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Benefits Of Saving Open-Pollinated & Heirloom Seeds - Summary

Many people wonder what is meant by open-pollination seeds, and the benefits of saving those seeds ,

verses hybrid seeds.                            (2013 post)

      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).

   GMO 'seeds' - (Genetically manipulated seeds).  Most seed-savers & organic farmers are aware of the dangers of another type of 'seed', a  type of 'unpure' seed, known as  GMO 'seeds'.    These 'seeds' are  manufactored by humans, and their pollen is harmful to bees and other living beings. 

Organic gardeners & farmers can take the 'Safe Seed Pledge: & support seed-saving farmers who take this pledge:  "Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives  depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable  source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers,  gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do  not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The  mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive  methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological  risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that  genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior  to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further  assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we  wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils,  genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy  people and communities."

Locally, Uprising Seeds farmers have built their seed-saving business around their commitment to grow safe & pure seeds: http://uprisingorganics.com/safe-seed-pledge-gmo-testing

*             *                   *                     *                  *          *           *
 

Seed Savers 'bible-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 annual Community Seed Swaps.  In 2015 we held our 7th annual swap.

Salish Seed Coop & Network & More Recommended Resources- http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/seedsavers/forum/topics/see... .

 

Keep your seed genetics fresh & broadly diverse- purchase seeds through organic seed farmers, like  locally  Uprising Seeds- http://uprisingorganics.com/   thus increasing the genetic diversity of your seed supply.

"Seed Saving Basics" - Mauid Powell-(One Page Summary) OrgegonStateU- http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/book/export/html/175667  .

 

I'll add another blog later, with including more of the mysteries & hope found within a seed.

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Comment by Heather K on January 27, 2014 at 2:12pm

Seeds in the hands of common people is something we believe should never change.”  -Brian & Crystine of  Uprising Seeds & Organic Farm http://uprisingorganics.com/about-us/info_1.html

Seed Swap Essentials (from Organic Seed Alliance www.seedalliance.org)

Welcome to the seed swap? This is an environment for the free exchange of genetic resources. All are welcome to participate, whether you've brought seed or not. This swap provides an opportunity for seed stewards to share seeds and stories to protect and improve our diverse seed heritage. Please commit yourself to saving seeds from what you collect at today's seed swap. In all of the excitement, remember to take notes on the seed you're receiving, including:

*Variety name and Latin name

*Where the seed was grown

*When the seed was grown & harvested

*Tips for growing & saving the seed,

*Other stories about these seed you're interested in recording and passing on in the future

Seed Swap Guidelines:
* Take Only What You Can Grow
* Leave Enough for Others
* Be Respectful & Have Fun!
* Label Seeds You Bring With Lots of Details:
(Variety, Year & Region Harvested, Open-Pollinated vs Hybrid)
* Learn How To Save Seeds ! 
So We Have More Seeds Next Year To Share! 
( Heirloom & Open-Pollinated Seeds Can be saved each year)

Comment by Celt M. Schira on February 1, 2013 at 10:00am

If you think this is cool and interesting, I'm giving a Basic Seeding Class, March 17. Check it out and register through the Whatcom Folk School. I'll be covering how to plan for seed saving in your garden, basics of plant breeding, how to select, process and store seeds. Also some things not to do, eh?

Comment by jasmin liepa on January 24, 2013 at 2:10pm

love your enthusiasm........

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