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Small Scale Organic Seed Production Manual

Small Scale Organic Seed Production, a new handbook produced by FarmFolk/CityFolk for farmers in British Columbia and beyond, gives practical advice on why and how to incorporate vegetable seed production into existing farming systems.. Written by organic seed grower Patrick Steiner, this publication is not so much a "how-to" of seed growing as it is a "what to expect" when embarking on a journey of seed growing.

Patrick interviews several small-scale seed growers from Canada and the United States to get a glimpse of their experience over the years - their successes, their challenges, and what to expect in the future. Their stories are inspiring and do a wonderful job of preparing the reader for the world of seed growing.

Patrick himself is an experienced seed grower, operating Stellar Seeds ( in Salmon Arm, BC. He is well-known for his high-quality seeds as well as his involvement in seed growing education. Patrick has worked for the last several years on seed security issues in Canada and abroad, including serving on the board of USC Canada (

Table of Contents

The Art of Seed Growing:
Voices From the Field
Marketing Models
Seed Yields
Seed Storage
Seed Cleaning
Disease Prevention and Seed Treatments
Resource List
Table 1: Seed Economics Matrix
Table 2: Seed Yields
Table 3: Seed Longevity in Ideal Storage
Table 4: Minimum Germination Standards for Canada No. 1 Seed
Table 5: Hot Water Seed Treatment Guidelines

Purpose of Document: 
Organic seed production plays a vital role in developing sustainable food systems. With chemical seed production often being heavily reliant on pesticide use, the energy savings alone with organic seed production is huge. Furthermore, growing seed crops in organic conditions helps ensure that the plants that sprout from those seeds are also better adapted to organic systems. Funding for the manual came from the Organic Sector Development Program.