Friday, January 11, 2008

How to feel good about the world by reading a seed catalogue

High Mowing Organic Seeds. Four words that represent hope for the future of agriculture. From the opening letter:

What has happened over the last 30 years is nothing short of miraculous. The sheer increase in organic farms and the young people that are returning to the farm gives me great hope for our bountiful and healthy future.

We are a new generation of farmers! No matter what our age or how new we are to it, we are all leaders in moving toward a future in which we can be proud. So, grow! Grow like your life depended on it.

Their "safe seed pledge" heartens me.

For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.

And get this! They are also out to save varieties of seeds.

Winter Bloomsdale [spinach], a once widely available cold-hardy selection of Bloomsdale Longstanding (19 sources in 1981, 7 sources in 2004, 0 in 2006) was suddenly gone. We sold it for a number of years until our supplier had ceased production. Having only five remaining seed packets, we planted them in a secured spot for stock seed production and carefully transplanted every seedling. Shortly thereafter, Woody Deryckx (proprietor of Mt. Baker Organic Seed Growers, Oregon and long-time spinach grower) jumped at the opportunity to do a production from our stock seed, as he had been looking for the seed for several years. We are proud to say that Woody reports the variety to be in good shape, and now available to you!

They have also saved the Ali Baba watermelon. And they also offer four varieties of plants that have been selected for Renewing America's Food Traditions - RAFT - Slow Food Ark of Taste.

With up to 63% of America's native crop varieties having disappeared,the goal of RAFT, as the country's first eco-gastronomic conservation project, is to help preserve and restore the diversity of our food traditions.

The four varieties they sell which are recognized by RAFT are Boothby Blonde (an heirloom cucumber from Maine), Amish Paste Tomato, and Moon and Stars Watermelon, along with Roy's Calais Flint Corn, a Vermont heirloom.

Bravo and hooray!

5 comments:

  1. I love your entry title! We all need to find something to "fill this bill," don't we? You found it, with a great seed catalogue. :-)

    Mari-Nanci

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  2. Nan, I agree with you whole-heartedly. The enthusiam your post shows for this seed supplier echoes the way I feel each year as I select seeds from Seed Savers:

    http://seedsavers.org/

    This is a really important turning point in agriculture.

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  3. Not only do they "ease the bite of any winter", seed catalogues are one of my favorite ways to pass the time, in any season. It is wonderful to know that there is such an increased interest in organic farming, and in protecting "safe seeds".

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  4. Since you are now dreaming over seed catalogues, I'll add my two cents: my favorite is the Seed Savers Exchange (www.seedsavers.org) and while I've had mixed success with their seeds, I'm enchanted with Grandpa Ott's morning glories and Mother Stallard's beans.

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  5. We need to act on all of this (genetically modified/herbicde-resistant seeds) immediately. What with all of the uninspected fruits and vegetables pouring into our food supply from third world countries (namely, China), where there are no inpsections for health and safety, and the use of harmful insecticides and herbicides are used regularly, it becomes our responsibility to take a stand in oider to insure the future health and well-being of our families.

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