by Megan Stilp, Cordata Produce
Nick Guilford tends plant starts in one of Sunseed Farm’s eight greenhouses. After the germination chamber, this warm greenhouse is the second stop for plants before being hardened off for outdoor planting in the cooler greenhouses.
Nestled in the valley of the south fork of the Nooksack River sits Sunseed Farm. Nick Guilford, proprietor, has been using organic growing methods since starting the business in 1997 and obtained organic certification in 2001. On the farm you’ll find organic garden starts, many destined for sale at the Co-op, growing right alongside the plants that go into Sunseed’s fields for vegetable and herb production.
This makes for less transplant shock, and an earlier, more abundant yield.
Most plant starts sold in our area are chemically raised, which can make for a hard transition into a garden where they aren't being fed a nutrient solution every day. According to Sunseed’s website, “Our organic starts not only come with a longer lasting nutrient base in the pot, but the plants are also in a more natural, nutrient foraging relationship with the soil. This makes for less transplant shock, and an earlier, more abundant yield.” Additionally, over a 20-year career as a market farmer, Nick has selected varieties of crops that have been proven to thrive in our climate. All of these factors can help produce a successful home gardening experience when using starts from Sunseed Farm.
You can find their organic garden starts at both Community Food Co-op locations from about mid-March through the end of our often unpredictable local planting season. You can also find Sunseed Farm at the Saturday Bellingham Farmers Market.
Dedicated to your gardening success, Sunseed’s website is a great resource for the home gardener, with planting tips and schedules, articles on season extension, and even a selection of their favorite gardening tools and books available for purchase.