Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) made appearances around the Puget Sound this spring, raising awareness of organic seed and wholesome new vegetables for the region and building community around local, adaptable seed.
As part of a project funded by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, OSA worked with farmers, produce retailers and chefs to share delicious purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) — a tender, nutritious variety OSA has improved for years and is preparing for final breeding and commercial release of seed. Delicious PSB was served during cooking classes at PCC Natural Markets and demos at the Port Townsend Food Co-op, and at a local public school. PSB was featured prominently in a presentation by OSA’s Laurie McKenzie and Jefferson Healthcare Chef Arran Stark on “Good Food, Healthy People” at the Seattle Central Community College Culinary Academy. Laurie also delivered an “Ignite” presentation on PSB at the Seattle Farmer, Fisher, Chef Connection in Kenmore last March.
To encourage broad appreciation of organic seed and food, OSA’s Cara Loriz and Laurie McKenzie brought fun seed activities to share with Seattle families at the Pacific Science Center during their May 13 and 14 Curiosity Days, called “Seeds to Eats.” Kids and parents enjoyed dissecting flowers to see how seeds develop after pollination. The young ones couldn’t keep their hands out of bowls of mystery seeds to try and guess their names. The flower fun was revived in June at the opening day of the Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market as part of a new program for kids called the Power of Produce Club.
OSA celebrated Earth Day at our research field with land partners at Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Chimacum, leading seed planting activities and field tours. In May, OSA spread the joy of seed at the 2018 Rhododendron Parade, handing out packets along the Port Townsend parade route from our farm truck. OSA spinach and sunflower seeds were also donated to support the Port Townsend Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build earlier this month.
Sharing seed stories and knowledge — and local packets of seed — is a wonderful way to build support for the seed that grows our food, and the farmers who rely on that seed.