Thursday, July 25, 2013

Learning about seeds...

My seeds a soakin'
Most of us go to one of the big box home improvement stores and peruse what plants are there as well as different seeds we might want to plant in our jarden potager's. Little do we know that those big box stores carry seeds and plants that may not even grow in your area. How many times have you brought home a plant from one of those stores and the dang thing dies on you for no apparent reason? Some of those poor plants may be diseased or dying before you even buy it. I've bought plenty of plants from those stores before. Some I've been lucky with, others not so much.

Anyways, Country Bloke and I planted our first BTE garden with seeds we picked up at one of the big box stores. 

This is a picture of soaking our seeds that we bought from a big box store:

This was for my bed. We did not do this for Country Bloke's bed.

But it got me thinking. What are all the different kinds of seeds and which one is good for my family?

It led me to research this question turning to none other than Google. I really don't know what I did before Google!

Just to give you a run down of the difference in very general terms, interpreted my moi:

Heirloom seeds are generally passed down from one generation to the next hence the word heirloom. These seeds require "open-pollunation" meaning pollination occurs through a natural means i.e. butterflies or bees. These seeds are usually regarded as seeds that have been untouched by science and human intervention. They are as they were many, many years ago.

Hybrid seeds are seeds that have been crossed pollinated through human intervention but are still somewhat a product of natural reproduction. The humans control what traits are passed down from the parent plants to the offspring. Some of the reasoning for this might be the ability to grow more crops and have a higher yield on fewer acres. Or the crops might make more efficient the use of fertilizer or be more resistant to certain types of insects. 

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds use sophisticate gene splicing methods to create untested, unnatural new organisms. So a bunch of scenitists get together with a bunch of fancy gene splicing material and start jacking with the various genes of various plants that we consume. But it's okay because the FDA has approved for these GMO plants to be used only in processed food and animal feed. Oh, and corn that we buy in the grocery store. WTF? So you are telling me that the meat I buy from the grocery store, that cow or pig or chicken what feed some sort of mutated, unnatural feed and we have no idea what it is really doing to the animal and now I'm eating it? Awesome. There is a reason why I'm raising my own meat.

After researching heirloom vs hybrid vs GMO, I decided that after this year I will strictly order heirloom seeds. I am not saying that what I am doing is the right way. This is my decision based on what I researched. Do your own research before you decide.

So in my quest to improve quality of life (and food) for me, my family and my community and my seemingly constant research through other blogs, I decided to order the Landreth's catalog. It cost about $7.95 and there is an explanation of why it costs money to order. Believe me, it's worth it!

Here's a picture of the catalog:
The 2013 Landreth's Catalog

I decided to go with Landreth's because they have been in business since 1784! That is a long time so I figured they had a hellava heirloom seed collection. Inside, they have had drawn illustrations of the various plants and they also provide detailed explanations of the different varieties out there. Since I know nothing about gardening, I need as much explanation as I can get! I'm also going to start my winter sowing in December using milk jugs as mini-greenhouses. Check it out at this blog

So that is what I've learned so far about seeds. I know I have a lot more to learn and I will never, ever call myself an expert! But I will continue to chronologue my findings in this blog so others may use it to their benefit.

I'm just a city girl embracing this country life and trying to create a healthy community for my children and my children's children so we can all keep the cogs of the wheel of life spinning.

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