Earlier this year an initiative, ‘Organic Seeds by Organic Growers’ was started through an introductory seminar at Tolhurst Organics at Hardwick. The proposition with this initiative is to develop a network of organic horticultural seed producers in an effort to broaden the availability of organic seeds with their introduction into the seed market through seed companies who prioritise organic seeds and biodiversity. This initiative also offers an excellent opportunity to improve on open pollinated varieties which have been badly neglected by seed companies for decades.
As part of the recently introduced farmer field labs under the Duchy Original Future Farming Programme, the Soil Association, Garden Organic and Open Pollinated seeds UK, are seeking to co-ordinate a project with organic growers for the purposes and aims set out above.
We believe the improvement of many open pollinated species is possible given the opportunity and dedication through a participatory approach by growers and facilitators and that this improvement will help to address the widened gap that has been created between open pollinated and F1 hybrid vegetable species.