this year, i am on a mission...
i am going to make every effort to grow only from open pollinated planted seed this year. i will make every effort to avoid purchased starts. i will start every last plant myself. i will consider trading and/or bartering starts with like minded farm and garden folk. sound simple, it is not so simple.
lots can go wrong - plant too soon or too late and a whole crop could be lost to weather, hungry feeding bad bugs, disease or to conditions a plant may not be prepared to overcome in it's first generational go.
planting is tough, planting for some is a science. for me planting is built upon a leap of faith. i work from instinct a lot. i research and read a great deal but i do not treat extension suggestions or garden books as wrote bibles never to vear from - the climate here is central texas is too varied to do so.
a lot of what i've learned in the past 4+ years has been from my few successes and surprising opps-es did not know that would work there, at this time of year, but more from my many many gardening failures.
i did not keep detailed records last year as well as i should have and the ole' memory ain't as sharp as she used to be. in order to save seed, i need to know exactly what the seed is. so for a number of goods, i need to start clean with open pollinated seed - no hybrids - nothing unknown - only open pollinated clean grown traceable seed.
there is good news - i do have record and saved seed from a good number of the goods currently growing and/or grown this past season. these seeds will stay in the mix.
i wonder if i will endure this goal set forth for myself - no purchased starts - none - it is a daunting goal. i wonder if placing here in print will keep me honest. i think not. i think the honesty is going to play out in my daily action and my determination toward a truly sustainable gardening existence. saving seeds is important to me. i imagine i will just have to make an endured effort to remind myself of the importance of saving one's own seed when "start" temptation strikes.
so when looking through seed catalogs, i ponder heritage, i ponder bee friendliness, i ponder regional survival rates, i ponder heat, drought, disease and other local challenges the seed/plant may face, i ponder the growth and fruiting rates, i ponder space, soil, fertility and water, i ponder long-day, short-day needs and i ponder the types of food i hope to enjoy and to preserve in the years to come.
in the pondering of the above, i ponder seed companies, their goals, their beliefs and their practices. i am looking for informed folks with a great deal of integrity who run an honest and fair business. i ponder all this before falling in love with a particular bean or tomato or the perfect radish. i ponder sustainability.
* * * * * * * *
i bought my seeds today from the sustainable seed company. these folks are the real deal. if you are looking for open pollinated seeds, this is one place to check out. their goals are thoughtful and forward thinking. it is my pleasure to tip my business their way.
here's a bit about the dreams, goals and morals of the sustainable seed folk
here's a bit about the dreams, goals and morals of the sustainable seed folk
- Growing what we sell or supporting trusted sustainable organic heirloom seed farmers here in America. We want to be the best vegetable seed company. In 2010, we pledge to offer at least 30 percent of our own organic heirloom seed, grown with organic, sustainable practices here in California. Our goals are to offer 70 percent by 2011 and be totally sustainable as a seed company by 2012.
- Not selling F1 hybrid seed, imported seed, treated seed or genetically modified organisms. We sell only heirloom open-pollinated seed that you can save for your future food needs. Learn to save seed and ensure a healthy food supply for your family.
- Spreading as much genetic diversity as possible by offering you as many heirloom seed varieties as we can at a price you can afford. This is why you will find most of our organic heirloom seed varieties for $.99! Please, if you have a variety that you think is in danger of being lost: send us as many seeds as possible, tell us the story behind the seed and how you got it and tell us how it grows. Please make sure to give us your phone # and email in case we have more questions.
- Putting the ability to grow your own food back in your hands by not only supplying open-pollinated heirloom seeds at a reasonable price, but giving you the educational resources you need to be successful. We will offer how-to videos, books, DVD s and pdfs on this site. Ensuring your success in growing and saving heirloom seeds. We believe this makes us one of the best vegetable seed companies out there.
Controlling our food source: You will find not only vegetable seed but many life-sustaining grain seeds. Why? We need to start choosing how and what we eat, not be dictated to by corporate seed companies and their boardroom executives. We will continue to grow more of our own food and support others who do—and those foods can be grains, fruits, vegetables, and everything we need to live healthy lives. We will assist communities where people share goods, open-pollinated heirloom seeds, and services.
NO Printed Seed Catalog: We are only offering an on-line catalog. Catalog retailers send out 20 billion catalogs a year, and almost none of the paper contains any recycled content. Instead, over 8 million tons of trees a year go into catalogs alone—which means 8 million tons of trees are going from forests to the landfill, with a short appearance as junk mail in between. What does that mean?
1 ton of virgin printing paper for catalogs uses 24 trees. Now take the number above of 8 million tons used a year and you get 192,000,000 trees that are killed every year so you can thumb through a catalog!! That is roughly 640,000 acres of trees and forest ecosystems destroyed for JUST catalogs. How in good conscious could you or anyone participate in this behavior?
To put that into perspective, that is almost the entire state of Rhode Island being cut down every year for catalogs. These are not just trees, but entire ecosystems of living beings that are destroyed for catalogs. Our mission to green the planet, not de-green it. Not to destroy life, but to help create it. We will not be a part of this irresponsible behavior. Yes, we might lose some customers to this policy, but someone has to take the first step in making a change. We are NOT driven by the dollar but by our consciousness and the knowledge that human beings can do better in the world. Our company vows to leave the smallest footprint possible on this planet as possible. In fact we hope to green more than we take. We are after all a seed company!
Supporting pollinators: Pollinators all around the world have been disappearing at alarming numbers due in no small part to pesticides and ill effects of GMOs, another reason we use no chemicals in any part of our business. We maintain beehives in our fields because we care about what is happening to bees. We are beekeepers—we even run a free bee rescue service. How many other seed companies do you know with their own bees? Bees pollinate at least a third of our seed crop. Without them we would be doing a great deal of hand pollination to create heirloom seeds. We owe a great debt to the humble bee and other natural pollinators. We are constantly asking ourselves how we can be the best vegetable seed company and this is just one way we are doing that.
We want to enrich people’s lives through community, and we want to build communities. Literally! There are many organic farmers in California who can no longer afford to feed their families or to buy land. We face the no-land problem ourselves, and so do many of our friends. During every gathering someone always says, "If we only had land…"
We want to give people a way to feed themselves and a source of income. Growing heirloom open-pollinated seed can do both.
We want to put land back in the hands of organic farmers. This is the reason we buy from individual seed growers. If we use the money we get from you to buy heirloom seeds from small American organic farmers, the money goes back to where it belongs. We do not buy "cheap" foreign seed like other seed companies.
We want to buy land to farm organically and put it into a nonprofit that would give several families a place to live and work. This is key to sustainable living. Their fuel consumption would drop substantially, and that savings would spread as other cottage industries are born on the land that would serve the great community around. For instance, one of our heirloom seed growers runs a CSA that feeds a large, extended community. She also sells her surplus to local restaurants, thus keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. I'm sure we’ve all heard the figure now that most of our food travels an average of 1,500 miles!
We want to help the process of creating local heirloom seed banks in each community. If people are going to have the ability to feed themselves, they need genetically viable heirloom seed banks to draw from. We pledge to donate all year-end seed packages to seed banks, and as soon as we are able to “pay the bills” we intend to start doing far more. Watch our monthly newsletter to see how we are impacting communities with your support. If you are in Northern California, come volunteer to help start one of our many programs! Get involved—this is YOUR community.
We want to help educate people about heirloom seeds. We’ll support local organic programs that are already in place, and we would like to help produce weekend classes, booklets, and DVDs that make this information available to a wider audience. We want to create demonstration gardens that not only teach but feed.
There is so much to do. This business is merely a mechanism to help people start feeding themselves. It is an answer to such questions as “What do we do? How do we effect change in our community?” I’m not sure where this little seed company will lead us, but I hope it is to a more enriched life, one filled with the joy in children’s eyes as they harvest their first pumpkin, and the laughter echoing through the community kitchen as the first harvest is prepared to serve at the senior citizens center. The truth is that I will be able to give back some of the love and support I was so freely given. If this world needs anything right now, it is for all of us to step up and give back. This next decade will be a hard one for the world. A seed is hope. It contains the possibility of a new life and great abundance. Hope and possibility lie not only in seeds but in the soul of every person. With your help, we will begin to build the communities we need for a richer future.
Love, Farmer John
|KU||Product||Item price||Quantity||Total |
|SKU16268||Christmas Pole Bean Seed |
|SKU16273||Dwarf Horticulture Taylor Bean Seeds |
|SKU16342||Broad Windsor Fava Bean Seed |
|SKU16170||Red Mammoth Fodder Beet Seeds |
|SKU16144||Fordhook Giant Chard Seeds |
|SKU16341||Sunflower, Hungarian Black Seeded||$2.99||1||$2.99|
|SKU16344||Braco Mustard |
|SKU16375||Grain Sorghum |
|SKU16373||White Proso Millet |
|SKU16376||Black Sesame |
|SKU16626||Rox Orange Syrup Cane||$3.99||1||$3.99|
|SKU16309||Dundale Pea |
|SKU16211||Red Burgundy Okra Seed |
|SKU16209||Clemson Spineless 80 Okra Seed |
|SKU16100||Oregon Sugar Pod II |
|SKU16648||Isis Candy Cherry Dry Farm||$3.99||1||$3.99|
|SKU16652||Stupice Dry Farmed||$3.99||1||$3.99|
|SKU16661||Black Krim DF||$3.99||1||$3.99|
|SKU16263||Black Diamond Watermelon Seeds |
|SKU16223||Connecticut Field Pumpkin Seeds |
|SKU16258||Large Red Cherry Tomato||$1.99||1||$1.99|
|SKU16371||Fennel Finocchio Romanesco |
|SKU16323||Columbianum Wildform Tomato Seeds||$2.99||1||$2.99|
|SKU16561||Crane Melon Seed||$2.99||1||$2.99|
|SKU16216||Cayenne Long Red Thin Pepper |
|SKU16725||Gold Ball Turnip Seeds |
|SKU16157||Giant Italian Parsley |
|SKU16402||Armenian Cucumber The Duke||$3.99||1||$3.99|
|SKU16746||Ashley Cucumber Seed||$2.99||1||$2.99|
|SKU16269||Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean Seed |
|SKU16360||Monstorpolgi Celeriac |
|SKU16188||Tendersweet Carrot Seed |
|SKU16186||Little Fingers Carrot Seed |