Sourcing the best ethical organic seeds.
Grow-your-own is becoming increasingly popular and it’s not surprising. With more people becoming eco-conscious and wanting to reduce their waste, gardening seems an obvious next step.
However, to truly be a green gardener it’s important to choose ethical and organic seeds.
There is a growing corporate monopoly within the seed industry.
“67% of the branded seed market is now controlled by ten companies, all of which have interests in biotechnology.” These companies are, in order of dominance:
• Groupe Limagrain,
• Land O’ Lakes,
• KWS AG,
• Bayer Crop Science,
Monsanto owns more than 27% of the branded seed market alone!
This is concerning because the emphasis on uniform, high yielding varieties with traits that can be patented, has meant that F1 hybrids have been favoured over open-pollinated varieties.
“A report estimated that 75 percent of crop diversity was lost between 1900 and 2000 and called for “special efforts to conserve and use” both cultivated plants and their “wild” relatives, especially in developing countries.”
Unfortunately many UK seed companies don’t make it easy to find out where their seed comes from.
Those that do disclose this, tend to be the few that are proud to produce their own, like: Real Seeds, Kings Organic Seeds and Jekka’s Herbs.
• Grown using methods that improve soil fertility and sequester CO2.
• Grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers (non-organic seeds crops use far more pesticides than non-organic food crops)
• Do not have seed treatments.
• No Genetic Engineering.
• Perform best in an Organic Garden.
• Supports research and development.
• Safer for families working with the seeds.
• Strongest natural pest resistance.
• Best seeds are chosen for Organic seed packets.
• Look for certification. An organic certification will mean that the seeds have been produced with no genetic modification or chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
• Avoid Hybrid Seeds. Hybrid seeds have led to a serious reduction in plant diversity so choose open pollinated varieties. (This also means that you can harvest your own seeds).
• Keep your own seeds. Before buying organic seeds online consider finding a local seed swap and/or save your own.
Now it’s time to think about buying some great quality seeds…
“A catalogue of real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables”.
Real Seeds have been rated ‘Best Buy’ by Ethical Consumer Magazine and is powered by 100% Renewable Electricity!
They offer a great selection of organic seeds and you’ll find no tasteless hybrids or genetically modified seed.
They’ve spent 21 years collecting the best varieties to sell. Chose because they grow well and taste great.
Seeds are all open-pollinated (non-hybrid) which means that if you want to harvest your own vegetable seeds then you can. They supply instructions on how to do this too.
They also have an informative blog and offer handy beginner tips.
Part of our mission is to re-skill gardeners and growers in how to save their own seed. We think that this is such an important skill and that all gardeners and growers should have some knowledge of seed-saving.
Vital Seeds was founded in 2018 in Devon because they identified a need for UK-grown organic and open-pollinated seed.
They offer organic and guaranteed non-GMO vegetable, herb and flower seeds.
All of their packaging is plastic-free and compostable.
In partnership with Kings Seeds, Suffolk Herbs Organic Seeds offer organic vegetable plants and herb plants, of the highest quality.
“Stock a wide range of vegetable and herb seeds to suit every taste from old favourites to exotic species and heirloom vegetable seeds.”
“Although our standard seed range doesn’t contain treated or genetically modified varieties, seed can only be certified as “Organic” if it meets very specific criteria, as defined by EU regulations.
Only some of our seed falls within this criteria, allowing it to legally be labelled as organic.”
They work closely with the Organic Farmers and Growers Association so consumers can trust that their organic seeds are genuinely organic.
“Proud to offer a complete range of organic gardening products, from seeds & plants to equipment & gifts.”
The Organic Gardening Catalogue is a joint venture between Garden Organic (HDRA) and Chase Organics based in Horsham, Surrey. They offer a range of seeds in addition to vegetables, herbs ans flowers.
As a company they have worked hard to ensure all the plants they sell have been grown in peat free compost.
Tamar Organics started as a small organic market garden in 1994 and it’s been thriving ever since.
All of their vegetable, herb and flower seeds are organic as are the onions, shallots, garlic, seed potatoes and plant material that they sell.
The composts and fertilizers that they have available are all permitted for use in organic systems.
A family run herb farm with over 30 years’ experience in growing and using medicinal and culinary herb plants and seeds.
Author of one of my favourite gardening books she’s been referred to as the ‘Queen of Herbs’.
Jekka organic nursery has one numerous awards including several RHS gold medals.
Her family run herb farm shop sells over 400 culinary herbs which are documented in her Jekkapedia. It brings together the knowledge 30 years of knowledge and is well worth a look.
“1% of every sale goes towards community projects that help people lead healthier lives by growing their own food.”
You may be more familiar with their delicious food range but Seeds of Change was founded in 1989 and they stocks a wide range of organic seed.
They are dedicated to preserving the heirloom seed varieties that are in danger of being lost to the “advances” of industrial agriculture.
“For nearly two centuries supplying top quality seed has been at the core of our business and this still remains very much so today.”
Edwin Tucker Ltd has been in the seed producing industry since 1831.
They offer a wide range of root vegetables in addition to plants that provide a habitat to beneficial insects.
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I’d love to hear where you get your ethical organic seeds from! Happy growing!