Our first guest for our From Seed to Self healthy living campaign is Kathy McFarland. Kathy is a Baker Creek employee and lifelong gardener. She will talk to us about the difference between using pure heirloom seeds vs. genetically modified seeds.
I have personally been a Baker Creek customer since 2006. We have always enjoyed fresh, delicious, and healthy fruits and vegetables. I’ve mentioned them in a few places here and there and they are the only company I will buy my seeds from. I trust them and I stand behind what they stand up for. They are one of the companies trying to fight corporate bullies like Monsanto, who are trying to gain more and more control of our agricultural laws. Not sure when chemical companies gained any right to that at all, but…
Anyway, be sure to check out their website at rareseeds.com. Click here to order a free copy of their full-color catalog.
Baker Creek is also giving away an awesome seed assortment that contains: Delikatesse Cucumber, Ishikura Onion, Tom Thumb Lettuce, Pink Beauty Radish, Red Marconi Pepper, Pearly Pink Tomato, Morning Sun Yellow Tomato, Tsunshigo Chinese Purple Tomato, Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach, and Arugula. (see photo below)
Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite summer fruit or vegetable is! Be sure to provide an email address so I can contact you if you win.
For extra entries: tweet, facebook or instagram this giveaway and come back and leave a link in the comment box! Winner will be announced in the next From Seed to Self post scheduled for June 19!
HEIRLOOM VS. GMO SEEDS
Guest post by Kathy McFarland
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Heirloom seeds are open pollinated seeds that have been passed down through the generations. There is some discussion as to exactly how old a seed needs to be in order to be called heirloom. While 50 years is the generally accepted number of years, some gardeners prefer 100 years. Other people may use the date of 1945 because the end of World War II coincided with the widespread use of hybrid plants.
One thing that people do agree about heirloom seeds is that they are open-pollinated. The plants are pollinated by natural means of insects, birds, wind or other natural mechanisms. Hybrid pollination, on the other hand, is a type of controlled pollination involving the pollen from a different strain. It is used to increase particular characteristics such as appearance, disease resistance, suitability for shipping, etc.
Here at Baker Creek we consider the story behind the seeds. Heirloom seeds often are rich in history and come with “stories” about how they have been saved in the family, moved with the family during migration or kept in a particular region, and planted to keep the variety alive. Other seeds come to us with stories about how they were found stored away in a drawer or attic by some long-deceased relative.
Genetically modified seeds are entirely different from either heirlooms or hybrids. A genetically modified organism is an organism whose genetic make-up has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Plants are sometimes genetically altered with the addition of micro organisms such as bacteria, yeast, or animals. It is this genetic modification of our our food plants that is at the heart of a controversy over the safety of GMO’s in our food supply. While agricultural science giant, Monsanto, and other big ag chemical companies claim the safety of their genetically engineered food plants, other researchers point out various studies that indicate many mild to extremely severe health risks of consuming GMO’s.
One major factor that must be included in the discussion of heirloom seeds versus genetically modified seeds is that of patenting. Open pollinated seeds are available to all without requiring a license for use. Genetically engineered seeds are often patented by the company that developed them and require a hefty technology fee for their use. GMO seeds must be purchased from the seed company for each planting and cannot be saved and replanted by the farmer or gardener, as can open pollinated heirloom seeds.
Thanks so much Kathy, and all of our friends at Baker Creek, for this informative introduction to heirloom seeds! We look forward to supporting Baker Creek and enjoying the fruits of your labors!
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! CONGRATS TO DONNA, OUR WINNER!