Sunday, January 23, 2011

Future of our food

It's 18* here and we're expecting yet another snow storm this week.  Spring, where are you??!!!  It snowed a couple of inches this past week and you can tell people are tired of shoveling when the driveways are no longer clean shoveled as if it hadn't snowed on it.  Now? Shovel the end of the driveway? Why bother when the cars/trucks can drive right over it! :)

The other night I was having trouble sleeping so I turned on Netflix and decided to watch a documentary called The Future of Food.

It was a real eye opener and will definitely change how you garden if you aren't already using organic, heirloom seeds. I know it totally changed mine!  I guess I should let you know that I'm one of those crazy right wing terrorist Tea Party members :)   I believe in less government involvement in our lives and it really disgusted me because the governments involvement not only effects the food we eat and the farmers who are trying to make a living growing it, but it effects our pockets and puts our future food supply at risk.  It started with genetic engineering and was made worse with the government allowing a company to copyright a seed.  The entire nature of a seed goes against this concept of copyrights.  The wind blows a seed, and it plants itself wherever it lands.  Well, if that seed happens to have a copyright and it blows itself into a farmers field and grows, the government can, will and has, taken all plants from the farmer as if he/she has done something wrong.  How can you control what lands on your field or in your backyard garden?  You can't.  What's next, copyrighting the animals or humans that are cloned in the future?  Don't laugh (ok I'll admit, when they said this in the movie I laughed at first) but our ancestors never would have thought you could copyright seed dna...

Now if copyrighting seed dna isn't disturbing enough, the fact that this one big company genetically engineers seeds using unethical methods is beyond disturbing. They use toxic materials (bacterias, etc) to get certain characteristics to attach itself into the seed cells.  And yes, that includes bug killing chemicals.  Now, imagine growing a plant from a seed that has even cells of a chemical that is engineered to kill bugs.  Now imagine feeding the veggies or fruit from that plant to yourself and your kids.  I just want to be sick!  I will be making great strides to use heirloom, organic seeds going forward.  At least I can control what I grow for my family.

NOW THE FUN PART!!!! Ordering seeds!!!  This just makes me beam from the inside out.  I have extra energy that just lifts my spirits in this frigid cold weather.  I found out we're expecting more snow this week - about 2 feet (NOOOOOOOOoooooo)  so I really need all the uplifting of my spirit as I can get!!

I have decided to go with Seed Savers Exchange because they sell only heirloom seeds and have a trusted reputation for my first go at growing heirloom (and mostly organic) plants.  I particularly looked at seeds that were labeled as organic (a very huge selection) and I have to say, I feel really good about my selections.  The hardest one to pick for me was cucumbers. I don't like pickles and I don't pickle (yet) so I just wanted a regular cuke that I can use with the lettuce I'll be growing.  I'm used to growing a burpless cuke but that was genetically engineered (GE) so I won't be using that anymore.  I'd rather burp then support GE seeds.  Here is my list:

Bean, Sutan's Green Cresent
Bean, Provider
Broccoli, DeCicco
Carrot, Danvers
Corn, Golden Bantam
Cucumber, Bushy
Lettuce, Grandpa Admire's
Lettuce, Rossa di Trento 
Runner Bean, Sunset
Tomato, Martino's Roma
Potato, Yukon Gold

I have decided to create an area to grow potatoes ( They just looked too good to pass up!) and I'm going to have to place my cukes somewhere else since they won't be bush types again (need to find heirloom bush type!) and will need to have a trellis. I've also decided to grow Broccoli instead of Eggplant. No one here really eats eggplant except for me, but I use brocolli often with dinner so that makes more sense.  I'm going to put the Runner Bean by the arched doorway into my backyard so it can climb up the sides of the arch. I thought that would be really interesting as the flowers are beautiful, but it grows veggies. 
And the adventures begin again!