After my anti Miracle Gro rant I have been testing some different mixes. One of them is Organic Mechanics, made in Pennsylvania. It has an impressive organic pedigree.
It has mulch-like chunks of bark in it (above, with cucumber seed), which I find myself picking out. Whether or not the chunks affect a seed's ability to push through to the light is perhaps debatable - plants do it in the wild all the time. But seed starting mix suggests, to me, smooth friability. I had the same to say after last year's experiment with the awful Miracle Gro organic mix (in which my seedlings later turned yellow). The organic product I have liked best so far, is still Whitney Farms. Owned by...you guessed it: Big Blue Brother. Oy. And I have also used some Fafard Complete Planting Mix, which I love. But it contains peat.
I like the Lower East Side Ecology Center's worm compost, but I aint' going to hop on the subway every time I need some. It would be wonderful if it was stocked by local stores. I have already begged two hardware stores to have organic options available and we'll see. Now I'm off to GRDN to see what they have in stock (and I need another clematis, a boxwood and extras). I asked about grow bags there recently and the sales girl told me that grow bags didn't "go with the aesthetic of GRDN". Really? I wonder if she knew what they are. But I didn't feel like pursuing it. I am increasingly drawn to them, for lightweight edible growing, and as a plastic-alternative.