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Heirloom Seeds and GMOs

Heirloom Seeds

This week, we sorted our inventory of cool season crop seeds like broccoli and cabbage to begin their journey of germination. A good quality seed and grow plug should be paired with the right soil and fertility conditions of the garden for a successful and healthy yield. Make sure a suitable seed will prosper in your region zone geographically and source and research a reputable seed supplier for your warm and cold season crops.

There are suppliers who specialize in specific organic and chemically free seeds that are disease resistant such as Seeds of Change.  Seeds are alive and may not always germinate so you need to be flexible and patient if failure occurs.

Some of our seeds are heirloom seeds which are a type of open pollinated seed, meaning the seed is true to its parent seed providing the pollen isn’t crossed between a variety of other open pollinated plants.

Heirlooms are also coined for their age of 50 – 100 years or more passing the seed down over generations outside
the commercial market.  All heirlooms are open pollinated but not all open pollinated are heirlooms.  This means
some may be coined in recent years of development which will become an heirloom of the future.  A successful
saved open pollinated seed will evolve over time to increase its quality and diversity over the years, meaning it will
be more disease resistant and hardier, becoming climatized to its environment every year you plant its offspring.

How Seeds can become Un-Sustainable.

Hybrid varieties are created and crossed with two genetically highly inbred parent seeds which can have special
disease resistant traits but will not grow true to type of its parents. This may result in developing unwanted
reproductive traits.  In this case you would have to purchase new seeds every year to resemble your favourite hybrid
crop which becomes seed dependant and unsustainable.  One and done.

More flavour through ornamental hybrids.

Ornamental hybrids that substitute edible vegetation supports a visual texture and complimentary colours that attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden.

These varieties of hybrids will provide a physical barrier to block invaders and create diversity and flavour to vegetables by intercropping as a companion.

Confusing ‘Hybrid’ an ‘GMO’.

Don’t get confused with the word hybrid – it’s not a GMO (genetically modified organism).  A GMO is laboratory-produced seed which transfers genes between organisms that will not reproduce. Seeds that are available in seed catalogues for gardeners are your open pollinated and hybrid varieties.

Saving seeds can be fun although can be quite labour intensive and time consuming.  It does, however give you the satisfaction of being resourceful and sustainable and seed independent.

Whatever your choice of seeds, embracing growing your own food is a wonderful start to becoming self reliant and sufficient which will give you healthier food choices.