What's up with all these Organic seeds?

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by bob 2, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I went shopping today for a few seeds missing from my vast labyrinth of stored seeds and I noticed large sections of seed labeled as "Organic".

    They were double the price I am used to paying and seemed to have only 10 seeds in a pack.
    I was immediately struck with the notion that these seeds must have certain genetic modifications in them that the regular "synthetic" seeds do not posses.

    I began to have worries that if I planted them in a Non "Kosher" environment that they may not germinate or even worse bear me no food.

    So, can any of you purists tell me what the large difference is in these seeds from the other synthetic ones other than their breeding and the mystical "blessing"?

    Worried in Edmonton;

    Yours sincerely;

    Walt er... Bob
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    anything that is organic is natural - as in: no artificial fertilizers, no chemicals to kill pests, no artificial fiddling with the seed (ie, genetic modifications).
     
  3. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    How does that account for the double price tags?
    Should be half as much then.


    Bob
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It means they are grown under Soil Association Organic standards - no artificial fertilisers, no herbicides, no pesticides. Much better for wildlife and the environment in general, but it does mean higher costs (primarily because organic growing is very labour-intensive, lots of weeding to do, etc.).
     
  5. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    So Micheal, would it be safe to say that there is probably no discernible difference in the end product with the exception that one is more labour intensive to produce?

    I mean seeds grown conventionally and or organically would go on to form like and similar produce ?
    If we blind tested the end result of a seasons growth could we determine any differences?

    I still need to know what I am paying the higher prices for.

    Bob
     
  6. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If you randomly mixed the organic seed, with the conventional seed, then in a blind test planted them in the same garden, there would be no one that would be able to tell which produce was from the organic seed, and which produce was from the conventional seed. The produce would all be identical. - Millet (1,397-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  7. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    By buying organic you have the satisfaction to know that you are not contributing to the chemical damage to the planet.
    That should make all produce taste better! ( granted it would not pass any double blind test)
     
  8. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    Jean, I would suggest that the same reasoning might also be applied to using an outdoor toilet. <g>

    Also no double blind test.

    Bob
     
  9. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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  10. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    The recovery of waste water has a huge impact on the planet and uses copius quantities of energy, disruption of underground aquafers, and often dumping of raw sewage in our oceans. ( Not to mention the literally millions of miles of plastic and cast pipe use to transport the waste to a more politically correct treatment site.)


    Cheers
    Bob
     
  11. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    So it would be less damaging to have piles of excrement all over the place?
     
  12. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    You certianly have vivid imagination.
    I was thinking more along the lines of a humus toilet system as used in many European communities.
    Have you ever been to Europe?

    Worldwide, over 2.6 billion individuals live without sanitation. Another 2.8 billion individuals have access to some type of sanitation, mostly pit latrines, of which many are unhygienic and contaminate the human and natural environments. About 1.1 billion individuals have water-born sewerage of which 30% are connected to an advanced sewage treatment facility and the remaining 70% are sources of downstream contamination. http://www.ids-environment.com/envi...l_Sanitation_Treatment/31_0/g_supplier_1.html

    We seem to be straying a bit from my initial question about why "organic" seeds are twice the price of heritage or cutivated seeds.


    Regards

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  13. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    You are wright, we are straying and in an unpleasant direction.

    As for the question of price I am afraid one explanation is always going to be because people like me are willing to pay.
     
  14. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I am afraid you are right.

    It kind of does answer my question though.


    Bob
     
  15. greengarden bev

    greengarden bev Active Member

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    What's up with organic seed prices? Not much, if you really look at them. I did a quick check on some seed sites for brocolli seeds, just to see if Bob's claim adds up.

    NO = not organic
    O = organic
    O(C) = certified organic

    Parks

    NO Belstar Hyb 2.50 USD 30 sds
    O(C) Coronado 2.75 USD 100 sds
    O(C) DeCicco 2.50 USD 50 sds
    NO Packman 2.75 USD 100 sds
    NO Sm. Miracle 2.50 USD 100 sds

    Veseys

    O(C) Belstar $4.95 CDN 50 sds
    NO E. Dividend $3.65 CDN 150 - 300 sds
    NO Gypsy $3.25 CDN 150 - 300 sds

    Dominion

    NO Martha hyb $4.99 CDN 75 sds
    NO Diplomat hyb $3.99 CDN 75 sds

    OSC

    NO Packman Hyb. $1.99 CDN 50 sds
    NO Grn Sprouting $1.69 CDN 50 sds
    O(C) Grn Sprouting $1.99 CDN 50 sds


    T & M

    NO Belstar $2.95 USD 50 sds
    NO Packman $2.95 USD 50 sds

    Hawthorn Farm

    O(C) Purple Peacock $3.00 CDN 100 sds

    Terra Edibles

    O Calabrese $2.50 CDN no seed count given

    Cottage Gardener

    O(C) DeCicco $2.50 200 sds
    O(C) Calabrese $2.50 200 sds

    West Coast Seeds

    O(C) NutriBud $3.39 78 sds
    NO Windsor $2.99 25 sds
    NO Coronado $3.39 34 sds

    For only one variety (Belstar) is the organic seed consistently twice the price of the non organic. DeCicco is double the price at Parks, but "regular" price at Cottage Gardener. In most cases the organic seed is not appreciably higher than the non-organic. In some cases, the premium hybrids are more expensive than the organic.

    I don't know if this comparison would hold true for other vegetables. My point is that we need to watch for unsupported generalizations and anti-organic biases.

    Bev
     
  16. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I fully respect your right to disagree with me, so long as you understand that I'm right and you're wrong. <vbg>

    Cheers
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  17. greengarden bev

    greengarden bev Active Member

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    Bob, sweetie, of course you're right.

    No matter what the evidence, the facts, and intelligent reflection may present to us, you are always right.

    Always. I promise. Now go back to sleep.
     
  18. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    Stop callin me sweetie! I don't call you fatty do I?

    I am certainly glad you have come to your senses.

    I know a lot of people who read this thread will eventually get to stand in front of the seed racks just like me and they will know then how hard I worked to try to get you up to speed with the marketing folks in the "organic" industry.

    The truth is so much easier to remember. :-)

    Bob
     
  19. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'm not interested in the accusatory stuff. Disagreements are fine, but keep it civil.
     
  20. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All the organic seeds at the one rack being double the inorganic - if actually the case - does not invalidate the above-posted findings. To make a useful statement posting the supporting data, including who the sources are asking each set or range of prices (as above) should be done. For all we know you are describing the offering of a single supplier - who might be double most everyone else anyway, organic or otherwise.

    Not enough information given here to make much of a case.
     
  21. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    An interesting observation Ron yet subjective as was mine.
    We observe, we evaluate, and we ask questions.
    That's the nature of gardening and perhaps the reason for this forum.
    You could add to the observations if you were to check out various seed packets in your area.
    Otherwise I am stuck with pure conjecture on your part.

    Not that it matters at this point, but your answer does not speak to my original question.

    I am not the only one asking BTW:

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  22. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Organic produce in super markets (including seed), generally have, both a much smaller selection to choose from, and at a higher price, than the offerings of conventional produce. Visiting our local Kroger super market, (the world largest super market chain), I counted 18 large display cases filled with an amazing assortment of both vegetables and fruits, while the entire selection of organic produce, and organic fruit, was placed on a single half sized display case with a sign saying - Organic. The reason for the difference, of course, is directly related to customer demand, or in other words store sales. The basis for such a prodigious difference between the two offerings, I believe, is not so much that people will not purchase organic products, I believe that the reason is that the vast majority of people are not willing to pay a higher price, just because it is organic, and secondarily, the lack of variety, as compared to that of conventionally grown product, plus normally conventionally grown produce, many times, just looks better, with less blemishes. - Millet (1,394-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  23. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    We ask questions ... and then ignore the answers?

    If you'll just scan back a moment, you'll recall that your original question was, shall we say, scattershot. You leapt from the matter of price to speculation about genetic modification, concerns over germination, and a bit of snark about "mystical blessing." Your subsequent back-and-forth with everyone who has TRIED to be responsive might lead a detached observer to wonder if you're just looking to pick a fight with some hippie granola types.

    FWIW, I just sent off a seed order to Richters in Ontario, which in some cases offers a choice of conventionally produced or all-natural seed of the identical variety (which they sell under the trademark "Sow Natural"). It's true that the organic kind are more expensive (though not twice as expensive). I opted for the conventional kind, but I think it's nice that there's a choice.
     
  24. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    So, can any of you purists tell me what the large difference is in these seeds from the other synthetic ones other than their breeding and the mystical "blessing"?
     
  25. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I am used to seeing a better tone in this site's posts.

    However, I do agree with Bob that everyone is failing to answer his original question. Same thing happens to me at times. I am still trying to find out why the sea is boiling hot - and no one seems willing to give me a straight answer.
     
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