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Publications

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Building a Zig-Zag Seed Cleaner

While there are many high-end air-driven seed cleaning machines on the market, such machines can also be made at home or on farm using readily available materials – reducing the cost of this seed cleaning method significantly. One of the well-known designs for a homemade air separator is the zig-zag seed cleaner, the building of which we describe in detail here.

Crop Profile for Cabbage Seed in Washington
Washington State University

• Washington State supplies approximately 75% of the U.S. production and 25% of the world production of cabbage seed • 400−500 acres are grown annually in Washington State (350-400 acres of hybrid seed and 50-100 acres of open-pollinated seed) • Value of market seed sold to commercial growers is $22.4 million • Grower production costs are $3500/acre for hybrid seed and $1200/acre for open-pollinated cultivars

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The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production
Author: John Navazio

The Organic Seed Grower is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. It is written for both serious home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmers who want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically. Detailed profiles for each of the major vegetables provide users with practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting, and processing s...

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Small-Scale Organic Seed Production
Author: Patrick Steiner

This is not a “How To Grow Seeds” manual. Such information already exists and still more is being produced. A resource list at the end of this book details some readily accessible print and on-line resources about the how-to of seedgrowing. Beyond the mechanics of growing and harvesting seeds however, there are other considerations for the farmer seeking to incorporate seedgrowing into their farming systems. The strength of this book lies in the first-hand experiences of a number of growers who...

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Crop-Specific Seed Saving Guide
Crop-Specific Seed Saving Guide
Author: Seed Savers Exchange

Easy to read chart for seed saving information on popular seed crops.

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Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving, 2nd Edition
Author: Carol Deppe

All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes. Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving...

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One Level at a Time: Transitioning to Organic Vegetable Production
Author: Dr. Jeremy L. Caradonna

A guide for vegetable producers farming one acre or hundreds of acres, One Level at a Time combines the latest science-based research with real-world stories from farmers to illuminate the challenges and benefits of organic transition. Full of practical information about organic standards, ecological and agricultural principles (agro-ecology) and marketing to set you on your path to successful organic production.

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A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers
A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

OSA has condensed years of farming, gardening, plant breeding, and seed-saving wisdom into one manual to guide your seed growing. This manual provides the basics of how to grow seed, from choosing appropriate varieties for seed saving to harvesting, processing, and storing seed. The instructions assume that the reader has basic knowledge of vegetable growing.

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An Enterprise Budget Tool for Seed Producers
An Enterprise Budget Tool for Seed Producers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This seed enterprise budget tool was developed as a starting point to guide farmers who are interested in knowing the costs associated with producing individual seed crops on their farms. Enterprise budgets provide a snapshot of costs associated with a single crop for a single year and do not make predictions or forecasts for future years. However, they can be used to provide guidance for farmers who are considering investments in new equipment, training, or scale. Sensitivity analyses can be do...

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Beet Seed Production: Quick Reference
Beet Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Beet seed production cheat sheet

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Broccoli Seed Production: Quick Reference
Broccoli Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Broccoli seed production cheat sheet

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Carrot Seed Production: Quick Reference
Carrot Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Carrot seed production cheat sheet

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Climatic Considerations for Seed Crops: Guidelines and Field Trainings for Organic and Specialty Vegetable Seed Producers
Climatic Considerations for Seed Crops: Guidelines and Field Trainings for Organic and Specialty Vegetable Seed Producers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide provides detailed climatic considerations for organic and specialty seed production in the Pacific Northwest. Topics include environmental influences on pollination and fertilization, and the influence of temperature, day length, frost-free days, precipitation, and wind. The guide also includes sections on environmental management, crop selection for seed production, and the history and geography of seed production in the region. Also available en espanol

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Cucumber Seed Production: Quick Reference
Cucumber Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Cucumber seed production cheat sheet

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Harvest and Handling Seed Record
Harvest and Handling Seed Record
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Use this record sheet to track annual seed harvesting and handling details, including weight, damage, harvest dates, seed sources, cleaning methods, storage conditions, and germination details.

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How to Breed Carrots for Organic Agriculture
How to Breed Carrots for Organic Agriculture
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This manual teaches farmers how to breed carrots for organic production systems, including step-by-step instruction for developing breeding goals, identifying breeding material, performing breeding methods, and maintaining a new variety for quality and uniformity.

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How to Breed Sweet Corn for Organic Agriculture
How to Breed Sweet Corn for Organic Agriculture
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This manual teaches farmers how to breed sweet corn for organic production systems, including step-by-step instruction for developing breeding goals, identifying breeding material, performing breeding methods, and maintaining a new variety for quality and uniformity.

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How to Breed Tomatoes for Organic Agriculture
How to Breed Tomatoes for Organic Agriculture

This manual teaches farmers how to breed tomatoes for organic production systems, including step-by-step instruction for developing breeding goals, identifying breeding material, performing breeding methods, and maintaining a new variety for quality and uniformity.

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Introduction to On-farm Organic Plant Breeding
Introduction to On-farm Organic Plant Breeding
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This manual provides an overview of on-farm organic plant breeding methods, including an overview of basic genetics, farm-based experimental design, and appropriate breeding techniques for organic farms, among other useful background and instruction.

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Kale Seed Production: Quick Reference
Kale Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Kale seed production cheat sheet

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Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers
Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Tracking on-farm labor can be confusing or overwhelming, but it is also extremely important for growers trying to get a handle on what their operator costs are, or produce enterprise budgets. The forms in this tool are designed as a guide that offers different method for tracking. Three different forms are included in the Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers. Each operation (or operator) might prefer a different type of form or a modified version of one of the forms. The first form is designed...

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Montana Organic Seed Assessment: Vegetables
Montana Organic Seed Assessment: Vegetables
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

The report includes findings from a statewide survey conducted in 2016 on organic vegetable production in Montana. The survey captured challenges growers face in sourcing organic seed and asked them to identify vegetable crops in need of improvement, including desirable traits.

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Onion Seed Production: Quick Reference
Onion Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Onion seed production cheat sheet

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #5: Cleaning and Record Keeping
Organic Seed Production Webinar #5: Cleaning and Record Keeping
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the fifth of a six-webinar series on organic seed production providing training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This fifth webinar focuses on cleaning and record keeping.

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #6: Seed Contracting and Economics
Organic Seed Production Webinar #6: Seed Contracting and Economics
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the final webinar in a six-part series on organic seed production that provides training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This sixth webinar focuses on seed economics and contracting.

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Organic Seed Resource Guide
Organic Seed Resource Guide
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide is intended for producers and agricultural professionals seeking information about organic seed production. Most of the resources are focused in the western region of the United States (OR, WA, ID, and CA) but much of the information is applicable to all climatic regions. Each section of the guide includes a brief introduction followed by a list of available online and print resources and references.

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Pacific Northwest Organic Plant Breeding Assessment of Needs
Pacific Northwest Organic Plant Breeding Assessment of Needs
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This report analyzes input from targeted stakeholders — farmers, plant breeders, seed companies, food industry, and others — throughout the Pacific Northwest on regional priorities for organic plant breeding. The report provides an overview of priority traits by crop, organic breeding priorities that address broad production challenges within sub-regions of the Pacific Northwest, and opportunities for future research, education, development efforts, and potential collaborations to address the ne...

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Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) is a highly effective on-farm breeding method that involves a close collaboration between farmers and researchers. The approach provides farmers an opportunity to adapt crop varieties to their specific regions and organic farming practices. This toolkit includes a background on the theory and practice of PPB, case studies of successful projects, and worksheets to facilitate project planning and execution.

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Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Producers
Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Producers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This new publication aids organic seed producers in understanding the role and diversity of seed crop pollinators, as well as strategies for reducing pollen movement between organic and non-organic farms. Profiles of common pollinators, strategies for managing pollination, and guidelines for specific crops are all included.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Bean Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Bean Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide includes the basic instruction need for on-farm organic bean seed production. Topics include understanding basic bean seed biology, climatic and soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Beet Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Beet Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide includes basic instruction for on-farm organic beet seed production. Topics include understanding basic beet seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Carrot Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Carrot Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide includes basic instruction needed for on-farm organic carrot seed production. Topics include basic carrot seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Lettuce Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Lettuce Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest

This guide includes basic instructions needed for on-farm organic lettuce seed production. Topics include basic lettuce seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Radish Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Radish Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide includes basic instructions needed for on-farm organic radish seed production. Topics include basic radish seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Exploring Certified Organic Seed Production in British Columbia (2007)
Exploring Certified Organic Seed Production in British Columbia
Author: Chris Wells

In order to promote seed security awareness successfully, we found it crucial that we have information about what BC organic farmers are already doing to ensure their own seed security. Thus, this survey was created to gather important information from farmers. We hope that by utilizing the results of this survey, as well as continuing talks with organic farmers, that we can develop a plan to decrease reliance on larger seed companies and increase reliance on each other for sourcing quality seed...

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2014 B.C. Eco Seeds Survey Report
2014 B.C. Eco Seeds Survey Report
Author: FarmFolk CityFolk

The 2014 BC Seed Producers Survey was developed and hosted by the BC Seeds Project, a project of FarmFolk CityFolk. Designed to inform the business plan of the B.C. Eco Seed Producers Co‐operative, a for profit co­‐operative for British Columbia (BC) certified organic and ecological seed producers, the goal of the survey was to research the production and use of BC-grown certified organic and ecological seeds, and to gauge producer (i.e., small-­scale commercial seed producers), interest in part...

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Report of Seed Saving Study on Edamame 2015
Report of Seed Saving Study on Edamame 2015
Author: Krishna P. Sharma

Vegetable soybean (Glycine max Merr L.) popularly known as Edamame, is a crop with rising popularity in the western world. Its rich nutritive value and health benefits have created increasing market demand among health conscious consumers. Though this crop is generally adapted to Asian countries, its cultivation is slowly expanding in Europe and North America. Edamame seeds and frozen pods imported from Asia, mainly from China, Taiwanand Japan, are available in market place and super stores. How...

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Organic Edamame Report 2016
Organic Edamame Report 2016
Author: Krishna P. Sharma

This is a summarizing document to provide a verification support to the edamame (Glycine max (L.) Merr L.) study reported from 2009 – 2015 as an effort to help meet the mission of The Sharing Farm and Richmond Food Security Society. The 2016 study was designed using (a) segregating populations of spontaneous mutations identified and developed at The Sharing Farm, (b) varieties tested for adaptation at Richmond agro-climate, and (c) appropriate technology for local seed production. Studies were p...

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Carrot Seed Report Final 2014
Carrot Seed Report Final 2014
Author: Jesse Howardson

The long-term objectives of this 4-year project are, broadly, to increase the viability of growing organic and ecologically grown carrot seed in high tunnel isolation structures. In addition to addressing the reality of cross-pollination with Queen Anne’s Lace, the outcomes generated by this research will also point to best practices in increasing the yield of regionally adapted seed through the potential of growing out multiple carrot varieties without cross-pollination.

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The BC Ecological and Organic Seed Sector and the Role of the UBC Farm Seed Hub 2015
The BC Ecological and Organic Seed Sector and the Role of the UBC Farm Seed Hub 2015
Author: Mel Sylvestre

Whether they are planted or consumed, seed is at the origin of our agricultural and food systems. Seeds carry the essence of the agricultural biodiversity responsible for food system resilience. Despite the importance of agrobiodiversity, 90% of the agricultural crop varieties have disappeared over the last century due to the increase of the industrial-type corporations’ control over seed systems (FAO, 2015). In response to this decline, there has been increasing efforts to build a strong global...

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Seed Processing Equipment Plans: Air Separator, Tumbler, Screens, etc.
Seed Processing Equipment Plans: Air Separator, Tumbler, Screens, etc.
Author: Don Pigott

The main objective of seed extraction and cleaning is to; reduce the bulk and weight by removing non-seed chaff or debris, and to put seed into a suitable condition for storage and/or sowing. The principles of seed cleaning are to separate seeds and their associated structures into different fractions and retain only good, healthy, viable seeds. These fractions usually include; -good, healthy, insect free, viable filled seeds -find debris (smaller in size and lighter than seed) -coarse debris (l...

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Lettuce and Brassica Seed Production
Lettuce and Brassica Seed Production
Author: Patrick Steiner

These notes are a record of some of the information shared at Gathering Together Farm, where the field day focused on seed production by Frank Morton, a specialty lettuce and brassica seed producer, and farmer-breeder.

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Garlic White Rot
Garlic White Rot

This summary is based on a talk by Professor Fred Crowe from Oregon State University. The transcript can be viewed here. The original sound recording is here.

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Bean and Soybean Promotion Research Report (2012)
Bean and Soybean Promotion Research Report (2012)
Author: Krishna Sharma

Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) “star legume” is the most widely grown and used legume in the world. USA and Brazil dominate the production of grain type soybean while China and Taiwan dominate the production of vegetable type soybean popularly known as ‘Edamame’. Japan and USA are major importers of Edamame. Soybeans, in general, are rich in protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, omega -3 fatty acids and other nutrients. In addition Edamame contains more proteins, sucrose and abscisic acids th...

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Organic Seed Alliance Variety Trials

A variety trial is an effective tool for assessing a range of varieties within a given crop to find a suitable variety for your farming system or to identify varieties with characteristics you are looking for in that crop. Variety trials are best performed over multiple seasons to better identify environmental factors in performance, “Every season is different, and it is important to make sure that a new variety holds up under the range of environmental conditions your farm experiences.” (Organi...

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #4: Seed Quality, Harvesting Techniques and Equipment
Organic Seed Production Webinar #4: Seed Quality, Harvesting Techniques and Equipment
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the fourth of a six-webinar series on organic seed production providing training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This fourth webinar focuses on seed quality, harvesting techniques and equipment.

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #3: Diseases and Pests
Organic Seed Production Webinar #3: Diseases and Pests
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the third of a six-webinar series on organic seed production providing training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This third webinar focuses on diseases and pests.

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #2: Trials and Selection
Organic Seed Production Webinar #2: Trials and Selection
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the second of a six-webinar series on organic seed production providing training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This second webinar focuses on trials and selection.

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Organic Seed Production Webinar #1: Introduction
Organic Seed Production Webinar #1: Introduction
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This is the first of a six-webinar series on organic seed production providing training for seed growers and their interns throughout the 2016 growing season. This first webinar is an introduction to the series.

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Organic Seed Production Tutorials
Organic Seed Production Tutorials
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

These online tutorials teach professional techniques for organic seed production of brassicas, carrots, lettuce, onions, beets and chard, and wet-seeded crops. The tutorials also cover climatic considerations and the topics of seed disease and quality.

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Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Webinar
Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Webinar

This webinar provides an overview of Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project results from the first three years, including advancements in breeding for nematode resistance and insights into the genetic component of a plant’s response to beneficial microbiota and implications for organic farming systems. This webinar is presented by CIOA project partners.

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Webinar Series from the 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Webinar Series from the 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference

Watch an archive of webinar sessions from our 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference held January 19 – 21, 2012, in Port Townsend, Washington. This webinar series includes the following sessions: Introduction to On-Farm Plant Breeding; Organic Wheat Breeding; Breeding Peas, Sweet Corn, Broccoli, Winter Squash, and Carrots as Part of NOVIC; Organic Corn Breeding; Breeding for Nutrition; and Breeding for Positive Microbial Interactions.

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Webinar Series from the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Webinar Series from the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Watch an archive of webinar sessions from our 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference held January 30 – February 1, 2014, in Corvallis, Oregon. This webinar series includes the following sessions: Why Organic Seed Matters and How to Meet the Demand; Research Update: Small Grains and Corn; Research Update: Vegetable Crops; Unpacking the Cell Fusion Debate; Pollinator Conservation Strategies for Organic Seed Producers; and Managing Seed-Borne Diseases in Seed Production.

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Webinar Series from the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Webinar Series from the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference

Watch an archive of webinars from our 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference held February 4 – 6, 2016, in Corvallis, Oregon. This webinar series includes the following sessions: State of Organic Seed; What Indigenous Farmers Taught Me About Building Seed and Food Sovereignty; Seed Economics; Vegetable Breeding Research Updates; Organic Cover Crop Seed Production; Vegetable Seed Production: Scaling Up; Managing Seed Borne Pathogens; and a Seed Production Intensive.

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Organic Seed Alliance Webinar Listings

See full listings of webinars

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Variety Trial Listings

Full listings of Organic Seed Alliance's Variety Trials

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Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers
Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers

Tracking on-farm labor can be confusing or overwhelming, but it is also extremely important for growers trying to get a handle on what their operator costs are, or produce enterprise budgets. The forms in this tool are designed as a guide that offers different method for tracking. Three different forms are included in the Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers. Each operation (or operator) might prefer a different type of form or a modified version of one of the forms. The first form is designed...

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Organic Seed Resource Guide
Organic Seed Resource Guide

This guide is intended for producers and agricultural professionals seeking information about organic seed production. Most of the resources are focused in the western region of the United States (OR, WA, ID, and CA) but much of the information is applicable to all climatic regions. Each section of the guide includes a brief introduction followed by a list of available online and print resources and references.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Lettuce Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Lettuce Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This guide includes basic instructions needed for on-farm organic lettuce seed production. Topics include basic lettuce seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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Principles and Practices of Organic Spinach Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
Principles and Practices of Organic Spinach Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest

This guide includes basic instructions needed for on-farm organic spinach seed production. Topics include basic spinach seed biology, climatic requirements, soil fertility requirements, planting and cultivation, flowering and pollination, isolation requirements, genetic maintenance and improvement, harvesting, and common diseases.

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How-To Guides
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Organic Seed Alliance's How-To Guides

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Organic Seed Alliance Event Publications
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

See full listings of event proceedings and webinars from the Organic Seed Growers Conference

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Production Planning Tool for Seed Producers
Production Planning Tool for Seed Producers
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Common questions around foundation, stock, and production seed are: How much foundation seed do I need to ensure I have enough stock seed? How much stock seed should I produce every third year for my production seed? The Production Planning Tool for Seed Producers is a simple excel sheet that helps guide decision making around how much and how often to produce foundation, stock, and production seed based on your operation, desired inventory, longevity of the seed, and estimated yield. A blank te...

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Seed Crop Record
Seed Crop Record
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Use this record sheet to track annual seed crop production, including crop location, emergence details, cultivation methods, harvest dates, selection characteristics, and disease and pest damage.

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Seed Quality: Best Practices for Vegetable Seed Handling in Montana
Seed Quality: Best Practices for Vegetable Seed Handling in Montana

Farmers need quality seed that is free of disease and that delivers on advertised germination rates, vigor, trueness to type, and specific traits for a particular variety. This manual provides recommendations to assure the quality of seed Montana’s specialty crop growers produce. The recommendations are intended as best practices to assist growers in reducing the risk of producing or selling inferior quality seed. The practices in this guide focus on growers who sell primarily vegetable seed. Th...

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Snap Bean Seed Production: Quick Reference
Snap Bean Seed Production: Quick Reference

Snap Bean Seed Cheat Sheet

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Southeast Organic Seed Stakeholders Survey
Southeast Organic Seed Stakeholders Survey
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

This report includes findings from an online survey developed with support from our regional partners to assess organic seed systems in the Southeast and identify collaborative opportunities to expand and improve these systems. The survey was advertised to farmers and gardeners throughout the Southeast, and was open from November 2011 through March 2012.

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State of Organic Seed 2016
State of Organic Seed 2016
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Organic food should begin with organic seed. Right now most organic farmers rely on seed that isn’t organic. But that’s changing, for the good. Organic farmers produce food differently, and that means they need different seed for the crops they grow: seed developed to thrive without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and adapted to their local climate and soil conditions. State of Organic Seed is a project of Organic Seed Alliance that monitors the status of organic seed in the US and provide...

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State of Organic Seed 2011
State of Organic Seed 2011

State of Organic Seed is an ongoing project to monitor the status of organic seed systems in the United States. The project aims to develop diverse stakeholder involvement in implementing policy, research, education, and market‐driven activities that result in the improved quality, integrity, and use of organic seed. This report is the first comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities in building the organic seed sector. The first five-year update was published in 2016.

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Sweet Corn Seed Production: Quick Reference
Sweet Corn Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Sweet Corn Seed Production Cheat Sheet

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The Grower’s Guide to Conducting On-farm Variety Trials
The Grower’s Guide to Conducting On-farm Variety Trials

On-farm variety trials help farmers manage risk by identifying optimal genetics for a grower’s unique environmental and market conditions. This guide provides farmers fundamental skills to conduct on-farm variety trials that reflect their particular goals and farming operations. Readers will find scientific principles presented in an accessible way, and will be walked though the process of planning, implementing, evaluating, and interpreting a variety trial. This tool is useful for farmers, as w...

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Tomato Seed Production: Quick Reference
Tomato Seed Production: Quick Reference

Tomato Seed Production Cheat Sheet

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Trial Evaluation Worksheet
Trial Evaluation Worksheet
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Use this record sheet to score variety trials, including documenting varieties and trait scoring. Also see our variety trial planning worksheet.

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Variety Trial Planning Worksheet
Variety Trial Planning Worksheet
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Use this worksheet to plan variety trials in your field. This document includes instructions and sections for capturing desired traits, varieties in the trial, planning tips, field assessments, trial layout, and evaluation criteria and timing. Also see our trial evaluation worksheet.

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Weather-Related Risk Reduction Guidelines for Dry-Seeded Specialty Seed Crops
Weather-Related Risk Reduction Guidelines for Dry-Seeded Specialty Seed Crops
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

The presence of inclement weather as seeds mature and during harvest may adversely affect dry-seeded seed crops. By following preventative measures and preparing for inclement weather, growers can significantly reduce risks and prevent financial losses. The scope of this publication covers weather-related harvesting issues and recommendations for dry-seeded crops in the Pacific Northwest.

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Organic Seed Alliance Webinars
Organic Seed Alliance Webinars
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Full Listings of OSA Webinars

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Winter Squash Seed Production: Quick Reference
Winter Squash Seed Production: Quick Reference
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Winter Squash Seed Production Cheat Sheet

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Organic Seed Alliance Worksheets & Record-Keeping
Organic Seed Alliance Worksheets & Record-Keeping
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Full Listing of OSA Work and Record Sheets

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Seed Production (Farm Scale)
Seed Production (Farm Scale)
Author: Organic Seed Alliance

Full Listings of OSA's Seed Production Resources

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Canape of Sweet & Spicy Carrot Red Lentil Hummus with Ginger & Carrot Slaw on a Cucumber Slice
Author: Carla Hick

Yield: 60 Canapes, Prep Time: 1 hour Carrot Red Lentil Hummus Ingredients 200g Red Lentil 5g Garlic Pinch of Salt 170g Raw Carrot (weight before peeling), medium dice 0.5 tbsp Spicy Crushed Chilies 0.5 tsp Honey 0.5 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds 0.5 tsp Salt 0.5 tsp Gr. Black Pepper 0.5 tbsp Tahini 0.5 lemon, juiced, no seeds 0.5 cup + 1 Tbsp Olive Oil Instructions  Preheat oven to 400F Toss carrots, cumin seeds, chili flakes, honey, 1tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Lay evenly on a baking tra...

Beet Bite: Canape of Citrus Herbed Chevre and Pickled Golden Beets served on a Cucumber Slice with a Julienne Chioggia Garnish
Author: Carla Hick

Yield: ~50 Servings Prep Time: 1 hour, Pickling Time: Overnight Ingredients 230g Golden Beets (1.5 Cups Chopped) 1Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Pinch of Salt 3 Long English Cucumbers 2 Small Chioggia Beets Pickled Beet Brine 0.25 Cup Sugar 0.75 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar 0.5 tsp Mustard Seeds 0.25 tsp Black Peppercorns 2 tsp Turmeric 1 Sprig of  Thyme Pinch of Salt Herbed Chevre  2 Cloves Garlic, minced 2 Scallions, green and white separated, sliced thin 1 tsp Vegetable Oil 100g Chevre 1 Tbsp Heavy Crea...

Chocolate Beet Cake
Author: Carla Hick (adapted from Martha Stewart recipe)

 Yield:  80 sample pieces/ 8 Large pieces of cake The Cake Ingredients 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda Salt 2 large eggs 3/4 cup warm water 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 pinches of nutmeg Vegetable oil cooking spray/ Coconut Oil/ Veg oil for pan greasing   Directions Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Re...

How to Grow a Seed Collective: A Community Template for Seed Saving
How to Grow a Seed Collective: A Community Template for Seed Saving
Author: Robin Wheeler

"The growing power of seed multinationals (with their worrisome use of Genetically Modified products and seed patenting), coupled with greater international financial distress has made community seed saving more important than ever. Readily accessible, locally appropriate supplies of varied seed are important to communities and will be even more so in the near future. Hopefully, instead of being held for an emergency, these seed collections will become a vital part of ongoing community life. Man...

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Seed Works Video Series
Seed Works Video Series

This series of short videos covers introductory seed saving practices with Patrick Steiner of Stellar Seeds, Jon Alcock of Sunshine Farms and David Catzel of Fraser Common Farm. Filmed on location on working farms, the series provides the next best thing to hands-on experience to beginning seed growers.

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Tuscan Kale Frittata
Author: Carla Hick

Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins Servings: 6 Ingredients: 6 Ribs of Lacinato Kale – Rib removed and leaves thinly sliced 2 Small White Onions – Diced small 2 Small Red Potatoes (~ 1 cup) – Cut in half lengthways and then sliced widthways paper-thin – Store in water if more than 10 mins away from cooking 6 Cloves Garlic – Minced ½ Cup Grape Tomatoes – Halved 10 Small Eggs – Whisked 2 Tbsp 35% Cream 1 tsp Rosemary Leaves - Finely chopped 1 Tbsp Butter 2 Tbsp Olive Oil – (½ tsp for potatoes...

Easy Crock-Pot Vegetable Stew with Kale
Author: Carla Hick

Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 4 Hours Servings: 8 – 10   Ingredients: 398ml Can of Cannellini Beans 796 Can of Diced Tomatoes + Juice (Rinse can with ½ Cup of water to get all the flavour) 3 Cups Chicken (or vegetable) Stock ½ Cup Basmati Rice – Rinsed 1 Large Onion – Large Dice 8 Cloves Garlic – Chopped Fine 1 Medium Hot Chili – Minced (keep seeds for extra heat) 2 Large Carrots – 1” half Wheels    2 Bay Leaves 1 Tbsp Rosemary Leaves – Chopped Fine 2 tsp Oregano Leaves – Chopped Fine 2 tsp B...

Cous Cous & Kale Salad
Author: Carla Hick

3 Parts Prep Time: 20 mins Chilling Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 10 mins Full Servings: 2 Side Servings: 4 Part 1: Cous Cous Ingredients: 2/3 Cup Cous Cous 1 Cup Chicken (or Vegetable) Stock 1 tsp Olive Oil 1 tsp salt Method: Bring wet ingredients and salt to boil. Add cous cous, remove from heat, cover with lid and let stand for 5 mins Remove lid, fluff with fork. Transfer to a container with high surface area. Cool uncovered in the fridge   Part 2: Kale Ingredients: 8 Ribs of Lacinato Kale – D...

2018 Canadian Vegetable Breeding Priorities Report
2018 Canadian Vegetable Breeding Priorities Report
Author: UBC, USC Canada
Date: 05/12/2018

This report represents the first effort to document information about plant breeding priorities that was previously only available anecdotally. More extensive research with an effort to improve response rates would further substantiate the findings presented here. However, when viewed alongside regional approaches to priority setting for plant breeding, the survey results can provide a broader national context for participatory organic/ ecological vegetable breeding. We hope it will be useful fo...

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BC Ministry of Agriculture New Entrant Strategy
BC Ministry of Agriculture
Author: AgriService BC

New entrants to agriculture face significant barriers to entry. The rising cost of agriculture land and inputs makes it increasingly difficult to start-up a farm. From 2011 to 2016, the total number of B.C. producers fell from approximately 29,000 to 26,000 and the average age rose to 56 years. Despite these trends, the number of B.C. producers under the age of 35 increased by 205 to 1,825. New entrants, from diverse backgrounds, are entering the agricultural and agrifood sector across the provi...

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WASHINGTON’S SMALL-SEEDED VEGETABLE SEED INDUSTRY
Washington State University Cooperative Extension

Washington's agricultural industry may be better known for the apples, carrots, hops, or wines produced here; however, the small-seeded vegetable seed grown in this state is the foundation for a major share of vegetable production in the United States and worldwide. Washington is known to produce high-quality vegetable seed: an essential ingredient in any crop equation. Without quality seed, no matter how much time growers spend preparing the land and controlling pests, they cannot produce prime...

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Selling Seeds in Washington State
Washington State Department of Agriculture

According to the WSDA Seed Program, Washington State now has over 70,000 acres in seed production, an increase of 30% since 2012. While mostly alfalfa, corn, and grass seed dominate this acreage, other farms are cultivating vegetable and flower seed both for on-farm use and to sell directly to consumers or contractually to seed companies. WSDA’s Seed Program can help guide producers through the regulations that govern seed sales to ensure high quality seed reaches the marketplace and complies wi...

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Challenges and Opportunities with Seed Production in Enclosures
9th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Author: Chris Thoreau, Jen Cody, Shaina Bronstein, Laurie McKenzie
Date: 17/02/2018

Seed is most often produced in the expansive outdoor environment. However, structures such as greenhouses and mesh tents can be used as isolation structures for research, breeding, variety segrega- tion, and environmental control of seed crops. Caged seed production using isolation structures presents several challenges and fun opportunities, including choosing structure design, set-up and maintenance, pest and pollinator control, and economic considerations. Challenges and Opportunities with Se...

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2019 Seedy Saturday/Sunday Event Data
FarmFolk City Folk
Author: FarmFolk City Folk
Date: 01/07/2019

2019 marked the first year of our Seedy Saturday/Sunday capacity Building Project that aims to connect organizers from across BC to build capacity and shared frameworks. A key objective is data collection to demonstrate the role and impact of these events in communicates across the province. Our goal in 2019 was to establish a baseline of data and we're thrilled that 26 communities generously shared their data to contribute to this knowledge base.  

Sourcing Medium-Scaled Equipment for Canadian Seed Producers
Author: Rebecca Ivanoff
Date: 01/01/2017

Sourcing Medium-Scaled Equipment for Canadian Seed Producers

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Mobile Seed Cleaner Design and Fabrication Overview
FarmFolk CityFolk
Author: Chris Thoreau
Date: 25/06/2019

Seed growers in BC have identified lack of infrastructure as one of their barriers to scaling up seed production. The Mobile Seed Cleaner came to fruition to help address this infrastructure gap and act as an educational tool to promote seed production in BC. The design is based on a mobile seed cleaner built by the Organic Farm School on Whidbey Island in Washington State and was designed and fabricated over the winter of 2018-2019. This document provides an overview of the Mobile Seed Cleaner,...

UBC Air Column Separator

This construction manual is intended for the purposes of building Farm Folk’s Seed Cleaning Unit. All materials can be locally sourced within the British Columbia, and no special equipment or processes are required for its construction.

How To Export Seeds To The USA
Going to Seed with Dan Brisebois
Author: Dan Brisebois
Date: 07/04/2019

Are you a Canadian seed grower who is thinking about getting a seed contract from a US seed company? Are you a US seed company looking to tap into the fantastic network of Canadian seed growers? But you’re wondering how to navigate the US / Canada border? Don’t worry, it is usually easier than you think!

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Clemson University Budgeting Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Microsoft Excel required.

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Electric Winnower
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong and Roger J. Edberg

Small electric winnower with metal stand.

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Farm-scale winnower
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong

This electric winnower removes chaffs from small grains (barley, clover, quinoa, wheat), large grains (vetch, pea, bean) and dried roots.

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Grain Dehuller
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong and Roger J. Edberg

Grain Huller for Rice, Spelt Wheat, Quinoa and Millet.

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Grain Thresher
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong and Roger J. Edberg

Conversion of a Leaf Shredder/Wood Chipper into a Grain Thresher.

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Hand Operated Winnower
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong and Roger J. Edberg

The winnower separates seeds from chaff by blowing the less dense chaff away as seeds fall down a column of air. Place the seed and chaff mixture on the tray. Turn the crank handle and move the seed mixture into the air duct. Manually adjust the crank speed to provide enough airflow to lift the lighter chaff up and out the top of the air duct, while allowing the denser seeds fall through the bottom of the air duct.

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Vacuum Packing Seed
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Allen Dong and Roger J. Edberg

A hand operated vacuum packing system (Figure 1) was developed to facilitate the storage of dry seeds. The system provides a means to seal containers with reduced oxygen content. A sealed container prevents rehydration of seeds, thus extends their viability. The reduced oxygen content suffocates adult insects that are stored with the seeds, and also extends the viability of the seeds by slowing down the seed respiration rate. This system can be used to vacuum pack dry food. Moist food, however,...

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Organic Seed Processing and Storage
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

Principles and practices of seed harvesting, processing, and storage: an organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Organic Cucurbit Seed Production Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

An organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Organic Pepper Seed Production Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

An organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and South.

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Organic Bean Seed Production
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

An organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Organic Tomato Seed Production Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

An organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Organic Brassica Seed Production Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

An organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Isolation Distances Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Author: Jeffrey H. McCormack

Principles and practices of isolation distances for seed crops: an organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S.

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Basic Seed Saving Guide
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Dry Seeds Saving for Home Use.

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Crop Profile for Spinach Seed in Washington
Washington State University

● Washington State produces up to 75% of U.S. spinach seed, which accounts for 8-10% of world production. ● 2000-3000 acres of spinach is grown for seed annually in Washington. ● Annual value of market seed sold to commercial growers is $24 million. ● Grower production costs average $1000-1200/acre/year.

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Crop Profile for Onions in Washington
Washington State University

● Washington State ranks third in the U.S. in production of onions ● Washington produces 16.2% of U.S. dry summer onions ● In 2002, 16,000 acres of storage onions and 1100 acres of non-storage onions were harvested in Washington. The value of storage onions was over $91 million. Non-storage onions were valued at $9.4 million. ● Dry onions were grown on 165 farms in Washington in 1997 ● Average yield values in 2002 for storage onions were 37 tons/A and 18 tons/A for non- storage onions ● Producti...

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MEET A FARMER – David Catzel, Glorious Organics
Modern Farmer
Author: Cathy Finley
Date: 01/02/2019

David Catzel is a farmer at Glorious Organics Co-operative, a co-operatively owned and operated farming collective situated on Fraser Common Farm Co-op in Aldergrove, BC. They sell directly to restaurants, at farmers markets (as the Organic Farm Connection), and through a CSA program. See the article here: Meet a Farmer

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The Seeds of Sustainability – How Plant Diversity Can Ensure Our Future
BC Farms & Food
Date: 08/12/2013

On small farms across British Columbia, a handful of growers has taken on a vital task to help save the planet’s food system. They are seed savers who plant and safeguard diverse varieties of food crops, herbs and flowers. By growing and saving the seeds of heirloom and open-pollinated varieties of plants no longer in common use, they are helping preserve plant diversity for future generations of farmers and food consumers.

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Tools for Rapid Market Assessments
Oregon State University Extension Service
Author: Larry Lev, Linda Brewer, Garry Stephenson

Most farmers’ markets lack information to make effective changes and improvements. We have designed three simple, low-cost methods to address the information gaps. The first two—attendance counts and dot surveys—are quantitative and can be used independently by markets. The third method is the more complete Rapid Market Assessment (RMA), which combines the two quantitative methods and a qualitative method called Constructive Comments and Observations (CCO). An RMA is a collaborative learning pro...

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