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Why Buying Locally Produced Seed is Important!

We try very hard not to buy seed from growers who are surrounded by known GMO crops. Several well-known heirloom seed companies are located in Oregon. This area of Oregon has had a burgeoning seed business for many years. The challenge is GM crops moved in years ago. There is an estimated 5,000,000 acres of GM crops now planted in this fertile area of Oregon.

Many of the new crops being planted like the GM sugar beets have pollen grains that can float on the breeze for miles. Recently in this area of Oregon, for example, bagged bark mulch was found to have GM beet seeds. Imagine laying down bark mulch in your garden only to discover you were growing GM crops! Would a corporate giant come after you for “stealing” their seed? Or more horrifying, what if this seed contaminated any seed you were trying to save? You see, this is just one of the issues facing heirloom seed growers these days. How do we keep GM crops from contaminating our seed crops?

Where does your heirloom seed company get its seed? Seed companies say they travel the world to collect exotic seeds. Many heirloom seed companies out there tout having hundreds of varieties, but did you ever stop and think where they are coming from? It may sound great at first that you are getting a rare seed variety from China, but did you know that there is an estimated 9.3 million acres of GM crops in China?

It is well known that the prices are much cheaper for seed abroad, but then again, so might be the quality of the seed. In many of these countries there is little regulation to ensure seed quality. In fact, to import many of these seeds into the U.S. our government requires them to be chemically treated (fumigated) to kill any harmful pest or pathogens. Are you buying treated seeds?

Then there is the whole issue of sending our money abroad. That is the whole reason we have such a foreign trade deficit now. Do you really want to support farmers in another country when our family farmers are literally “losing the farm"? It is important to support local farmers to grow our food and seed crops. We don’t need to transport our food or seed crops for thousands of miles using petroleum when it is grown right here.

More important than all of the above listed issues is just the plain fact that farmers have known for hundreds of years…plants grown and acclimated to your area just plain perform better. Any good gardener knows this. I used to spend hours as a kid seeking out heirloom varieties from old gardeners, not because I knew what an heirloom seed was, but because it produced better. These plants have acclimated to the area and the strongest survived to pass on their genes. These seeds were coveted and passed down through family lines.

So you see that there are many things to consider the next time you buy seeds. I can’t claim that we don’t have some level of GM contamination. Although we strive hard to prevent that, we were recently told by a climatologist that the #1 form of pollution they now find in air-born samples is GMO pollen. How do I as a seed grower prevent what is raining down from the sky? There is no easy answer. However, I can tell you this.

  • We do not knowingly grow/buy seed that is surrounded by GM crops.
  • We do not buy seed from abroad. We support local farmers and their families. When you buy seed from us, you are supporting these California Families.
  • We grow local seed that California gardens will succeed with.
  • We don’t chemically treat our seeds, and because we don't import seed, it is not fumigated or irradiated.
  • We grow seed without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • We farm in a sustainable, water conscious and environmentally responsible manner.

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