Grow Your Own Food
Spring Is In The Heir-Loom! It’s Time To Grow Your Own Food With Blue Monster Prep’s Survival Heirloom Seeds!
Let’s Plant A Food Garden!
So, you’re thinking about planting a food garden — Fantastic idea! Now what, how, and when should you grow? Great questions. In the next two newsletters we’ll touch on all three and help cultivate Blue Monster’s green thumb.
What Kind Of Seeds To Plant?
One of the first things to understand is that there are several types of seed, GMO, treated, organic, hybrid, and heirloom.
What Are GMO Seeds?
Genetically modified organisms or GMO seeds are produced by the process of engineering the hereditary traits of a plant and its seeds in a laboratory. In essence, in order to induce a desired trait, such as pesticide resistance or pesticide production, scientists alter the DNA of seeds in a way that would never occur naturally. This gene manipulation is accomplished by introducing the genetic material of an unrelated organism into the genetic code of the plant. GMO seeds are not available to purchase for the home gardener. GMO seeds are primarily used by large scale commercial famers and agricultural corporations in the pursuit of warding off pests and controlling weeds.
What Are Treated Seeds?
Treated seeds are coated with a pesticide or fungicide compound. Treated seeds are recognized by either their label and/or their coating of brightly colored clay, mist, or dust. If treated seeds are chosen, it is important to remember to handle them with the same precautions used with other pesticides.
- Always wear gloves when directly handling treated seeds.
- Never burn or compost treated seeds.
- Never allow the consumption of treated seeds by humans or animals.
- Never allow children to handle treated seeds as they might be attracted to the bright colors.
- Always clean or cover with soil any accidentally spilled treated seed to prevent consumption by wildlife.
- Always check the label or contact your state’s regulatory agency for more information regarding the disposal of any leftover treated seeds. For more information, try the national pesticide information center at http://npic.orst.edu/hhwmlr.html
What Are Organic Seeds?
According to the USDA, “Produce [in this case seed] can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.” In other words, organic seeds are produced on land that has been managed and nurtured for a minimum of three years without the use of most chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. There are very few exceptions as to the type of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides the organic farmer may apply; furthermore, the amounts used and administered are heavily regulated. It is important to remember that while hybrid and heirloom seeds may be grown and produced organically and their packets may bear the organic stamp, GMO and treated seeds are never certified as organic, and as such, they are never given an organic classification. Always check the information on the seed packet as they are mandated to present a label stating that the seed is indeed organic.
What Are Hybrid Seeds?
Simply put, hybrid seeds are produced by cross-pollinating two different variations of the same plant. While hybridization can occur naturally through pollination by wind, insect, or bird, it can also be the result of human control and intervention by intentionally cross-pollinating two different species of the same plant. Hybrid seeds are intentionally bred to create a desired series of traits like color, hardiness, or firmness of flesh. Saving and replanting the seeds from a hybrid plant is not recommended. In the best case scenario, seeds from a hybrid plant will be less vigorous than their parent plant. Moreover, they will not grow true-to-type, meaning that they will not develop the same traits and characteristics of their parent plant. In the worst case, the seeds of a hybrid will be sterile, and not grow at all. Store bought cantaloupe are typically an example of this sterile seed phenomenon.
And Finally, What Are Heirloom Seeds?
Heirloom seeds are the only type of seeds that breed true-to-type. In other words, they are the only plants whose offspring develop the same traits and characteristics of the parent plant. In order to be officially classified as an heirloom seed, some say that a variety must be at least 50 years old, others say 100. Still others would accept the title of heirloom by verifying the recorded and generational history of the preserved and bequeathed seed. In fact, because heirloom plants breed true, the saved and collected seeds are often passed down generationally through families, friends, and communities. Heirloom plants are open-pollinated, meaning that they are pollinated by wind, insect, or bird.
Blue Monster Declares Heirloom Seeds As The Winner!
Blue Monster Prep celebrates preparedness, independence, legacy, and community building. Growing your own food with BMP's Survival Heirloom Vegetable Seed Storage Kit meets every one of these objectives.
- A home garden provides us with the opportunity to prepare something of a buttress between us and the commercial food market with its rapidly increasing prices, fluctuations in quality, and pending food shortages.
- A home garden affords us with the opportunity to independently care for our families and add value to our friends and community by sharing in our abundance. After all, remember the adage that you should only grow zucchini if you have many friends!
- We can intergenerationally learn and pass on tried and true methods of home gardening; thereby honoring our past while investing in our future.
- The saving and sharing of heirloom seeds bolsters, strengthens, and encourages the bonds of local communities.
- As heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, the goal of preserving and sustaining agricultural and genetic biodiversity is achieved, leading to stronger and more reliable crops.
- Many home gardeners find tremendous satisfaction by connecting their garden with bygone times. For many people, the carrying and passing on traditions of the past invokes a strong sense of fulfillment, a deeper connection to our history and heritage, and the ability to continue this important legacy.