Seeds differ from most other commodities in at
least three fundamental ways. First, they are alive, they respire
and their vitality is always in flux. Second, bad craftsmanship
in the seed business often does not manifest immediately. The off-types
in the Genovese basil seed that was sent to us last year could not
be detected from the seeds, only from the plants they produced.
Third, reparations can be made only after discovery of the problem,
usually too late to replant the crop in the same season, making
the real loss far more than the cost of the seed. For these reasons,
quality control is especially important in our business.
We are committed to sending the best seed we can
at the most reasonable prices possible. To ensure quality we:
• Maintain strict internal procedures to
reduce the probability of labeling errors to as close to zero as
is humanly possible.
• Maintain extensive variety trials in which
we evaluate hundreds of cultivars at multiple sites, field-testing
all potential offerings for high performance in our cold climate.
• Maintain a lot grow-out program field-testing
lots of some varieties we sell, making observations and taking action
to improve quality where needed.
• Conduct trials of the same varieties from
several sources so that we can identify and purchase superior strains.
• Identify outstanding regional specialties
and heirloom varieties rarely available from commercial channels,
select the best for seed multiplication, and grow seed crops for
introduction in our catalog.
• Collaborate with artisanal breeders to
improve old varieties and help create new ones resistant to disease
and adapted to sustainable agriculture.
• Purchase quality hybrids grown in optimum
climatic conditions by expert seedspeople all over the world.
Our research has increased our awareness of potential
problems and helped us to take preventive measures. We remain committed
to openly sharing the information we learn. We think you want to
know when the problem is with the seed instead of its culture.