Answers to all your organic heirloom seeds questions & what organic seed companies to buy from plus the toxins lurking in our environment!
Do you feel lost and confused when it comes to buying organic heirloom seeds for your garden?
If you are like me, you know there is such a thing as organic seeds and you may have even heard of heirloom seeds but you don’t know the difference!
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As I journey towards holistic health and natural living, learning how to start an organic garden is very important for me!
Buying the right organic vegetable seeds is a must!
You can’t call yourself an organic gardener if you are planting chemically laden seeds!
Here’s what you will learn in this article:
- What organic gardening means
- Why organic gardening is important
- How pesticides harm our environment
- The side effects of pesticides, insecticides, & fungicides
- What are heirloom seeds
- What are organic seeds
- A review of 2 organic seed companies
What does organic gardening mean?
Organic gardening involves keeping the soil, seeds, and general environment as natural as possible.
Instead of spraying crops heavily with insecticides, herbicides, and other chemically laden and toxic deterrents, organic gardeners use organic means to grow their crops.
Organic gardeners use manure, mulches, compost, vermicompost and cover crops to enrich soil and help keep away pests.
Companion planting is another popular technique used by organic gardeners to grow strong vegetables and discourage pests.
Natural living gardeners realize that there will be some pest damage with each crop and that is ok!
They also avoid using genetically modified organisms (GMO) plants. GMO plants have had their genes modified oftentimes in order to produce a hardier, more disease resistant crop.
Why is organic gardening important?
Think about what you just read above. Would you rather eat a tomato loaded with toxic chemicals or a tomato grown in rich, mushroom compost?
I know which one I would choose!
Sticking to mother nature is the best way to go!
A huge downfall of the pesticides & herbicides sprayed on fields, is that they eventually find their way into our water systems.
In rural areas that are heavily farmed, up to as high as 62% of the deep water underground have been contaminated (U.S. Department of the Interior).
Almost all of our water supply has been contaminated by toxic chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
In Indiana during the years of 1985-1991, pesticides found in shallow ground water in the spring time was as high as 44% (U.S. Department of the Interior)!
What this means is that the water we drink, bathe, water our plants etc. is probably laden with toxic chemicals!
No wonder Americans are getting so sick and suffering from so many chronic illnesses.
Detoxing your water is an easy but effective step to take towards detoxing your body and your food.
The side effects of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides are vast for both pests and humans!
Why are pesticides so harmful to humans?
One reason is that they can enter your body in 3 ways, through your mouth, skin, or lungs (University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension)!
Another scary component is that you may not necessarily suffer right away from being exposed to pesticides.
Some pesticides harm you long term when exposed to them in small amounts while others are strong enough to harm you after one exposure.
Pesticides can harm you very quickly or over long periods of time.
Here are some symptoms of exposure to fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides:
- headache, feeling tired & dizzy
- nausea, not wanting to eat, stomach cramps & diarrhea
- running eyes, blurred vision
- pupil constriction
- salivating and sweating excessively
- heartbeat that is slow, less than 50 bpm
- shallow muscles contracting under the skin
- irritated skin and mucous membranes
- can’t walk
- chest pain or tightness
- pupils are tightly constricted
- muscle twitching
- unable to stop peeing or pooping
- losing control of bowels
- loss of consciousness
- Deep red rash, skin peeling
- Fluid accumulating in lungs within 24-72 hours which may cause death
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
- Respiratory failure causing death (University of Nebraska)
I don’t know about you but I might it outrageous that these toxic chemicals are allowed in our environment and sprayed on our crops!
The Omaha Poison Center, located at the Children’s Hospital, reported 24% accidental exposure to anhydrous ammonia.
Insecticides were a high 54% and herbicides 22%! Remember these are incidents that are considered accidental!
Think about it:
Kombucha & Kale
If large scale and commercial farmers are intentionally using toxic chemicals on their crops, is exposure truly accidental?
You might recognize popular names such as Roundup, DDT, etc. from the past.
In the U.S. DDT was produced in 1944 by approximately 16 companies (Wikipedia). It was originally created to get rid of mosquitoes that transmitted malaria.
However, it proved to be so toxic, the U.S. actually banned it in 1972!
The Influence of Rachel Carson & Silent Spring
Does that seem like a long time ago? Well those harmful chemicals are still in our natural environment today.
For many years, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides were not regulated. In fact the companies themselves would pay for testing to show that their chemicals were safe!
Talk about conflict of interest!
In her book Carson addressed the ongoing environment problems that she believed were directly caused by the overuse of pesticides.
The chemical companies were furious at Carson, but the public sure weren’t!
When people found out what was going on, they demanded change and slowly regulation of pesticide companies began to take place!
Every month I attend a local beekeepers’ meeting. At the last one, we had a professor with a doctorate come in and speak to us on the widespread use of pesticides today.
She told us that she believed that although Silent Spring was published in 1962, it could just as easily have been published today!
Silent Spring is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s!
The dreary world deprived of fruit, flowers, and vegetation which Carson described in her book is still not too far off!
Pesticide regulation needs to be greatly improved!
When you choose organic gardening you are committing to keep the environment as natural as possible with minimal invasion.
You are committing to creating a safe environmental space for your children and future generations.
Organic gardening strives to maintain Mother Nature’s natural balance.
Which brings us to our main topic, the important reasons on why we should buy organic heirloom seeds.
What are heirloom seeds?
Heirloom seeds are natural seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation since as early as 12,000 years ago!
Heirloom seeds come from plants that grew as nature intended.
Heirloom vegetables and fruits tend to be more delicious and unique than your standard commercialized tomato.
This is because the changes that occur from one set of seed to another is directly related to their environment and what Mother Nature created!
So a heirloom tomato that is raised in Indiana can expect to have different flavor, hardiness, & quality compared to a heirloom tomato raised in Missouri!
Heirloom seeds uniqueness is what makes it so fun to attend a heirloom seed swap.
Heirloom seed swaps or seed exchanges have unique fruit and vegetable seeds you won’t find anywhere else!
What are organic seeds?
The meaning of organic seeds is exactly what it sounds like! Organic seeds cannot be treated with any form of toxic chemicals and must follow government guidelines on what is deemed organic.
Organic seeds must be natural and nonGMO. They can however be hybridized.
Hybridization simply means cross pollinating with other plants so that the best parts of each plant is used.
What is the difference between organic and heirloom seeds?
Heirloom seeds are super cool because you can get them open pollinated and hybridized.
However, hybrids do not produce seeds that can be saved to plant the following year. If you want to practice seed saving keep that in mind!
Open pollinated seeds are seeds that can be saved and planted the next season!
OP seeds produced children plants that mimic the parent plant the year before.
What makes a seed open pollinated?
OP plants are plants that are pollinated by nature whether that be in the form of insects and animals such as bees or bats, or weather such as wind or rain.
Some open pollinated plants pollinate themselves!
Review of Seeds Now
I love this company and in fact it was the first company I ordered seeds from!
First and foremost Seeds Now are committed to providing us with only the best NONGMO seeds or plants!
SeedsNow has even gone so far as to sign a Safe Seed Pledge where they detail how they are protecting their customers and the environment.
“The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats.”
Not only is SeedsNow well aware of the importance of protecting our health and the environment they provide a ton of cool organic and heirloom seed products!
As a beginning organic gardening it can be overwhelming to decide what to plant.
For instance I know I want organic vegetable seeds and my dream is a lovely organic herb garden!
But where should I start?
SeedsNow takes out the guesswork because they have carefully curated many different kinds of seed packages!
SeedsNow cuts out the guesswork by creating generous seed packages!
Some examples of their seed packages are:
- Bunny Garden Variety Seed Pack
- Chicken Garden Variety Pack
- Salsa Garden Variety Pack
- Culinary Herb Seed Bank
- Herbal Medicine Seed Bank
- Homestead Seed Bank
The list above is just a taste of what SeedsNow offers!
Plus as a bonus they almost always include a Freebie!!! I got a free seed pot of roma tomatoes on my last order!
Now let’s talk of another fan favorite not only of mine but of organic gardeners nationwide, Baker Creek!
Review of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is touted as having the largest collection of open pollinated seeds!
Their seeds are pure, natural, nonGMO, and nonpatented!
Looking to save seeds?
OP seeds are the kind you want!
What I especially love about them is their gorgeous seed catalog, see the pic above of mine!
I love to browse through it and dream on how much money I’m going to spend, ha ha!
They do not restrict their choice of seeds to what is available in the U.S. This year’s catalog includes their cool finds from China such as Chinese pink celery and manpukiji carrot from Japan!
Baker Creek seed catalog boasts an inventory of over 1800 rare seeds!
I love that they also stay connected with the community, they have this amazing farm in Mansfield Missouri that I plan to visit soon!
I just discovered that they also have a spring planting festival this May at the farm which gives us an opportunity to interact with over 10,000 gardeners.
Consider me booked!
Plus Baker Creek hosts this absolutely gianormous gardening festival every year in California where you can go and see crops grown from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds.
By the way, I am not sponsored or associated with Baker Creek in any way, I just love their seed products and want to pass on their goodness! You’re welcome!
Deciding what seeds to plant in the spring can be confusing and overwhelming.
Planting organic heirloom seeds provides the assurance that you are providing delicious safe food for your family.
Plus you get the amazing satisfaction of knowing you are protecting our environment for generations to come!
Thank God for amazing seed companies like SeedsNow and Baker Creek!
I enjoy watching my seedlings grow from the organic heirloom seeds I purchased!
Have you followed me on my holistic health journey yet??
If not check the links below and learn along with me!
And as always,
Cheers to your success,