Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eat pure and leave the biotechs and chemicals on the store shelf

**I received this from Michael DePape of Botanical Interests.  This has helped clarify GMO and I want to be sure to present accurate info:  "To be fair to our competition and to prevent panic in home gardeners, as far as we know, there isn't any GMO seed in the garden seed trade. The companies that produce genetically modified seed are producing it for the big-ag farmers who have to sign extensive contracts and legalese and pay a lot of money to use the GMO seed. Home gardeners are just not (so far) the market for this type of product.
Gardeners and consumers of all kinds should be more concerned about the food that they are purchasing in the grocery store. There is no law to require labeling of foods that contain GMO products. So, chances are, you may be purchasing cereal, fresh corn, corn tortillas, soy products, and all sorts of processed foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
(For more info., visit the Center for Food Safety http://truefoodnow.org/shoppers-guide/.)

The best thing you can do to vote with your dollars and for your own peace of mind is to grow your own food and purchase certified organic products. (Organic products cannot contain GMO ingredients.)"

A friend and I got together last week to do some heirloom variety seed sharing, as we’re getting ready to do start seeds indoors. Mindi, who I met via this column (hi, Mindi!) is an avid gardener like me and we are both committed to growing non-GMO, heirloom variety fruits and vegetables organically.

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms and are achieved through genetic engineering, leading to potential biological risks and scenarios yet unknown. Many of the seed packets you can purchase in the big box stores (unless marked ‘Heirloom’) may be genetically modified. I seek out the heirlooms. Not only do they have such interesting names, such as these tomato varieties:‘Aunt Ruby's German Green’ or ‘Green Zebra’, but they also taste amazing.

There are many reasons why I love heirlooms, and I’m committed to doubling my garden this year and growing more varieties. I refuse to support the huge biotech conglomerates that are producing all of these GM crops/seeds, and these same companies produce highly toxic pesticides (you couldn’t pay me to use Round-Up anywhere near my yard or my children. I wouldn’t use it anywhere far either). Thankfully, lots of seed companies have taken the ‘safe seeds’ pledge—the pledge to not include any seed from these biotechs in their stock.

Botanical Interests is one. I purchased their seeds from Allisonville Nursery—it felt great to support a local business and also a seed company that has taken the safe seeds pledge.

So, I’m voting with my dollars and leaving the biotechs and the chemicals on the store shelf, hoping and wishing they would go away. It’s so good to dig in the earth chemical free and eat good, pure food. See my blog for a list of seed companies safe from biotech ties. Happy Organic Gardening!

Read more from the Organic Consumers Association here.

Here is the list of safe seed companies:

Abundant Life Seeds
Amishland Seeds
Annapolis Valley Heritage Seed Company canada
Baker Creek Seed Co.
Berlin Seeds - they don't have a website. Atleast I didn't find one.
Botanical Interests
Bountiful Gardens
Diane's Flower Seeds (she has veggies now, too)
Fedco Seed Co. - phasing out seminis seeds.
Garden City Seeds
Heirloom Acres Seeds -I've heard from several people thier seed germination is poor and so is thier customer service.
Heirlooms Evermore Seeds
Heirloom Seeds
High Mowing Seeds
Horizon Herbs
Kitchen Garden Seeds
Lake Valley Seeds
Livingston Seeds
Local Harvest
Mountain Rose Herbs
Natural Gardening Company
New Hope Seed Company
Organica Seed
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Pinetree Garden Seeds
Renee's Garden
Richters Herbs
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Seed Saver's Exchange
Seeds of Change
Southern Exposure
Territorial Seed Company Tiny Seeds
Tomato Fest
Trees of Antiquity
Underwood Garden Seeds
Uprising Seeds
Victory Seeds
Wildseed Farms
Wood Prairie Farm

Links to these companies websites is here.

Seed companies to avoid:

Audubon Workshop
Breck's Bulbs
Cook's Garden
Dege Garden Center
E & R Seed Co
Earl May Seed
Flower of the Month Club
Gardens Alive
Garden Trends
Germania Seed Co
Johnny's Seeds--they get 4% of their stock from Seminis-I would feel comfortable buying from them.  see here
Lindenberg Seeds
McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
Mountain Valley Seed
Park Seed
Park Bulbs
Park's Countryside Garden
R.H. Shumway
Rocky Mountain Seed Co
Roots and Rhizomes
Seeds for the World
Seymour's Selected Seeds
Spring Hill Nurseries
T&T Seeds
The Vermont Bean Seed Company
Tomato Growers Supply
Totally Tomato
Vermont Bean Seed Co.
Wayside Gardens
Willhite Seed Co.


  1. hello!

    my friend, melissa, showed me this article in the noblesville mag. i've been talking to her about using heirloom vs other seed companies, and reading your article solidified that to her.

    love all that you're doing and involved in! i think we should be friends. :)


  2. Hello Christie! TY for your kind words! I have a gardening friend Melissa in Noblesville...wonder if it's the same one. :)

    Sounds like a lovely idea-if you are on FB, look me up! :)


  3. HI Krista, Please consider changing the comment that you applied to the listing above for TomatoFest-"seed germination from this company is poor." as we feel this is unwarranted and untrue. I started the TomatoFest company 20 years ago expressly for the purpose of saving tomato seeds from all over the world in our seed bank. We are a 2-person business and personally grow, manage, harvest all portions of our seed business just to be assured of the quality handling and maintenance of our certified organic tomato seeds. (regarding our seeds please see (http://site1.tomatofest.com/about-our-tomato-seeds.html)
    For many years, Sunset magazine and our many thousands of seed customers have considered TomatoFest the quality standard for heirloom tomato seeds. We are referred to as the preferred source of tomato seeds in the Sunset's Garden Book and a few weeks ago TomatoFest was awarded by the internet's garden watchdog, Dave's garden , the TOP 5 AWARD for quality seeds and customer service by their members.(http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/1173/)

    I'm guessing you posted this comment as fact, as a result of something you heard from your reader(s). Please know that over the years whenever we have heard from a customer who has reported a germination problem, that we have found that the cause was probably due to their seed storage conditions. Regardless of reason, we immediately replaced their seeds to receive no added reports of germination problems. Please consider that your report or reports may have had nothing to do with the quality of our seeds but may have had more to do with a perception of a problem.
    Our standard of good service has always cleared up any difficulty or misunderstanding as we take this matter very seriously.
    Sorry to have posted this on your blog but I found no other way of communicating with you. Gary
    Just recently

  4. Gary--THANK YOU for your comments and setting the record straight--I have edited my post and reposted your comment on the forum where I got this list so that it can be modified. I really appreciate your efforts, thank you again. Best to you,