Many people wonder what is meant by open-pollination seeds, and the benefits of saving those seeds ,
verses hybrid seeds.
Open-pollinated plant varieties make seeds that will grow into a plant of the same variety.
By planting these saveable varieties, we help preserve our horticultural heritage & its diversity.
Some seeds have been grown, selected, & preserved by farmers/gardeners since ancient times, some as long as 9,000 yrs ago. These seeds were selected for exceptional flavor, nutrition, and for extended harvest season. Many are facing extinction.
Biodiversity strengthens our ecosystem. We can increase both the earth's biodiversity and our family's food security. The ability to feed ourselves strengthens our freedom to live our democracy,
and maintain our inherent right to self-governance.
Hybrid seeds, on the other hand, grow into plants which, while they are usable plants in themselves,
will not produce seed of the same variety
—hybrids do not 'breed true'.
The gardener who plants hybrid varieties,
will have to buy seed every year, and seed production is concentrated in the hands of a few companies, often owned by petro-chemical corporations.
Many seeds for sale in stores are hybrids, bred to produce under agri-business conditions.
(Biotech is about ownership.. the illusion of “owning” the seeds).
* * * * * * *
Good resource book: “Seed to Seed” by Suzanne Ashworth for a guide on saving vegetable seeds.
Consider being 'profoundly local', like Vermont gardener & plant selector, Sylvia Davatz, who is supporting her local food movement to take the next logical step,
and to “establish a supply of locally grown seed as the underpinnings of a local food supply.”
“Small farmers are a threat to the consolidation of absolute power.” - Farmer Eliot Coleman
'The less biodiverse any system is, the greater the potential for its collapse.
In shriveling the gene pool... we strip our crops of the ability to adapt to change & we put the entire food supply at risk. The more food varieties we lose, the closer we slide to the tipping point of disaster.'
Info source: Ecology Action seed catalog & “The Seed Underground” Janisse Ray
Consider saving some bean & pea seeds this year, plus creating your own local heirloom seed-swap, and attend seed-swaps in neighboring communities with similar growing conditions.
All Welcome to Attend our 5th Annual Bellingham Annual Seed-Swap - http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/events/community-seed-swap-2013
Consider purchasing some of your seeds locally through Uprising Seeds- http://uprisingorganics.com/ thus increasing the genetic diversity of your seed supply.
I'll add another blog later, with including more of the mysteries & hope found within a seed.