Monday, August 21, 2017


I harvest my own seeds. It's been a while since new seeds came into my yard, but this year I had a friend who wasn't able to have her own garden so I have several varieties of "new" tomatoes, as well as various summer and winter squash and pie pumpkins. It almost feels like I'm being invaded. :) By seeds and plants, not by people.

I don't want anything in my yard to be genetically modified, and as we move more and more toward a Monsanto controlled and owned food supply the list of things being genetically modified grows every year. Apples, sugar beets, corn, wheat. Several hundred varieties of GMO potatoes were approved a few years ago, and while they are currently "not available to the public" I would prefer not to chance my stocks being contaminated. There are a number of reasons for that, but it comes down to unproved safety, the litigious nature of Monsanto, and distrust of a government supported monopoly. They want complete control of our food supply and I'm not going to participate in that.

The only thing in my yard that could possibly be GMO is the corn, because of pollen drift. Everything else is hand pollinated and bagged, or it's built in such a way that accidental crossing is unlikely/impossible (beans, peppers, tomatoes). I've had most of these seeds for upwards of ten years, and some all my life. Others were gifts from people I know back before those particular items were approved for genetic modification.

My days of indiscriminately collecting seeds at every opportunity are over.

Then there's a little quirk of my property that just seems to kill everything. Seeds don't germinate, or they germinate and die, or the bugs get them. First generation I think I probably have a 30% success rate for most things. Some things grow but never flower. Others flower but never fruit. Some don't grow at all.

I've learned to live with it. It's just one more reason NOT to introduce new plants, because it's the first generation that's like this. If the plant grew on my property and I got seeds, the 2nd generation plants will be better. Third generation seeds will thrive.

I've been growing some unknown variety of watermelons for about five years now. Saved from a watermelon we had at a family gathering when I was maybe fifteen, it has adapted quite well. This year I planted several other varieties and waited anxiously to see the female blossoms. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, before I'd even seen female blossoms, I had three fruit four inches long on the plant from my own seeds. The others were weeks behind.

Adapted. Someday all my food will be adapted to my soil, my wind, my air. And it will be A. Maze. Ing.

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