Port Townsend, WA (April 4, 2024) - Organic Seed Alliance is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants and education program.

This grant will support our project focusing on Western Organic Flower Seed Production, which aims to make a positive change in how flowers are grown, both for their seeds and the cut flower market.

Conventional flowers often come with a hefty carbon footprint from refrigeration and shipping, heavy pesticide use, and high water demands. Unlike food products, there are fewer regulations around pesticide use on flowers, leading to much higher application rates and increased residues. The use of these chemicals is now widely recognized as posing significant environmental and health challenges.

On the other hand, organic, local flower production offers a more sustainable path forward. This shift is becoming increasingly evident with the rise of groups such as the Slow Flower Movement, the 50-mile bouquet, and cooperatives like the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. The environmentally conscious, community-driven flower production these groups advocate for provides a viable alternative to the conventional market. However, its success hinges on producers having access to high-quality, locally adapted seed varieties.

To support the emerging needs of these flower markets, our project will closely collaborate with flower and seed growers, identifying regionally adapted flower varieties and exploring methods to cultivate high-quality seed in organic systems. Along the way, we’ll create user-friendly resources to share our findings. Our goal is to assist farms in achieving greater economic sustainability, promoting environmental stewardship, and celebrating the amazing diversity of regional flower seeds.

OSA is excited to partner with project collaborators including Winston Oakley of Highland Economics, Dr. Louisa Winkler of Ferry Boat Seeds, Jeremy & Jessica Shreve of Swift River Farm, Stacey Denton of Flora Farm, Rosie Reynolds of Eel River Produce, Kalan Redwood of Redwood Seeds, and Twozdai Hulse of Lunaseed Farm. Let’s not forget our lovely cultivated companions: calendula, sweet peas, zinnias, asters, poppies, strawflower, and cosmos will be thriving alongside us.