We get a lot of questions about our seeds, so we thought we’d sit down and spill all the beans.
We so appreciate that you're thinking about all of this stuff too and asking the questions!
Where do your seeds come from?
All our seeds are sourced from the best seed houses in the world for each specific seed variety. Most come from the Netherlands. We've done the research of making sure we're doing the best we can for the planet short- and long-term.
Are the seeds organic?
This is a complicated question, so put your seatbelt on!
In short, our seeds are not classified as organic. But they would be if we could get our hands on them!
Certified organic seed is very hard to come by in volume, but the good news is that the situation will improve as there are a couple of major companies working to better the market supply. Organic seed is untreated or treated only with allowed substances found on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and is grown under certified organic conditions.
The Australian Government Department of Agriculture relies heavily on an overseas supply of seeds for vegetable and herb production. In this importation process, they have strict standards and conditions to avoid risks of pathogens (aka bacteria/disease). So with some of our imported seeds it is necessary to be treated in an appropriate manner to protect it from specific seed- or soil-borne pathogens, which also improves its performance. The treatment may be hot water, chemical or biological, depending on the pathogen involved. Treatment is applied under controlled conditions at the manufacturer’s recommended rate. This is not done by us personally.
Some disease problems cannot be treated by any known seed treatments, and some plant species do not have disease problems that would necessitate seed treatment. These seeds are offered in an untreated condition, which makes up the majority of our seeds.
Treated seeds include beetroot, baby spinach, cucumber and snow peas. They are all labelled as “treated” on the back of the sachet.
Interesting stuff, huh?
Are your seeds GMO/non-GMO?
All of our seeds are non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMO).
For your interest there aren’t actually many flower seeds that are genetically modified, as it’s too expensive at the moment to create and trial. In fact, there are currently no GMO vegetables in the Australian market. We do have genetically modified cotton, canola and a very little bit of maize corn. Research is currently being done on sugar cane, paw paw, wheat and barley.
The GM debate is an interesting one. We think there’s a lot who don’t understand it – they just see it as a nasty multinational chemical company driven Armageddon! In fact, it’s a fairly harmless breeding technique that can have BIG environmental positives. For example, genetically modified cotton has reduced chemical spraying in the Moree area from train loads of chemicals each season to almost nothing. The GM breeders added by gene manipulation a gene that naturally repels the caterpillar that destroys a cotton crop if not otherwise controlled. We think this is awesome news!
Are your seeds heirloom?
Seed breeders develop varieties that are most likely to be successful. To do this, they often combine two plant lines and breed them to reach their goals for flavour, yield and resistance to pests and disease. Clever, huh? Gardeners have been doing this for centuries, and most of the food we eat has come to us through this process.
It’s a common misconception that heirloom seeds are organic. They aren’t necessarily. Heirloom mostly refers to age. A seed variety is generally considered heirloom if it has existed for more than 50 years, but there is not an actual definition of this.
You’ll see some of our varieties are named F1, which refers to it being first generation. This means it is a hybrid of two plants that were intentionally cross-bred for specific characteristics. This means they are often larger, stronger and more resistant to pests and disease.
Can I save seeds from each season?
Yes, absolutely! More bang for your buck! Our seeds will self-sow true to type.
How long will my seeds last?
We sell seed that is viable at the time of sale, but viability slowly decreases over time. Our packaging has been designed to prolong the life of your seeds. It comes down to how you store them. Seeds should be stored in a dark, dry and cool place and we can guarantee at least two years if stored resealed inside your seed packet.
We hope that answers all your seed questions! Please just get in touch if you have any others for us.