Time to buy seeds?

I prefer to buy locally but finding organic, non-GMO seeds here is not exactly the norm. The good news is that many seed vendors in the US are ready to dump their 2011 stock just in time for people in Nicaragua to stock up on seed to use in a few months.

I just purchases a grab bag from Sustainable Seed Company. No vested interest in them other than I have bought from them before and they send you what you ask for, quickly and, unlike all so many vendors, they will ship to Nicaragua at normal post office prices.

While technically you cannot import seed without a permit, I have bought lots of seed from the US, UK and even Paraguay and never had any issues.

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My seeds are here

Showed up yesterday or possibly before. Ordered on the 19th. The USPS warehoused the envelope for 10 days before sending it to Managua. Nice assortment, actually.

The customs tag said "Samples" which seems to work very well. I am still waiting for a couple of packages that were shipped by the same method (priority mail) many weeks before this one.

How Long

can you store seeds under optimum conditions?

Dark, no moisture, cool? Sealed jars (take them out of the paper envelopes they come in)?

Are there seed preservatives available.

speeking of seeds

It doesn`t hurt to stop in the Ag stores. I was surpised today to see 2 kinds on zinnias (jalacate) at a store near BAC in Sebaco. Selection is usually poor, but every once in a while you get lucky.

``Vote for me—I`ll set you free`` Anon.

Fungicides are commonly used on seeds

to help them keep until planting. Stateside they are usually a distinctive color and are marked with don`t eat-wash your hands warnings. Seed to Seed by Ashworth is an excellent book, although much overkill for a casual gardener who is only going to grow a half dozen species.

Yes, generally dry, cool (refri, not freezer), and dark are the keys to seed storage but it is species specific. Some seed must be planted instantly, others have survived in egyptian tombs for millenia. The fermentation method for tomatoe seeds is a new one for me. For peppers, mark the pods you plan to use for seed, let them mature on plant and then wait 3 more weeks to harvest.

``Vote for me—I`ll set you free`` Anon.

Freezer was what Acorn was using


The main thing is to get the seeds dry.

I think the fungicides are used to protect against fungal diseases when the plants sprout -- like damping off.

Rebecca Brown

Sprouts are another matter

If you want organic sprouts you're gonna want organic seeds, natch, since seed and water is the entire substance. De minimis in the garden but not in the sprouting jar

I agree on supporting the little companies, but lots of them deal in non-organic seed, too, probably because it's still hard to find much organically grown.

Another reason to look for organic seeds, tho, is just to support organic farmers instead of the chemzap folks.

You can get open-pollinated seed in both types - I've heard folks say here that they have had no problems getting mailorder seed, so Johnny's Select Seeds are a good source, because they promote open-pollination and seed saving.

Also seed savers exchange, here's the page for their vegetable seed store:


Also they publish instructions for how to save seed.

Wherever you go, there you are. -- Carl Franz

Here, if I were growing vegetables...

...I'd try to source seed locally. Preserving local varieties would be useful. They're adapted to the local environment (I'm curious about the variety of broccoli that's grown -- I think I've seen it before in the US).

Rebecca Brown

The commune I visited froze seeds

There's no set time --- some seeds remain viable for up to a decade; some seeds (parsnips are one I remember) are quite fragile. Most of the time, you want to run a germination test to see what percentage sprout (basically petri dish or something similar with damp paper towel or cotton as the substrate) and sow accordingly.

The various germ plasm storage facilities seem to use extreme cold, if I'm remembering correctly. Acorn used sealed jars for seed storage up to one year and the freezer for anything longer. Freezing also kills any insects (I ran all my storage beans and wool fleeces through my freezer before storing them).

Rebecca Brown

organic seeds

Hi Phil

good to hear you;re planting

According to PCC's newsletter (Puget Consumer's Coop) an excellent resource on food news, the addition of organic seed to the organic standards was a ploy by the chemical food producers to stall the development of organic standards. Organic food is so well-accepted now it's hard to remember that there was a huge fight to even get standards established and enforced.

Anyway, PCC claims, and the organic folks I respect agree, that organic seed is not essential for a good organic garden because any chemical on the seed or imbibed by it is de minimis - so small as to have no effect on your garden. Different when you're buying seed potatoes or garlic, etc., but with seed, any old should do as long as germination is strong.

That's what they say any way. Maybe make it easier to buy seed?

Keep growing...

Wherever you go, there you are. -- Carl Franz

Makes Sense

My primary concerns are buying non-hybrid so I can end up with my own seed in the future and non-GMO. I also would much rather support the little guys than Monsanto.

That said, the argument isn't new. When I lived in Olympia in the late 1970s, a friend of mine was commonly known as "Bob the sprout man". He had transitioned his life from silk screening t-shirts into growing alfalfa sprouts. It was a great little business (that I think someone could clone in Nicaragua).

He was the only local source of alfalfa sprouts. His customers varied from the food cooperative to Pizza Hut. Multiple times, whether his sprouts were organic came up at the coop because while he used no chemicals on them, the seeds were not organic. At the time there was no source of certified organic alfalfa seed.

I'm going to suggest Carol Deppe's Breed Your Own ....

...Vegetables again, second edition from Chelsea Green, if you haven't already read it.

Rebecca Brown

Nica seed and plant sources in Leon Dept

Hi, I'm new to these forums and can't seem to figure them out yet or how to start a new post. I was wondering if anyone knows of any seed/plant sources in the Leon area? My family has a house in Las Penitas that needs planting.



Look on upper right side of screen for `create content`` and push buttons till it works. To upload photos, shrink them first so they will upload fast. 100kb works fine.

``Vote for me—I`ll set you free`` Anon.

And, of course

having the privileges to post help so it should all be fine now. :-)

Be sure to welcome JacksonK to the site.

Might be worth a trip to the Unan botanical garden

I don`t know if they sell plants out of their nursery, but they could probably point you in the right direction. Also a great place to walk around and see what grows down by the coast. Ask directions to La Salle institute west of town and go about another 5 minutes down the dirt road.


``Vote for me—I`ll set you free`` Anon.

"Institutions" that are helping Seed Quality


Although producers increasingly use quality seeds, are still few who invest in these inputs

Official data confirm it: producers increasingly invest in the use of quality seeds. According to data from the National Agricultural Census IV (CENAGRO) of only 216,141 farmers, only 41,724 used improved seeds or certified to last year.

This represents 19.3 percent of the total producers, a figure which in previous years was not even at 15 percent.

However, progress is slow, so it will continue to intensify efforts to get more producers to invest in quality seeds.

For three years the Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) is promoting a program of improved seeds, in order not only to increase domestic production, but also at the same time increase the nutritional value of staple grains.

The project is called Support for Seed Production of Basic Grains for Food Security in Nicaragua (Papssan), with which it began producing improved seeds of sorghum, maize, beans and rice.

Maria Isabel Martinez, director of INTA, estimated that between 25 and 30 percent of producers use some type of quality seed.

The government's intention is to expand the use of such seeds, as they are more resistant to the ravages of climate change may result in the country.

Community Banks

According to Martinez, for the current crop season (2012-2013) INTA made available to producers at least 15 new varieties of seeds of rice, beans, maize and sorghum, with which producers of the Caribbean Coast, North River San Juan would benefit.

"We have been developing our methodology with community seed banks, so we offer producers the different varieties of seeds that are native to the area, i.e. no need to extrapolate other parts of the country," he said.

This methodology, according to the official, allows producers to validate the quality of the seeds, play and improve the quality of harvested grains and vegetables.

These new varieties of seeds produced and distributed by INTA have the characteristic of being resistant to both dry territories, as the excessive moisture that could cause heavy rain season.

SMALL are more reluctant

For Manuel Alvarez, president of the Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (UPANIC), progress in the use of quality seeds could be higher, however, micro and small producers are reluctant to use.

"The micro and small producers, ie those with between 5 and 15 acres of land, are more reluctant to use this type of seeds because they are not yet aware that to achieve higher returns on their land to sow seeds or certified improved, "he said.

Alvarez cites the case of peanuts and sorghum producers who have been able to increase production by using improved seeds. "The average production was 55 to 60 quintals per acre are this year increasing from 70 to 80 quintals average. Sorghum, which was always in a range of 40 to 45 quintals, now yields 60-70 quintals on average ", he said.

Meanwhile Iran Jorge Vasquez, official Farmer to Farmer Program of the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG), mentioned that the availability of certified seeds or improved also plays a role.

"The small farmer, for a very particular, prefer to work with their own seed, ie the local varieties, the revalued because they are seeds that are adapted to the area, while there are sometimes improved seeds that simply do not solve the producer, "he says.

INTA www.inta.gob.ni/ The official says that while improved seeds that are distributed through Papssan are resistant to climatic variations, are also prone to certain pests, so it continues to improve the quality of them.