A Seed Saga

I know I’m not supposed to be buying Burpee and Ferry-Morse seeds. But, I do.

Short Version – The Monsanto Company supplies most of the major seed companies in the US. (There are lists out there you can check.) Monsanto is one of the major players in the genetically altered food world. Of course, much of that genetic altering concerns bigger and better disease-resistant crops. However, it also involves altering plants so they produce only sterile seeds. No seed saving. You have to buy new every year. Sounds absurd, right? Unfortunately, it’s true. You can watch the documentary for the full scoop, if you like.

So. Knowing what I know, I continue to buy these seeds. The bottom line is that while there are alternatives to Monsanto seeds (seed-saving swap clubs and such), these things are an enormous pain, and I have enough things in my life that are an enormous pain. In the defensive department, I figure it this way – I raise happy hens and produce eggs. I compost. I grow at least some of my own food. I pump my own water. Hell, I make soap. I figure I’m ahead of the curve.

Doesn’t make it any less icky, does it? At any rate, no need to debate it too much. Just putting it out there. I buy my seeds at the store because they’re on sale for ninety-nine cents, because it’s easy, and because I like to look on the back of the package at have all the growing info in front of me. Now. What say we flip-flop this post into something fun and positive?

It’s totally going to be planting crazy around here! I can’t wait! Last Summer, I was busy tearing down our old house. (Proud of the fact that we did it, but it still sucked.) This Summer is totally going to be about planting things, having fun, and spending time in my canoe.

A sunflower forest behind the pyramids of beans and peas. Awesome. Radishes, zucchini, Simpson lettuce, Danvers carrots. New white pines and spruces added to the yard. More lupins in the side bed. Also in the food department, I’ll plant a pot full of Italian parsley and basil, but I’ll buy those as starts. Too short a growing season up here to grow herbs from seed.

I’ll be starting some of the vegetables as seedlings indoors. That will start in mid-March, each being started a particular number of weeks before planting – the first week in June.

I have a handy chart for when to start each vegetable in the most awesome book ever – Storey’s Basic Country Skills. RV living has its upsides sometimes – shallow windows surrounding the whole living room/kitchen, up high, and facing South. I think the seeds will sprout just fine. The Sun really blasts right in here.

* * *

And now, a little blog business. I’ve made some good friends via my blog, Twitter, and forums that I belong to. I’ve always found that blog and forum-like communities are very supportive. (I’m totally buttering you up.) My awesome friend Neil just started a blog, and you should read it because he’s smart, he wants to move North, and he’s real nice. It’s over here (or just look for Neil’s name in the sidebar to the right.)



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6 responses to “A Seed Saga

  1. Boy, is this relevant to me. I’ve been thinking about my spring planting, and have been hearing about Monsanto. I despise that company– I hate genetically-modified foods but I hate monopolies and power-hungry creeps, too. They want ot control the world’s food supply, and no one’s stopping them. I can feel the blood boiling already.

    I get my seeds from Johnny’s. I’m still looking to see if Monsanto supplies them.

  2. I get my seeds from Johnny’s and Fedco. Fill in with “local” seeds from Agway if necessary.

  3. themac

    That’s a lot of sunflowers!! I wish I know – I have a full canning jar of seeds from a sunflower head from a friend’s garden last year.

    I got my seeds from Gurney’s since they had a deal I couldn’t resist. Spend $50 and get $25 off that order – SOLD!! I just started some indoor lettuce and spinach that will mature in 40 days. But I will need to start another bunch to be transplanted to the garden which needs to double in size. Now I wonder if Gurney’s seeds are from Monsanto…those jerks!

  4. I’m determined to do a total sunflower forest this year. I actually need to get more seeds. LOL And I still have to decide on annuals. I’m trying to get away from them though. Other than a few annuals for hanging baskets, I may just spend the extra money to add more perennials.

  5. I love the idea of a sunflower forest!

    Here in the UK there’s the real seed company – I bought quite a lot of their seeds this year as you can harvest seeds for next year (if you have the time 🙂 )

  6. Wow. I watched the whole documentary – yikes! Thanks for enlightening me…holy moly…

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