decided to post a certificate
every week at our stands.  We felt that it would remind our customers what
certification really means and since this is the last season that the word
organic can be used without certifying - its sticks that piece of paper in
customers minds as something to look for at other markets when growers make
the organic claim.

Ordering seeds is already a daunting job without adding in the dimension of
organic requirement.  If my basic seed suppliers like Johnny's has organic
seed in the variety I want - I'll buy it IF its not too prohibitively
expensive.  I think by making an honest effort we can't be turned down for
this omission. I've understood the treated vs. non-treated problem but
honestly how much residue can a non-organic seed transmit?

joan vibert
windwalker farm
ottawa, kansas

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