Saturday, January 23, 2010

The promise of a seed

Having decided what vegetables to grow and poured over a variety of seed catalogues, choices have been made and today, the seeds have arrived. This year instead of buying them from the gardencenter , the seeds have been chosen from the real seed company because the seeds are true to type and hopefully will not only produce the named variety but also be used to create our own seeds for next year. Not practical probably for all seeds but important to continue to grow vegetables in the future.

Each packet comes with growing instructions and instructions on how to save seed. Currently, you could be spending a lot of money on seed varieties that promise a bumper crop but then cannot be reproduced as the seeds are genetically programmed to produce a harvest but not seeds. This guarantees seed producers a constant demand each year for new seed.

Gardeners have always saved seed from their produce and produced lasting and enduring results in gardens and allotments and with a little care, we too could be building up a seed bank. Companies like Monsanto genetically engineer seeds to produce the most yield but these plants do not produce seeds true to type and thus farmers and gardeners are dependant and compelled to purchase seeds each year for their business. It is quite likely that tomatoes and peppers found in the supermarket come from genetically modified seeds.

To store the seeds we use an office concertina file with 12 tabs for each month of the year and the seedpackets are slotted into each month of sowing. That way at the beginning of each month, sowing seeds is easily identified and if succession planting is required, it gets put back into the following month. April currently seems like the busiest month for sowing seeds.


the real seed company
organic gardening catalogue
sarah raven
seeds of change ( USA)


Fr. Peter Doodes said...

I too am a 'Real Seeds' fan Anne! I love reading their catalogue almost as much as planting their seeds.

Who needs GM when there is already seed available that will enable tomaotoes to be harvested outdoors in Siberia?

Anne said...

What is interesting Peter is that unfortunately real seeds are rare.
I guess marketing tomatoes as a hot weather crop in a cold climate made it look difficult to grow your own, now if you market tomatoes that grow in Siberia I guess everyone would grow their own? GM is a loaded issue.......Gardening to me is a partnership between my efforts as a gardener and the unpredictability of the weather patterns.I can see how scientists would want to control the growth element and the quality of the end product but somehow I think they miss the point that changing the cause creates a reaction. I thought scientists would get that?