The Q&A Archives: Seeds

Question: Is there something called "organic seeds" which is different from non-hybrid seeds?

Answer: The term "organic" means different things to different people. There are non-hybrid (generally called heirloom) seeds which are old varieties that have remained unchanged for generations, there are hybridized seeds which have been bred by scientists to produce plants with certain qualities, (such as disease resistance, early ripening, color or size of flower or fruit), and there are seeds of hybrid or heirloom plants that have been grow under organic farming conditions (using biocontrols rather than chemical pesticides or herbicides).

Burpee's Heirloom Seed Catalog (available by request at (800) 888-1447 or online at lists dozens of old-fashioned flower and vegetable seeds. Another company, Seeds of Change, PO Box 15700, Santa Fe, NM 87506-5700, carries only open-pollinated (heirloom) seeds of plants grown under strictly organic gardening methods.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

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