Publications

Publications

You can find a list of our publications as well as links to other important external publications on organic seed production. If you are looking for a specific topic please use the search bar.


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The BC Ecological and Organic Seed Sector and the Role of the UBC Farm Seed Hub 2015
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...

How to Breed Sweet Corn for Organic Agriculture
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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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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State of Organic Seed 2016
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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Bean and Soybean Promotion Research Report (2012)
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...

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...

Organic Seed Production Webinar #5: Cleaning and Record Keeping
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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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...

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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Webinar Series from the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference
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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Harvest and Handling Seed Record
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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Principles and Practices of Organic Radish Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
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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Organic Seed Alliance

Organic Seed Alliance's How-To Guides

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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.

Pacific Northwest Organic Plant Breeding Assessment of Needs
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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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.

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 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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Organic Seed Resource Guide
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.

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...

Lettuce and Brassica Seed Production
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.

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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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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Cucumber Seed Production: Quick Reference
Organic Seed Alliance

Cucumber seed production cheat sheet

Organic Seed Alliance Worksheets & Record-Keeping
Organic Seed Alliance

Full Listing of OSA Work and Record Sheets

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Seed Production (Farm Scale)
Organic Seed Alliance

Full Listings of OSA's Seed Production Resources

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Crop-Specific Seed Saving Guide
Seed Savers Exchange

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

Organic Seed Production Tutorials
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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Report of Seed Saving Study on Edamame 2015
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...

Organic Seed Alliance

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

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Organic Edamame Report 2016
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...

Organic Seed Production Webinar #1: Introduction
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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Production Planning Tool for Seed Producers
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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Principles and Practices of Organic Bean Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
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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Carol Deppe

Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower.


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 is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower. Discover:

  • how to breed for a wide range of different traits (flavor, size, shape, or color; cold or heat tolerance; pest and disease resistance; and regional adaptation)
  • how to save seed and maintain varieties
  • how to conduct your own variety trials and other farm- or garden-based research
  • how to breed for performance under organic or sustainable growing methods

In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.

 

 

Weather-Related Risk Reduction Guidelines for Dry-Seeded Specialty Seed Crops
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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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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Principles and Practices of Organic Beet Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest
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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Variety Trial Planning Worksheet
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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Southeast Organic Seed Stakeholders Survey
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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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
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

2014 B.C. Eco Seeds Survey Report
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...

Tomato Seed Production: Quick Reference

Tomato Seed Production Cheat Sheet

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Broccoli Seed Production: Quick Reference
Organic Seed Alliance

Broccoli seed production cheat sheet

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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...

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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Trial Evaluation Worksheet
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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Onion Seed Production: Quick Reference
Organic Seed Alliance

Onion seed production cheat sheet

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Labor Tracking Tool for Seed Producers
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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