Winter 2016 Newsletter

Thank you, #SeedLegion!
Report Helps Farmers Extend Their Vegetable Season
NOSB Proposal Clarifies Methods Appropriate for Organics
New Report Describes Organic Seed Needs for Montana
Getting Creative in the Kitchen with Chromatic Carrots
Register for Organicology by Jan. 20 for Discounted Rates 
Get Seedy with us in California this Winter
Upcoming Events

Thank you, #SeedLegion!
The future of food needs all of us to come together and sow hope. And you know what? IT'S HAPPENING. We've put out the call and the growing #SeedLegion has given over $18,000 to our annual appeal campaign. 

THANK YOU to all who've answered the call and given a gift. We couldn't do this work without YOU! Read on to see the important work you're supporting.

Have you joined the #SeedLegion yet? If every person who receives this newsletter donated $20, our work would be supported for an entire year AND OSA would be able to meet the needs of more organic farmers.

Report Helps Farmers Extend Their Vegetable Season
OSA released a report this month that details variety trial results for storage cabbages, storage onions, overwintering chicories, and overwintering purple sprouting broccoli. The trials were grown in multiple locations on the Olympic Peninsula from 2014 through 2016, with the goal of identifying which of these crop varieties perform best in this Washington region. The trial evaluations focused on agronomic, storage, and culinary qualities. Read more

Vegetable Crops for Season Extension in the Pacific Northwest: 2014 - 2016 Trial Results is available for free download here.

NOSB Proposal Clarifies Methods Appropriate for Organics
The organic community and society at large face complicated questions related to modern genetic engineering techniques. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has spent three years discussing how to address modern methods that have outpaced government regulation, such as gene-editing and synthetic biology. Last month the board passed a proposal that clarifies the existing excluded methods regulatory definition and provides a framework to guide future decisions about which methods should be allowed or excluded in organic production. Also at this meeting, OSA’s Kiki Hubbard was invited to present on our State of Organic Seed report and discuss recommendations for how the National Organic Program and broader certification community can further support increased sourcing of, and investments in, organic seed. Find this presentation and other NOSB materials from the November 2016 meeting here.

New Report Describes Organic Seed Needs for Montana
Our newest regional seed needs assessment focuses on organic vegetable production in Montana. The findings are based on a statewide survey conducted this year as part of a bigger project to advance collaborative research, education, and outreach that results in more organic seed options for Montana's growers. The survey captured challenges growers face in sourcing organic seed and asked them to identify vegetable crops in need of improvement, including desirable traits. The survey findings will inform current and future organic seed projects in the state, including variety trials that began this year, on-farm crop improvement projects, and educational events targeting growers who want to hone their seed production skills. Read more

Montana Organic Seed Assessment: Vegetables, 2016 is available for free download here.

Getting Creative in the Kitchen with Chromatic Carrots
Earlier this autumn OSA's Laurie McKenzie joined 21 plant breeders, 27 chefs, and over 350 attendees for the annual Variety Showcase in Portland, Oregon. The annual Culinary Breeding Network (CBN) event celebrates the work of plant breeders and the culinary creativity of professional chefs. OSA is a proud collaborator of CBN, a collection of plant breeders, seed growers, fresh market farmers, chefs, and produce buyers who are developing and identifying varieties and traits of culinary excellence for vegetable traits in the Pacific Northwest. The Variety Showcase pairs breeders and chefs to show off and engage the public in plant breeding, and introduce new and up and coming vegetables, grains, and herbs. Read more

Register for Organicology by Jan. 20 for Discounted Rates
We're getting REALLY excited about the Organicology conference happening this Feb. 2 - 4, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. The event strives to bring together all corners of the organic community to develop skills in their own areas of activity and gain exposure to the challenges and accomplishments of those in other areas of the trade and movement. It's a cross-pollination extravaganza! 

In addition to the packed regular schedule, be sure to check out the special Business Management for Organic Vegetable, Seed, and Grain Producers Intensive happening on Thursday.

REGISTER TODAY for discounted rates and to guarantee a spot, as we're expecting it to sell out!
Get Seedy with us in California this Winter
Winter conference season is always busy for OSA staff and you'll see below that this year is no exception. We want to be sure you see these super seedy events happening in California this winter. 

We're thrilled to be co-hosting the "Seed to Eaters" EcoFarm Preconference Symposium on Jan. 25, 2017, in Pacific Grove. We'll hear from wholesalers, plant breeders and seed growers, who have partnered to create new varieties to fill seasonal gaps, and from grocers and chefs, who have joined forces with local farmers to find and promote exciting new varieties that thrive in the field and shine on the produce shelf and the dinner plate. Register today.

We're also hosting the 3rd annual California Organic Seed Summit on Feb. 17 - 19, 2017, in Montara. The retreat is a unique opportunity for California seed stakeholders to network, exchange knowledge, and develop collective actions to build sustainable, profitable, and resilient seed systems in California. The summit is invitation only, so if you're interested in learning more and participating in the summit, please contact Jared Zystro before Jan. 15.

Upcoming Events
NOFA-NY Winter Conference
January 20 - 22, 2017 | Saratoga Springs, New York | Learn more
EcoFarm Conference 
January 25 - 28, 2017 | Pacific Grove, California | Learn more

"Seed to Eaters" EcoFarm Preconference Symposium 
January 25, 2017 | Pacific Grove, California | Learn more 


February 2 - 4, 2017 | Portland, Oregon | Register today
Small Grains Field Day 
February 11, 2017 | Petaluma, California | Learn more

California Organic Seed Summit

February 17 - 19, 2017 | Montara, California | Learn more
MOSES Organic Farming Conference 
February 23 - 25, 2017 | La Crosse, Wisconsin | Learn more
Mountain West Seed Summit
March 3 - 4, 2017 | Santa Fe, New Mexico | Learn more  

9th Organic Seed Growers Conference
February 14 - 17, 2018 | Corvallis, Oregon | Learn more
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“Organic seed is the foundation of organic agriculture and sustainable food systems, and the only true response to GMOs. I support OSA because it provides the technical expertise and organizational structure to establish regionally appropriate organic seed systems.”


Tony Kleese

The Earthwise Company

Chapel Hill, North Carolina