When it comes to seeds and gardening, you’ve probably heard the terms “heirloom”, “organic”, “GMO”, “non-gmo”, “hybrid”, and more. Here are the basics of what those terms mean and what you should have to be able to feed yourself and your family.
Heirloom – it means the original seeds our great, great, great, grandparents used to plant fruit and vegetables. The plants these seeds grow will have a crop from which we can take their seeds, replant them and continue the cycle for hundreds of years. We want these kinds of seeds.
Organic – Organic means it is left alone as nature intended it to be. No one has altered the genetic make up of the plant, thereby creating Hybrid seeds. We want Organic seeds, not Hybrid seeds.
GMO, Non-GMO – GMO means Genetically Modified Organisms, meaning it has been altered and crossed with a species not from its original structure, such as merging fish cells with corn cells. We don’t want GMO seeds, we want Non-GMO seeds, as these have not been altered.
Hybrid – this is a term which also means GMO, meaning the structure of the seed has been altered in such a way the fruits and vegetables it creates has seeds, but they will not be able to grow anything from those seeds. The M******* and D***** companies started creating Hybrids in the 90’s so you’d have to rebuy seeds from them every year (and they sell seeds under the names of dozens of small seed companies). Money is one thing, but much more important is the fact that these hybrids have not been tested long term on humans so we don’t know how they affect our bodies.
So the solution is to buy, Heirloom, Organic, Non-GMO, Non-Hybrid Garden and fruit seeds. Then you will have fruits and vegetables that reproduce year after year with seeds that our ancestors used hundreds of years ago. Our government is trying to outlaw Heirloom seeds, so we strongly suggest getting some so you are stocked up on Heirloom seeds. Also remember to never plant more than half your seeds, because if a freeze, drought or blight comes through and kills your garden, you’ll still have seeds remaining, hence it is always important to be a seed saver and save 10% of your harvest to return to you many more seeds for next years planting.
A final thought on the longevity of seeds. Seeds can last basically forever — proof of which is people found wheat seeds in the Egyptian pyramids which were left in there for over 3500 years. They took those seeds and planted them and they sprouted. An Egyptian pyramid is the epitamy of a cool and dark place. Keep your seeds cool and dark. Some people store their seeds in a refrigerator or freezer. That is not required if you have a cool place to keep them, such as a root celler or a basement. If you live in a hot desert climate without a basement, such as Arizona or California, you might consider using a fridge or freezer.