“Participants spent the morning in classroom learning the basics about seed, including a brief history of seed in agriculture, basic genetics, the difference between open pollinated and hybrid varieties, usage patents, planting dates, crops best suited for the bioregion, harvesting methods, equipment, and drying techniques. Folks spent the last portion of the day learning to winnow carrot and cilantro seeds outside in the afternoon sun. Colley answered pertinent questions throughout the day and reminded folks that several publications (including a Seed Saving for Gardeners and Farmers manual) are available for free download from the OSA website.
“San Juan County resource-focused community organizers are exploring the county’s potential for seed production as a niche market. Islanders are no strangers to geographic isolation, and many see this natural barrier as an opportunity to produce seed for market, which requires isolation distances. “San Juan County farmers want to develop a seed industry and they are strong believers in organic production methods. This workshop really met their needs. I know that some folks will now come onboard, and those already saving seed got a boost of fresh and useful information,” WSU Extension Ag Program coordinator, Candace Jagel, remarked after the workshop.”
Note from the editor: Casual gardeners and enthusiastic farmers should plan to attend the 2012 Organic Seed Growers Conference on January 19 – 21, 2012.