Where Our Seed Comes From
At High Mowing Organic Seeds, we produce 60+ varieties of seed each year on our farm in Wolcott, Vermont. We continuously select for the best strains of the varieties we grow, resulting in the improvement of these varieties. Producing seed on our own farm allows us to experiment with new varieties and sometimes bring specialty items to market faster than if we had to wait for them to become available through our seed vendors. In addition to producing seed on our farm in Vermont, we work closely with a network of growers both in Vermont and across the United States to produce seed for us. We also source seed from the top organic seed breeders and producers around the world, resulting in one of the largest selections of high performing organic seed.
Mowing Organic Seeds' seed farmers and suppliers are certified organic and have pledged not to engage in genetic engineering in their breeding programs. In fact, many are
actively engaged in the non-GMO movement, as well as organic plant breeding
programs or support for these programs.
Our Seed Farm in Vermont
With a damp climate, short growing season and long, cold winters, there
are only certain seed crops we can produce in Wolcott, Vermont that
meet our exceptional standards of quality. Over the years we have
learned what these crops are: annual brassicas (mustards, pac choy,
asian greens, radishes, etc.), cucurbits (squash, pumpkins, melons,
cucumbers), solanaceaous crops (tomatoes, peppers) and a few others.
We have developed innovative equipment and processes for growing,
harvesting and processing these crops. When we introduce a new
variety, we grow it ourselves first so that we can understand any
production challenges and select for absolute genetic purity, vigor and
yield. Once sales on a new variety grow beyond our production
capacity, we contract with an independent organic seed farmer for a
larger production. Our ability to produce seed ourselves means that we
can introduce some new organic varieties sooner than we would be able
to if we were reliant on purchasing it from wholesale seed companies.
And, operating a farm allows us to better relate to you - our
customer. Crop failures, broken equipment and bad weather - We know.
We've been there.
Our Network of Organic Seed Farmers
In 2000, we began training organic farmers in Vermont to produce seed - which, by the way, is more unlike growing vegetable crops than you might think, requiring certain latitudes or specific temperatures to induce flowering and seed set. We also found farmers in other areas who already knew how to grow seed crops. In order to ensure the trueness and quality of the seed being produced for us, we provide farmers with stock seed that has been carefully grown at our farm in Vermont or directly sourced and trialed. We visit our seed farmers, located in Vermont, New York, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California, every few years and connect with them throughout the growing season. Many of these farmers have been producing seed crops organically for over 20 years; they are a major part of our team and offer us valuable expertise as well as seed.
Production Based Seed Producers
In addition to producing seed on our farm in Vermont or contracting with independent farmers to produce the seed for us, we also purchase seed from a handful of international wholesale seed companies. Many of these private wholesale companies have been slow to embrace the organic market; however several of them recognized the significance of the organic movement and have begun developing, trialing and producing seed for professional quality organic varieties, including many high-performing hybrid varieties. We are proud of the relationships we have developed with Vitalis Seeds, Bejo Seeds and Genesis Seeds, three wholesale seed companies which stand-out in terms of their commitment to organics. We have visited their operations both overseas and domestically, hosted representatives of these companies at our farm in Vermont, and continue to trial their new varieties and make available to our customers those varieties that prove themselves under organic conditions. The varieties made available by these companies and their network of growers represent an important addition to our organic seed collection.
Interested in growing seed for High Mowing Organic Seeds? Learn more about our requirements.