**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
Annapolis Valley Heritage Seed Company canada
Baker Creek Seed Co.
Berlin Seeds - they don't have a website. Atleast I didn't find one.
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
High Mowing Seeds
Kitchen Garden Seeds
Lake Valley Seeds
Mountain Rose Herbs
Natural Gardening Company
New Hope Seed Company
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Pinetree Garden Seeds
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Seed Saver's Exchange
Seeds of Change
Territorial Seed Company Tiny Seeds
Trees of Antiquity
Underwood Garden Seeds
Wood Prairie Farm
Links to these companies websites is here.
Seed companies to avoid:
Dege Garden Center
E & R Seed Co
Earl May Seed
Flower of the Month Club
Germania Seed Co
Johnny's Seeds--they get 4% of their stock from Seminis-I would feel comfortable buying from them. see here
McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
Mountain Valley Seed
Park's Countryside Garden
Rocky Mountain Seed Co
Roots and Rhizomes
Seeds for the World
Seymour's Selected Seeds
Spring Hill Nurseries
The Vermont Bean Seed Company
Tomato Growers Supply
Vermont Bean Seed Co.
Willhite Seed Co.