What are organic seeds?
These are seeds produced by organic farms. This simply means that they come from parent plants that were grown using the principles of organic farming and are free from synthetic chemicals that are toxic to plants and destructive to the soil. Organic farms are normally governed by organic standards and are monitored by government regulating bodies. You will see their organic status emblazoned on their produce and on their seeds.
To appreciate the difference between organic seeds and regular seeds, it’s important to have an understanding of organic farming principles. These farming methods aim to bring back the natural balance of the soil that has been destroyed because of chemical abuse through pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and GMOs. In the context of home gardening, it means growing fruit and vegetables using natural fertilizers such as compost and controlling pests through companion planting, crop rotation and homemade organic pesticides.
How are organically certified seeds produced?
The issues and problems surrounding the production of organic seeds have been long debated. Some contend that allowances must be given so that organic seed producers can use untreated seeds that are produced using non-organic farming principles in cases where organic seed varieties are not available. But those who oppose this idea insist that an organic seed must be produced from a purely organically grown plant without exception.
If you are a home gardener and would want to make sure that what you have purchased has not been tainted by genetic engineering, buy only seeds that are labeled as coming from organically grown plants.
How can we be sure that the seeds are really 100% chemical-free?
If you want to remain true to your organic advocacy then choose organic seeds. Organic gardening is not just about raising plants organically – it should start from the seed up. There are many big companies selling seeds that are certified as organic. However, if you want to make sure the seeds you are buying are not laced with GMO controversy, it would be a good idea to buy from your local or regional seed banks. A lot of these smaller entities are farmer cooperatives and networks that breed their own seeds.
Why do we need to start from an organic seed?
100% certified organic seeds come from plants raised without the benefit of chemical fertilizers and pesticides or any other synthetic farm inputs. Because the parent plants are already adjusted to natural farming conditions, their seeds also produce healthy and vigorous plants that are more resistant to diseases, weather changes, and pest infestation.
To give your seeds a good head start, the necessity of choosing the best medium is vital. There are commercially available seed-starter mixes or you may choose to make your own. Simply mix equal parts of peat, perlite, and vermiculite. For each gallon of mix, you need to add a quarter teaspoon of lime to create a balance in the soil pH because peat is highly acidic.
What financial benefits do I get from using organic seeds?
Home gardening is a very affordable way of making sure that you and your family are eating safe and healthy food. Truly organic produce is all natural from seed to serving. When you know where your food comes from or how it was grown, no amount of money can equate to that. You may have to spend extra time taking care of your garden or buying seeds that are a little more pricey than usual, however you will end up with more tasty produce, and it also gives you peace of mind because you know that you are not poisoning your body by eating chemically-laden fruit and vegetables. And that is something money cannot buy.
Organic seeds are an integral part of organic gardening, but are often overlooked or misunderstood. Feel free to check out some of our other articles below for more information.
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