By Jennifer Evans
Clicking on my favorite sustainable seed catalog link from my e-mail inbox feels like a package of spring just waiting for me to open! Gardening has always been a pleasure and a connection to nature for my ancestors and me and it all starts with the SEED!
What is the difference between buying a package of seed at the BIG mart nearby or seed that is labeled sustainable?
Sustainable seed is seed that was gathered from organic and non-genetically modified plants. When you grow a plant from sustainable seed, it will pollinate and continue to grow fertile seed that is capable of being replanted and further grow more plants for the next growing season. It is seed that has not been altered genetically or sprayed with chemicals.
When a package of seed is purchased that is not labeled sustainable it will most likely be seed from a genetically modified crop that was altered in some way to resist pests, diseases or weather conditions. It is seed that has most likely come from another country and therefore the seed had to be fumigated and sprayed.
When a farmer plants seeds from a genetically modified seed, his/her crops will not produce seeds to replant again. The farmer must purchase new seed every year to plant their crops. There are organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists that research and report information on the impacts of GMO crops have on pollinators, insects, animals and human health impact.
For my family, and my family history of gardening, we have always chosen the traditional way of sustainable seeds. They encourage biodiversity; the seeds are stronger and more resistant to local conditions and do not harm or negatively impact any life forms in the environment.
There is something magical about the smell of mulched garden dirt, the poking up of the first pea plants in spring and the reward of sharing fresh, organic, delicious produce from our garden! And most important to me, starting off with sustainable seeds to benefit not only my family, but to benefit the environment around my garden!
See Best Vegetable Seed Companies article for a list of sustainable seed companies to consider: