January 23, 2017

Grandma’s Guide to Growing Non-GMO

By Grandma Barton

My family is wheat proud. My great, great, great grandparents traveled from Germany to United States, through Ukraine, seeking cheap land and religious independence. They brought the famous “winter wheat” to the farmlands in America. They worked long, hard days farming vast tracts of rich land in Kansas to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

A hard work ethic has been passed down through the generations, but the seeds haven’t. Farmers used to produce seeds and guard their crops, but agriculture has been reduced to breeding seeds in research centers by government organizations – or worse, by Monsanto.

To maximize profits, Monsanto required farmers to buy new seed every year instead of saving them, so that traditional seed lines became less available. Up until Monsanto’s new era of agriculture, farmers were able to buy seed and claim a royalty, saving successive generations of seed for planting on their own farms – and passing down the generations.

No longer does the American farm breed and save their own corn, canola or soybean seeds.  They don’t dare.  And now, literally hundreds of years and generations of traditional plant breeding have been lost forever.  If farmers want to keep their farms and continue being farmers, they must agree contractually not to save successive generations of seed, but instead buy new seed yearly.

To ensure profitability, Monsanto protects its soybeans, corn, cotton and canola genes with contracts from farmers and are generous to prosecute if there is any seed infringement or contract violation.

Basically, all the crops the farmers grow are literally owned by a few multi-national corporations.  You must not only buy their seed, but you may have to pay for the right to grow it, too. It is no longer possible to save pure, non-GMO open-pollinated seeds anywhere that GMO seeds are sown. And if you save seed or propagate any of the plants vegetatively or save its seed, you may find yourself face to face with a lawsuit and a very real threat of going to jail for patent infringement.

Options are disappearing…so are the farmers. They are going out of business they can’t make it in the face of markets manipulated by corporations. These corporations are being to resemble the tight grip my ancestors tried to escape.

Enjoying Organic Garden of ‘Eatin

If you want to protect America’s food sources, save farmers, decrease the amount of pesticides you and your family consume, and to help protect the environment from overloading with toxic chemicals, then avoid genetically modified foods.

But, buying organic produce can get a bit expensive. Luckily, there’s a way to grow your own delicious, fresh non-GMO produce: organic gardening! This can be anything from a small area with a few shelves, some pots, potting soil and to larger, more elaborate set ups with automatic irrigation, grow lights, etc.

Safe seeds are the most important part of a GMO-free garden. Although most vegetable seeds on the market are not GMO, it’s good to take the precautionary measure of buying the safest seeds possible. Look for seeds from companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge, which say that the company is committed to providing non-GMO seeds.

The companies listed HERE have signed the Safe Seed Pledge and are committed to preserving the integrity of out seed supply.

If you plant a garden and order from a seed catalog, here’s a quick guide to help you decipher organic, hybrid and open-pollinated seed descriptions.

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