Whidbey grower starts selling organic seeds

Gardeners will have a new source for seeds that should thrive in Whidbey’s climate.

Deep Harvest Farm located on South Whidbey Island is offering a selection of organic vegetable seeds at Bayview Farm and Garden located in Langley.

Nathaniel Talbot, owner of Deep Harvest Farm, has been developing organic seeds since he was a student at the farmer training center located at the Greenbank Farm.

He has 20 varieties of vegetable seeds he has available for sale at the south end garden center.

“The vast majority of organic produce aren’t grown from organic seeds,” Talbot said there is a huge undersupply for such seeds and growers will purchase conventional seeds and grow vegetables using organic practices.

Conventional seeds are grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Talbot said in an email that because seed crops are exposed to chemicals, they aren’t exposed to the same natural selection pressures as organic crops.

He added that locally developed seeds are more adapted to local growing conditions. As an example, he noted that conditions that would allow for a thriving kale crop on Whidbey Island would be different for kale grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which produces a significant amount of kale.

Talbot, along with his partner Annie Jesperson, have been farming on the south end for several years. They came to Whidbey more than three years ago when they decided to attend the farmer training center operating at the Greenbank Farm. They said in an interview last summer they went to Greenbank to learn both the business and agriculture aspects of small-scale farming.

Once they finished the program, Talbot and Jesperson started farming on about 3 acres of land on South Whidbey Island and started Deep Harvest Farm.

In addition to the organic seeds, which provide some income during the winter months, they also offer a community supported agriculture program where people buy subscriptions for weekly bags of fresh picked produce. They also sell at the Bayview Farmers Market.

Bayview Farm and Garden is located off Highway 525 at Bayview Corner at 2780 Marshview Ave.

For more information about Deep Harvest Farm, go to www.deepharvestfarm.com