Friday, January 23, 2009

The Future of our Future

Seed ordering time is one of my favorite parts of the gardening process. I love getting the catalogs, perusing thru the pretty photos and circling things I'd like to try growing. We usually try planting at least one new veggie or variety of something common - like purple beans or striped eggplant. It's fun to see the myriads of colors and shapes and sizes of vegetables that we would never have access to in the supermarket.

Unfortunately, it has now become more than just a pleasant diversion from the norm. Ordering...planting...and saving seeds has become an important act of defiance against big Ag and all that is wrong with industrial farming in this country. What companies we choose to order from and where our seeds come from will have an impact on the future of food here and all over the world. With companies like Monsanto seeking to monopolize or destroy every seed on earth, it is imperative to become educated and take steps against this evil giant.

Here's an excerpt from one of the articles about Monsanto that is reason enough to avoid their products (and we now try to avoid buying anything connected with the company).......

But even if the GE-seeds were wonderful and all that was promised, the real problem with them are the patents they come with. The biotech companies are monopolizing seeds themselves, actually privatizing the DNA of life. They sell the GE-seeds at many times the price of normal seeds. In India, where Bt-cotton farmers have been committing suicide in huge numbers because of debt, Monsanto sells Bt-cotton seed at 1000% higher than normal seeds.

And the seeds come with a contract that must be signed, preventing farmers from collecting seeds off their own land at the end of the season - an historic rupture of humankind's free access to natural growth. For it is important to notice that the biotech multinationals are not just claiming a patent on their process of altering the seeds but claim to own growth itself.

As astounding a move as that is on human resources of survival, they are doing more. They are removing actively and aggressively and thoroughly removing access to normal "open pollinated" seeds, the ones we have known since the beginning of time, that farmers have collected and saved and shared among each other.

In the Midwest, where Monsanto sells GE-corn and GE-soy and now owns most of it, it also bought up the "normal seed" companies so farmers no longer have places to go for normal corn or soy. And though GE-corn cross pollinates over miles and miles with normal corn so maintaining organic corn is nearly impossible now, if its GE-crop is found on a farmer's land, Monsanto sues. It's a rare farmer who can stand up them, even if the farmer has done nothing wrong.

Please full article...and get really angry. But then, realize that you can DO something. These may seem like small things but the impact will be huge....

...Stop buying from seed companies that do business with Monsanto and if you are unsure....ask the companies where they get their seed (Seminis was just bought by Monsanto....use that name and see if you get a reaction). When you consider that between 85-90% of seeds sold can be traced back to this single entity, it will be difficult to avoid their products. But it can be done, and the more we all make the effort the easier it will become.

...Join Seed Savers, a wonderful organization committed to preserving garden biodiversity and nurturing our fragile genetic heritage....and a great place to buy seeds.

...Save your own seeds, something I am definitely going to be doing more of in the future.

For this year, I am really happy to have found another resource.....

Freedom gardens has put together a list of seeds to order on their new website. Tho the site is not up and running it is still possible to order the seeds....Yippee yahoo.

We will also be ordering from ....

Seed Savers Exchange

Seeds of Change (owned by MARS candy company, but still committed to organic)
Peaceful Valley


Chorus said...

Thanks for sharing this information. Unbelievable.

Julie said...

I'm with Chorus...unbelievable!

Mike said...

I'm sure you've seen just about every site out there, but just thought I'd pass on this one.
I know much of it is just customer comments, but you can weed through the junk and get some decent info.