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Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Short List of Seed Houses

This is a freshly revamped seed list in an effort to avoid seed companies that carry Seminis (Monsanto) products. To my knowledge, none of the following companies carry GMO seeds.

BAKER CREEK HEIRLOOM SEEDS; 2278 Baker Creek Road Mansfield, MO 65704; 417.924.8917 What a catalog! Beautiful pictures of the produce – vegetable porn for sure. I have never ordered from them, but I have heard good things about them.

BOTANICAL INTERESTS; 660 Compton Street, Broomfield, CO 80020; 720.880.7293. I 'have been dealing with these folks for only a couple of years - I have seen their seeds on seed racks here and there, but I really got to know them for the quantity of seeds they donate to Venice High School and other educational programs. If you order using one of the links on this blog, you benefit the garden because a portion of your purchase goes into The Learning Garden's seed fund.  Good seed.  Clean.  Good variety and a good price.

BOUNTIFUL GARDENS; 18001 Shafer Ranch Road; Willits, CA 95490; 707.459.6410 Organic seed; open-pollinated. A part of the work done by John Jeavons, a proud and active member of the population of organic and open-pollinated gardeners. If you see him, he owes me a laser pointer.

FEDCO; PO Box 520, Waterville, ME 04903 207.873.7333 They are rabidly anti-GMO, though they do carry hybrids in addition to open-pollinated seeds. A wonderful and extensive selection. Someone who writes this beautiful deserves to get some of our money!  And they signed the Safe Seed Pledge - in fact, if was from them, I received my education on the Safe Seed Pledge. 

PEACEFUL VALLEY FARM SUPPLY; PO Box 2209; Grass Valley, CA 95945; 916.272.4769 I have purchased many seeds (and other things!) from Peaceful Valley – I love their catalog. They have an excellent selection of cover crop seeds as well as a lot of organic gardening supplies and tools. Although they have not signed the Safe Seed Pledge, by being 100% organic and open pollinated, they do not support anything close to GMO's and Monsanto.

NATIVE SEED/SEARCH; 526 N. 4th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705; 520.622.5561 (Fax 520.622.5591) Specializing in the seeds of seeds of south western United States, concentrating on the ancient seeds of the First Nations People from amaranth to watermelon. A worthy cause. Non-hybrid.  Non-Monsanto.

PINETREE GARDEN SEEDS; PO Box 300, Rt. 100; New Gloucester, ME 04260; 207.926.3400
Probably the best for a home gardener – small packets of very current seed, a very good value. The smaller packets mean a smaller price so a person can order a lot more varieties and experiment. I have been a customer for many years, but I buy less now than I used to because they have not signed the Safe Seed Pledge.

SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE; Rt. 3 Box 239; Decorah, Iowa 52101; 563.382.5990 Membership fees $35. Free brochure. Some organic, but ALL open-pollinated. There are two ways to save seeds: one is to collect them all and keep them in a huge building that protects them from everything up to (and including) nuclear holocaust. The other way is to grow 'em. You can find the chance to grow them here - all seeds are heirloom and are 100% non-GMO and non-hybrid. 

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE SEED EXCHANGE; P.O. Box 460, Mineral, VA 23117, 540.894.9480 (Fax: 540.894.9481)
A commercial venture that is somewhat similar to Seed Savers Exchange, but really isn't an exchange and is much pricier. They do carry seed saving supplies - nice to have if you are going to save seed.

If you want to know who to more or less avoid, surf on over to the Seminis web site for a list of seed suppliers to home gardeners that are dealers for Seminis.  Mind you, not all those listed are selling GMO seeds.  This list will have seed suppliers that sell hybrids owned by Seminis (they have bought the majority of big seed suppliers operating in the United States, why the government hasn't looked at this as establishing a monopoly lies in the number of Monsanto employees that have held office, appointed and elected, in our government), and when Seminis bought those other seed companies, they acquired the patents held on hybrids.  Thus, while Big Boy Tomato was not created by Seminis, or Monsanto, and is not a GMO product, Seminis now owns the patent and purchases of Big Boy Tomato seed 'feeds the beast.'  

To be truly independent from this kind of chicanery, one must purchase open-pollinated seed that can be saved and will grow out 'true.'  These are concepts we will discuss in next week's class.


1 comment:

  1. The Safe Seed Pledge:
    "Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe
    and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who
    want an alternative,
    We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.
    The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families
    or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that
    genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is
    necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support
    agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy
    people and communities."


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