Organic Seed Recordings from Organicology 2017

In collaboration with the Organic Seed Alliance, eOrganic recorded three sessions on organic seeds at the Organicology Conference in Portland, Oregon on February 3, 2017. 

Got Seed?

  • Micaela Colley, Program Director, Organic Seed Alliance
  • David Lively, VP of Sales and Marketing, Organically Grown Company
  • Kristina Hubbard, Advocacy and Communications Director, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Laura Llewellyn, Produce Manager, Port Townsend Food Co-op
  • Barry Haynes, Produce Manager, Ashland Food Cooperative
  • Adam Wagner, Account Representative, Organically Grown Company

This workshop demonstrates the importance of organic seed to the success of the broader organic food trade, emphasizing the role that organic processing and retail businesses can play in ensuring farmers have the organic seed they need to meet market demand. Organic seed growers, plant breeders, farmers, produce retailers and food processors will talk about collaborations that ensure organic integrity along the entire production chain--beginning with organic seed.

Getting the Most Out of On-Farm Variety Trials

  • Jared Zystro, Research and Education Assistant Director, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Steve Peters, California Outreach Assistant, Organic Seed Alliance

Knowing how to conduct vareity trials can help farmers find the best varieties to grow for the farm and for the customer. Variety trials are also essential for farmer-breeders and seed growers dedicated to the continual improvement of seed. While properly conducted variety trials can be valuable, those not well planned do not provide meaningful results or are difficult to evaluate. Sometimes the plot layout is flawed, often the data collection is lacking, and very likely thhe farmer may become overwhlemed with other farm chores and the trial is neglected. This workshop will help farmers gather useful information through the fundamentals of field trial design and data collection without increasing labor and resource inputs. Presenters will share real life eamples of variety trial layouts, results and challenges.

In Celebration of Seeds

  • Laurie McKenzie, NW Research and Education Associate, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Don Tipping, Farmer and Seed Breeder, Seven Seeds Farm/Siskyou Seeds
  • Ken Greene, Managing and Creative Director, Hudson Valley Seed Library

Seed is the foundation of our food system and one of the true wonders of the world. It holds the potential to address some of our most pressing human and agricultural issues from climate change to nutrition, but it is also bridled in political and economic struggles. Today, in the midst of the media frenzy of biotech solutions, genetically engineered food, and transparency in labeling, the positive and heartwarming stories that inspire and empower us are often lost or overlooked. Join a handful of passionate seed stewards who have dedicated their lives to explanding biodiversity, protecting human rights to save seed, and preserving as well as creating new cultural traditions around seed. Their stories and images will leave you inspired by the power and hope held in the humble seed.

Published March 14, 2017

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.