Feb 5, 2021
May your seeds grow green in 2021, growers: Editor’s letter
Stephen Kloosterman

Planting requires a certain amount of optimism, and a double portion is required the season following what a colleague once referred to as “the weirdest year ever.”

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Stephen Kloosterman

COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of our personal and professional lives. My social calendar, such as it was, is now wide open. The trade shows and meetings on my professional calendar – I’ve gone to a half-dozen or so each year since getting into agricultural journalism – are now mostly ZOOM meetings and conference calls.

But optimism is needed to keep moving from one thing to the next. And as we move into 2021, I find it helps to think about what things remain the same. Print and digital media do not transmit viruses. We still have friends and family. The sun still shines. Seeds still grow.

Our own little seed of a magazine here has also grown over the last year. We plan to publish six issues of Organic Grower in 2021 up from the four we published in 2020. After some LinkedIn stalking, emails and phone calls, five individuals have agreed to serve on an editorial board for the magazine. Organic Grower’s publishing group, Great American Media Services, has added two new staff in the great state of California, ground zero for organic growing. Western editor Crystal Nay and integrated marketing consultant Cindi Olwell, Californians both, are now part of the Organic Grower team.

The magazine is blessed with a return on last season’s labor.

Some notable organic growers have also had success stories:

  • CMI Orchards, owner of the Daisy Girl Organics brand, reported its 2020 overall organic apple production was up more than 25% from 2019, and they expected more growth in 2021.
  • Grimmway Farms, giant of the organic carrot sector, welcomed a new owner that one source at the company described as a “responsible steward that embraces Grimmway’s values.”
  • Manitoba’s Roquette, a food processor specializing in plant proteins, in the fall was asking additional growers to plant organic yellow peas for processing.

I wish similar blessings on your own hard work, and I hope the information we provide can help you in some way. Please enjoy the intelligence we’ve gathered from growers, researchers, Extension agents and the industry. There’s also a seed section detailing some highlights in this year’s organic seed offerings.

May many beneficial insects appear in your fields. May your non-organic neighbors give your lands a wide berth when they spray. May your local chicken farmer call you offering free compost. And may your farm market or purchaser offer generous rates, knowing how much consumers value the organic label.

In short, may your seeds grow green.

Stephen Kloosterman is the managing editor of Organic Grower.

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