Organic or conventional seeds? - A decision aid
Since 2015, Magic Garden Seeds is certified for the sale of organic seeds. Since then, we are continuously trying to shift our wide range of plant seeds to organic seeds and replenish them step by step.
Many of our customers have cheerfully accepted this change. However, once in a while critical questions regarding the necessity of seeds from controlled organic farming arise.
Three important reasons for buying open-pollinated organic seed
1. Uncontaminated Organic Seeds
Organic seeds are gained from plants that have already been cultivated in controlled organic farming on uncontaminated soil and free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In order to make the seeds germ-free and protect them from pathogens, chemical pickling, with which the seeds are often treated in conventional farming, is waived. Per se, this is an understandable and useful concern. However, by doing this, the seeds are indeed contaminated with harmful active substances which are inter alia made responsible for bee mortality. The best condition for the harvest of healthy, ecological, and uncontaminated fruit, vegetables, and herbs is the sowing of healthy, uncontaminated seeds.
2. Open-pollinated Organic Seeds
At Magic Garden Seeds, there are only open-pollinated varieties and, therefore, no hybrid seeds (most often, hybrid seeds can be well recognized by the name affix ‘F1’). Plants from which germ-free seeds can be harvested are called open-pollinated. If they are sowed in the next season, the plants will show the same characteristics as their parents. Open-pollinated seeds can thus be multiplied by themselves year by year. As the seeds don’t have to be bought again, you are independent from large seed companies. If you do so, over the years, you will probably receive plants that are adapted to the local climate and, therefore, can bring a healthy and stable harvest. Not all organic seeds are open-pollinated at the same time. Thus, watch out for the label ‘open-pollinated seeds’.
3. Preservation of Diversity of Varieties
For centuries, farmers all around the globe have been striving for the cultivation of robust, healthy, and fertile varieties. As a result, a comprehensive store of experience and knowledge about the cultivation of plants, as well as a great pool of diverse, different species and varieties have emerged. For decades, the conventional market has strived for cultivating and selling very fertile varieties that work well for commercial cultivation as they produce a quantity that can be standardized. However, by doing this, it has lost sight of variety. As a result, in supermarkets, often only one variety of pumpkin, the standard cucumber, or always the same tomatoes can be found. Fortunately, slow rethinking takes place here as well. Only by preserving the diversity of varieties, it will be possible to encounter the challenges of climate change and to be able to harvest plants that will be able to deal with the changed climate conditions and soils.