Seed Sources: We Grow Our Own Seed Without Any Chemicals
We are committed to sustainable
agriculture and sustainable living.
We try to think carefully about the impact of our lives on the planet: So we don't use any chemicals for our growing,
and as policy, the business uses electricity generated from the wind, sun and water,
and all our heating is by renewably coppiced wood. We don't fly, and try to minimise our car use.
Most of our vegetable growing and weeding is by hand, with minimal machinery use
- we have a small tractor for preparing the seedbeds at the start of each season.
Two thirds of our land are devoted to wildlife and woodland.
Overall , our aim is that at the end of our lives, we will leave the soil and ecosystems in a better condition than at the start.
Seed that We Have Grown:
We hope that seed we grow ourselves is produced to ethical
and environmental standards
that exceed the requirements of Organic Certification.
But we're not actually Certified Organic, due to the
cost and bureaucracy involved.
We'd rather be out growing vegetables than filling in forms, to be honest.
As we haven't paid the fees for certification, we mustn't use the O-word to describe our seed.
But we have labelled our farm-produced seed in the catalogue (see the table below) and leave it to you to judge.
Seed from Others:
We would prefer to grow all our own seed - but realistically,
we cannot do this for all of the varieties in the catalogue, so we have to find alternative sources.
Wherever possible we get it grown for us by other small growers or farming friends, again people we know, and who we trust to use no chemicals,
and who we know see the soil as a living organism that must be cared for. But they are rarely Certified Organic -
if someone is growing £30 worth of quinoa seed for us, it just doesnt make sense for them to pay hundreds for organic certification.
Again, we have labelled these seed sources, so you can decide if you trust our views on this.
Other seed we buy in from commercial seed growers. If we have to buy in seed, whenever possible
we'll try to get certified organic seed from a few commercial growers that we know and trust.
In some cases, when there is no small-scale supplier or good organic seed available,
then we'll track down top-quality conventionally grown seed,
making sure the seeds are not treated with any fungicides or pesticides after harvest.
A few passionate gardeners produce seed for us too.
If you are an experienced vegetable grower & would like to join our Seed Growers Network, get in touch .
Many people would like to support small family farms or co-operatives that farm in a responsible manner without the use of pesticides and other agrochemicals. Big farms, like all big industries, are harder on the environment.
To help you, we have labelled the catalogue so you can see where things come from.
The heart symbol shows seed grown by us personally, or by a grower working for us. We are not certified organic, but this seed has been grown without any chemicals whatsoever, and with great care for the environment..
||The ying-yang symbol shows seed that is produced by a grower who we know to be a certified organic farmer.|
||Where we cannot find a more environmentally sustainable source, the gear symbol shows seed that comes from conventional (non-organic) agriculture. We are careful to insist that it does not have any post-harvest chemical treatment or preservatives added to it.|
We don't have anything to do with treated (fungicide-coated), hybrid seed,
or genetically modified seed!
(We don't believe you should plant in the soil anything you wouldn't be happy to put in your dinner.)
All our seeds come with instructions on how to save pure seeds for use in the following years. This is only possible because none are hybrids. Seedsaving is a simple process that is vital if you want to be able to carry on growing vegetables suitable for home growing rather than those bred for commercial chemical farming.
While it may seem odd for us to encourage you to keep you own seed, it is obvious to us that the world is in a perilous state as we enter a period of rapid climate change just as we have lost all our traditional vegetable varieties. We would prefer that you saved your own seed - preserving this biodiversity for future generations is far more important than us making big profits.
Bigger Packet Sizes
On a separate note, we have yet again increased packet sizes wherever we have enough seed available. We are proud of our reputation for good germination, so we do not want to keep seed from year to year - we'd rather you had a generous portion. It seems that commercial seed packets are getting smaller and smaller, and while it is silly to waste seed, we try to give you as least as much as we would sow for our own family use.