Critical to success in organic gardening is seed selection. While tropical climates are generally conducive to many plant varieties, seeds well adapted to the tropical climate thrive better. Pacific Quest’s garden specialist Scott Ricci found a local farmer/seed distributor with twelve years experience of growing on the Big Island of Hawaii. Tom Brannen, owner and operator of Kilohana Farm Seed Company, guided Scott on a personal tour of his farm. Tom pointed out garden beds for the seeds he vends, highlighting the fact that he only sells seeds he has tested for at least two years. Tom was excited to share that all of his seeds come from Thailand, a climate that parallels Hawaii’s in many ways.
Scott purchased a range of seed varieties including tomatoes, radishes, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, cabbages, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and hot peppers! Tom also mentioned giving Scott various Thai plant starts such as green papaya and ginger. Pacific Quest recognizes the importance of buying locally. This not only allows us to stimulate the local economy, but it helps strengthen the relationships within the island community. Perhaps these seeds are a metaphor for the bonds that we are germanating with local farmers and vendors. As we continue to nurture our plant seedlings by giving them the nutrients they need to thrive, we will do the same for our island community through meeting farmers and buying locally.