Local organic open-pollinated seeds are the best option for gardeners to plant in their raised bed organic veggie garden. Local varieties are the best adapted to the climate, easiest to grow, and produce great harvests. All Good Things Organic Seeds in Ojai, California offer hundreds of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds, including rare and improved heirloom varieties that are certified organic. When co-founder, Quin Shakra, spoke at our Organic Garden Club meeting October, 2017, he explained that their mission is to propagate plant biodiversity by planting many different crops and species of the same crop in their home farm to improve the seeds for growing quality, productive organic crops within an ecological agriculture setting. This process also saves and protects our food seeds from disappearing as our food diversity diminishes. Seed quality is paramount to gardening success; so they work to improve existing open-pollinated and heirloom vegetable varieties for better performance in organic gardens and farms.
Using basic simple tools to harvest their seeds, Quin Shakra and his crew watch the flowers on their vegetable crops transform from buds to blooms to dry seed heads. Some seeds are found inside the fruit, like tomatoes and pumpkins, while other seeds are held in pods, like peas and beans, which can be left on the plant until they begin to brown. Seeds inside of fruit and pods can be dried for a week on seed trays. Seeds are then stored in a cool, dry place with consistent temperature to ensure the longevity of the seeds. Sowing organic crops from seed allows the widest range of varieties possible, including some crops that only grow from seed. Many seeds can be started in seedling trays in a protected area, but some, like root crops, need to be directly seeded into the garden. Using the seed planting instructions on the All Good Organic Seeds packets, such as planting depth and days to germination, organic gardeners can enjoy growing their own veggies and watching the seedlings develop into productive plants. Because the seeds are open-pollinated, gardeners can save their seeds at the the end of harvest to plant again in the spring.