It's been an interesting challenge to find the quality and diversity of seed varieties that I want to offer for our brand. The big American packet seed companies that carry certified organic seeds all get the same old standard varieties in bulk quantities from one of two large producers. I want to go farther afield and offer newer and more interesting, flavorful varieties that are great in the kitchen along with herbs from their authentic countries of origin.
|Prototype of organic packet design|
|Tasting and evaluating new organic carrots|
Unfortunately for me, the American USDA's National Organic Program standards operates in the US only, so European certified organic seeds cannot be considered certified here. The European organic standards and the American organic standards have never been, as the bureaucrats call it, "harmonized," so that either certification could be accepted in both the US and Europe.
According to industry officials I talked to, the "harmonization" process will eventually happen (the certification standards are very similar), but since the process involves government programs in both the US and European Union, this will probably take a long time!
|Organic dutch cauliflower|
|Ready to stirfry: organic mustard greens|
This weekend, I was able to harvest a bevy of organic varieties and take digital photos for her to work from: five varieties of lettuce, baby beets, two varieties of carrots, two varieties of radishes, broccoli, broccoli Raab, cauliflower, fennel, mild mustard greens, spinach, chard, kale, parsley, dill, cilantro and chives. Early spring will produce many more.