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Our Growers

heirloom seeds usa

  • Quarantine Treatments: There are heirloom seed companies out there that get their seed from many foreign countries. Some even brag about it, but do you understand what it takes to bring in foreign seed from another country? Our government learned long ago that many devastating, unwanted diseases, weed seed and insect pests can hitch a ride in these seed shipments. So the government has reserved the right to treat seeds brought into this country. Sometimes hot air or water can be used, which, if even off by a few degrees can damage germination results. However, many times fumigants like methyl bromide, HCN, phosphine and EDCT (ethylene dichloride + carbon tetrachloride mixture) can be used.

  • Supporting Local Farmers and Local Economies: You make a choice every time you spend a dollar. It is like casting a vote, if you will. When you buy seed from heirloom seed companies who obtain their seed from other countries, you are making a choice to fund farmers in far away lands. For example: an estimated 84,000 acres of agriculture production and 22,285 jobs have been moved to Mexico from the United States. This is just one country. We have all learned the importance of supporting our local economy these days as our foreign trade deficit continues to rise and your neighbors, family and friends lose their jobs. American farmers are literally losing their farms to the choices you make.
    Please support us in growing and buying seed from American farmers.
  • Pesticides, Herbicides, Fertilizer and Fungicides: Seed grown in foreign countries uses a staggering amount of chemicals for production. Consumption of insecticide in India, which was to the tune of 22,013 tonnes in 1971, has increased to 51,755 tonnes by 1994-95.  That's more than a 100% increase.  This usage largely goes unchecked, and in fact is encouraged because multinational companies have purposely located their giant chemical plants here due to the lack of regulations --oftenf with horrible consequences. Consider the Bhopal disaster that took place at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. At midnight on 3 December 1984, the plant released an estimated 42 tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing more than 500,000 people to MIC and other chemicals. The first official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[1] Others estimate 8,000-10,000 died within 72 hours and 25,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. (source Wikipedia) The human and environmental cost for "cheap" foreign seed is tremendous. In reality it is not cheap, but very costly. You support this type of devastation when you buy foreign seed.
  • Plant Survivability: Plants have evolved in certain locations throughout the world. They are local to those areas. We as humans have moved these plants all over the world and cultivated them for hundreds of years. That being said, we have learned that certain plants grown in certain areas do better than others. For example, tomatoes are originally from South America; they like heat. Over time, many Eastern European countries have bred tomatoes more suited to their cooler climates. The heat-loving tomatoes died off, and what was left thrived (simply put). Here in the California Wine Country we can have similar conditions, so not only grapes, but these tomatoes do extremely well here. However, if, when buying tomato seeds, my heirloom seed company gets the same variety, say, from India because they are cheaper, I then have a tomato that has been grown in the heat and humidity of India. The likelihood that it will perform here in our dry and cool climate is very slim. As a gardener, I want seed that has been farmed in my area for generations, because for generations, the superior plants that did well had seed collected from them and were replanted. The next year the same thing happened and over time you develop a plant that is superior to your region. The lesson is to obtain local seed, whether it is from our company or not. Support your local farmers and foster future farmers. The future of food is in your hands.
  • Global Resources, Deforestation and Petroleum Use: As I stated above, you make a choice when you purchase not only seeds, but any product. The question we ask ourselves is how sustainable is our choice? In other words, does it make sense to buy from a seed company that funds farmers who destroy rain forest to grow cheap seed? What about the chemical fertilizers and pesticides they poison the ground with by the ton? What about the species that die off from said chemicals or the deforestation? What about the amount of petroleum used to get that seed to market and what it does to our planet? Transportation is the third highest emitter of greenhouse gas. Cargo ships run on "bunker fuel," the dirtiest, cheapest product that remains after gas and other high-grade fuels are refined from crude oil. Bunker fuel contains up to 5,000 times more sulfur than diesel. As a result, according to Bluewater Network, a division of Friends of the Earth, a single container ship emits more pollution than 2,000 diesel trucks! Then there are the chemicals that are used again to treat the seeds when they get to the US. The list goes on. The question is why would you support any company to continue to do this when you can buy your seed (and most other products) right at home?

We grow and buy our seed in the US. Just as we have made a choice not to destroy forests by printing a paper seed catalog, we have made a choice not to sell foreign seed for similar reasons. We consider these choices sustainable. We hope these choices ensure that future generations will have the same natural wonder that surrounds us today.

Ask your seed company where it gets it seed from. Stop contributing to rain forest destruction, global warming and the loss of American jobs. Help us to continue to support local farm families. The choice IS yours to make.

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