Home Grown SUNFLOWER SEEDLINGS - MIRCO GREENS
The Importance of Seeds
What is happening to our food supply? Modern-day farming and food production looks very different from models of the past. With all the negative talk on GMOs and globalization, more and more people are turning to home gardening in and outdoor, and growing their own edibles. When starting out from seed in your home garden, seed-packet labelling can be confusing, especially if you are unsure of the differences between a heirloom, hybrid or GMO seed. To make it a little easier, I have defined a few different types of seeds available on the market today.
A GMO seed is a hybrid seed that has been produced in a lab using high-tech methods. These seeds have been injected with animal DNA, plant DNA, viruses and bacteria, in order to make these seeds drought and disease resistant. The process crosses biological kingdoms, which has never been done before to our food. The seeds are owned by the company that produces them and can not be pollinated to use again the following year. They are not available for sale to the general public.
HYBRID seeds are 2 different varieties of the same plant cross-pollinated usually out in the field using low-tech methods. A cross of one male and one female plant are chosen to make the best offspring, with significant traits from both parents, such as disease resistance, height, color and flavor. Naturally happening in nature, hybrids can be a one-hit wonder, they do well the first year but not so well in subsequent years.
OPEN - POLLINATED seeds are created out in nature by the birds, the bees and the wind. They’re Mother Nature's way wild and free. They perpetuate bio-diversity and natural selection and are true to type and genetically the same as the parent plant. For example, a basil plant grows, flowers and is left to go to seed, the flower head is full of open pollinated seeds.
HEIRLOOM seeds are passed down from generation to generation in a family or community and technically are over 50 years old. They are always open-pollinated seeds, chosen for their superior quality and flavor. Their real magic is in the stories behind them. Full of nostalgia, they take us back to yesteryear and teach us about the history of our food from cultivation, to harvest, to table. Like a good piece of furniture, clothing or jewellery, they can stay in a family for decades. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
Open Pollinated Basil Seeds
PLANNING YOUR EDIBLE GARDEN
When planning your edible garden in or outdoors, you will reap what you sow. I have tried a few different seed suppliers and found that both Baker Creek Heirloom Rareseeds and JohnnySeeds, have an expensive catalogue full of proven winners. Growing in containers gives you different results to growing in the ground. If you are solely growing indoors, consider dwarf varietals and micro greens that take up much less space vertically and horizontally.
To start choose what you want to grow, do your research, read the seed descriptions and start planting. If you want more info on growing edibles indoors, checkout an article I wrote for the online publication - Her Own Mind. For those of you who would like to start an edible garden outdoors, I’ll be updating this post with a link to a post solely about growing outdoors. Check back regularly.
When growing your own food, it’s vitally important to go organic. Use organic compost and soils. Top up nutrients with soil minerals, use coffee grounds and tea leaves for an added nitrogen hit. When outdoors the dirtier the better, don’t prissy up your veggie patch. Growing inside, find a compost unit designed to break down food for indoor use. If you are growing your own food to minimize your intake of GMO’s and heavily chemically sprayed crops, using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides on your home edible gardenis a huge contradiction. Home gardens don’t need chemicals, don’t do it!
One tip to get you started outdoors when planning your home edible garden is to add a top layer of compost in the fall and leave it. Don’t turn it or move it, let it naturally decompress, freeze and thaw over the winter months. It will all the terrestrial beauty’s beneath the surface work their magic to enrich your soil. Wiggle does the worm who casts his golden poo poo!
List of GMO crops
- Following are the approved GMO crops grown in the US.
- Zucchini/ Yellow Summer Squash
- Sugar Beet
WAITING FOR APPROVAL
When buying produce always check where it was grown, that way you can gauge how clean it is. Processed food with high fructose corn syrup or fructose written on the label represents GMO corn syrup. 70% of honey sold is mainly high fructose corn syrup, unless it is organic wild honey. Soybean or soy is used as a thickener in so many products, 94% of soybean crops in the US are genetically modified. Canola oil is used in many vegan meat products, hummus, dips and crackers. Make your own dips and stay away from synthetic fake processed meats. I hope this list helps you in deciding what to grow yourself and what to buy from reputable organic growers, or mindfully from supermarkets.
GMO Seeds and Their Issues
GMOs are a problem. The agricultural techniques used to cultivate these crops wreak havoc on the environment. Along with the GMO ‘superseed’ grows a ‘superweed’ that has become resistant to the herbicide 'Roundup' which contains glyphosate was developed and is used to suppress them.
HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM. It has been reported that the resistant weeds can grow an inch a day, reproduce quickly and grow stems thick enough to damage farm machinery. They have successfully grown and multiplied in the corn belt, middle America region and are quickly moving across to the East Coast. You would think that to wage war on these ‘superweeds’ a different approach would be incorporated back into the modern agriculture model. It appears, though, that most farmers are trying to deal with this weed plague by adding more synthetic herbicides to the crops to control the weeds. Science has proven that using good ole fashioned, ecological methods such as crop rotation, cover crops, mulch and compost livestock manure, would reduce the amount of weeds effectively and the use of herbicides by 90 percent.
Monsanto now Bayer’s Empty Promises
Monsanto now owned by Bayer after a long drawn out 63 billion dollar deal, promised farmers cheaper methods for a better crop yield. Huh, really? They over promised and under delivered BIG TIME. So much so, that the final cost of GMOs and the destruction that comes with them, is going to cost us a lot more than just a few dollars. A wildlife genocide has taken place quietly in the background from the over use of herbicides and pesticides. Colony Collapse Disorder is a prime example. Human health is being affected by the synthetics used in our food production. The environment has taken a beating, with some irreversible harm done to our lands and our oceans. Animal welfare is at stake and has not been taken into consideration at all. Using GMO seeds and the chemical support that comes with them, do not align with the good of mankind or Mother Nature. In short, sustainable ecological practices protect the environment, humans, wildlife, and the community, something for all of us to think about. Awareness is key, we must cease to support multi -conglomerates like Bayer, who are attempting to control our food source. This is vital to our planet's future.
Portable Veggie Patch Grown From Seed
Home Grown Basil Seedlings
Basil Flowers Grown to go to seed
Growing an organic garden made with your hands makes you a Garden Artisan!
Pollinators need us to bring balance back into our local ecosystems. Find out what grows wildly and freely in your area and cultivate some of those plants. Encourage your community to plant local wildflowers in public parks, green spaces, schools and community gardens.
The seeds we plant today, make the world of tomorrow. If you would like to learn how to grow from seed, please visit my post - grow from seed