Publications

Organic/ ecological seed growing publications to facilitate knowledge expansion and best management practices

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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...

Crop-Specific Seed Saving Guide
Seed Savers Exchange

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

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...

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...

One Level at a Time: Transitioning to Organic Vegetable Production
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.

A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers
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
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
Organic Seed Alliance

Beet 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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Carrot Seed Production: Quick Reference
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
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

Cucumber Seed Production: Quick Reference
Organic Seed Alliance

Cucumber seed production cheat sheet

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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How to Breed Carrots for Organic Agriculture
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
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

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
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
Organic Seed Alliance

Kale 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...

Montana Organic Seed Assessment: Vegetables
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
Organic Seed Alliance

Onion seed production cheat sheet

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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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Organic Seed Production Webinar #6: Seed Contracting and Economics
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 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.

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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Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
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
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
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
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
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

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.

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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Exploring Certified Organic Seed Production in British Columbia
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...

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...

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 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...

Carrot Seed Report Final 2014
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.

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...

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

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.

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.

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 #4: Seed Quality, Harvesting Techniques and Equipment
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 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 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 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 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

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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