- Quarantine Matters
The Federal quarantine laws regarding tomato and pepper seed are onerous and all seed now needs to be tested for several viral diseases that can adversely impact on commercial tomato production. The cost of testing one lot of one variety of tomato or pepper seed is about $3,500 which means that I will not be importing this seed from Italy at this time. I have identified some locally grown tomato and pepper seed, some with Italian heritage, and this is now included in my range.
Carrot seed, and the family of plants including pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, melon and watermelon also now requires testing but the cost is more modest and I will continue to import these varieties and have the seed tested in Italy or in Australia.
A new range of Roma, French, borlotti, cannellini and broad beans, podding, sugar snap and snow peas and corn has also been added to provide a more complete selection for home gardeners. Grown in Australia, this is quality seed in generous quantity and included because quarantine does not allow import of these varieties from Italy.
The Italian Gardener has come to an arrangement with the WA Dept of Agriculture that allows customers to import seed from the Italian Gardener without the risk of personally incurring quarantine charges that will be directed to The Italian Gardener. As a consequence, for each order to WA there will be a surcharge of $3 to cover my costs. The amount of this surcharge will be reviewed from time to time and may be adjusted if necessary.