We have arrived at this point after 14 years of growing certified organic seed for many national scale mail order seed companies, which we continue to do. After SOW Organic Seeds closed shop in 2007 after the untimely death of pioneering seedsman, Alan Vanet we recognized that our bioregion was left lacking a cohesive seed bank. Although we are blessed with abundant summer sun here in the “banana belt of southern Oregon”, the Siskiyous can be a challenging place to garden with our winter rainforest, summer desert climate of harsh extremes. Uniquely situated to serve our local community we recognized an opportunity to try and fill this important niche and will be offering our seeds nationally through our web site ,
There is tremendous opportunity for the renaissance of the bioregional seedsman/woman to select and breed varieties for organic agriculture. I am committed to the notion that well-selected, open-pollinated seeds can outperform commercially available hybrids. Through focusing on this crucial work, we can cooperate with gardeners and farmers to address the agronomic challenges that we will all face as climate change shifts microclimates in North America. Population breeding with special attention to horizontal resistance will hopefully alleviate the hardships growers experience with plant diseases, pests and climatic stress.
Careful attention to plant selection for seed saving can contribute to the improvement of important traits such as disease resistance, pest tolerance, climate adaptation, flavor and nutrition. Domestication is not an endpoint. Rather it is a relationship that is ongoing and can go in different directions. We are much more concerned with breeding plants that will foster healthy food for people, rather than traits such as ship-ability and shelf life. When we consider the concept of “food security” I find it logical that “seed security” should receive equal attention especially considering the threats of genetic engineering and the corporate consolidation of the seed industry. Bioregional seed banks and distribution networks will emerge as one of the more important stores of wealth in the future. Anyone want to buy futures in seeds? Let’s get planting!
Stay tuned for more developments and please check out our pending web site at www.siskiyouseeds.com to follow the seed saga and get your hands on some fresh seed! Peace to you and yours.