Archive for October, 2012

October 21, 2012

Save a Seed

by Cynthia

       I’ve been like a confused bear,                 hibernating at the wrong time of the year.     A stubborn illness kept me  indoors for much of September, and I’ve emerged from my den to find the world awash in the vibrant colors of Autumn. The woods on our farm are decorated in the soft burnished gold of the maple trees and  the crimson of the wild vines meandering          up the trunks of big  trees and fence posts. The persimmon trees are heavy with pale orange fruit, and I’m hoping for an early frost so we can make some persimmon jam before the deer get all the goodies.

I finally got the summer garden put to rest, all the raised beds enriched with a big dose of peat and covered with the cardboard I’ve been saving all year.  The cardboard protects the soil and by next spring will be decomposed enough to turn into the soil as compost.

In my former life as a city dweller, things like cardboard boxes, newspapers and plastic jugs went into the recycling bin. Egg shells and coffee grounds and used paper towels went into the trash. Now that we are farmers, those kinds of things have become valuable commodities. Rainwater, manure, paper and wood scraps all get re-used and re-purposed.  It’s amazing how wasteful we humans can be when we aren’t keeping the big picture in mind. Or when we don’t have a garden in the backyard, which I’m hoping all of you do!

Perhaps our most valuable commodity is our seed supply, and it’s in peril. I’ve been reading Janisse Ray’s new book, The Seed Underground- A Growing Revolution to Save Food and I’ve been convicted to stop buying seed from the Big Three of Big Ag: Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta. These three multinational companies own the majority of our food supply in that they own our seeds.  Most seeds we buy are genetically modified and patented by one of these companies, and the Big Guys do not like seed savers!  From now on, I intend to only purchase and plant heirloom seeds and to save as many of my own seeds for replanting as possible. Seeds from my favorite tomato, a little yellow gem named Garden Peach are drying on a paper towel in the kitchen right now. My grandma would be proud. She would also laugh at the idea of seed saving as “revolutionary”. It was standard practice in her day.

Gardeners revolt! Join the revolution to save our food supply from manipulation and control. Heirloom fruits and vegetables may not look as pretty as those rubbery beauties you find in the grocery store, but guess what? They taste DELICIOUS.

Go to seedsavers.org to find out more about seed saving, and to join a network of other gardeners dedicated to growing real food.  Now that fall is here and the winter greens are in the ground, there is finally time for sitting on the porch listening to the wind rustle the leaves before they finally dry up and let go. A reading rec for your porch sitting time is Janisse Ray’s memoir Anatomy of a Cracker Childhood. It’s a great read!