Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds for Gardening

I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but always longed to live in the country. My dad was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania until his parents moved to Cupertino, CA when he was in high school. (Hence "country" in my blood! I swear it is genetic.)

The variety of seeds inn Ark's Survival Seeds Pack
We had a large garden, and we raised chickens until the city passed an ordinance in the early 1980s that made it illegal to have farm animals within the city limits. But we continued to have a large garden. Each of us kids got our own small "plot" to choose what we wanted to plant.

One of my fondest childhood memories was the hot summer nights when my dad would get us out of bed to "hear the corn grow". We could hear it crackling and popping. This would happen in July and August when the corn would grow so fast -- sometimes more than 4" in a single night!  My dad (who knew everything back then) explained that during the day under the hot sun, the plants would suck up all the life-giving energy from the sun, and when it cooled off at night, the photosynthesis process would begin -- it would take all that energy and.... GROW. We were so amazed at the miracles that we were able to witness in our garden.

This is how the seeds come packaged
Now I am an adult. Being an avid gardener, a Mormon and having a desire to become self reliant, I totally jumped at the chance to get these heirloom survival seeds. I already garden and am pretty proficient at growing my own food and preserving it by canning, freezing and dehydrating. I also can make many dishes with my fresh produce, and can chop, steam, sautee' and roast various vegetables and fruits (yes, cucumbers and tomatoes are fruits!).

And because I am a huge proponent of non-GMO, natural foods and nutrition, I can put my stamp of approval on these Ark Survival Seeds.I recommend them for a variety of reasons:

Here are all the varieties included
  • They are heirloom. What does that really mean? The term heirloom is used to describe any type of seed that has been saved and grown for a period of years and is passed down by the gardener that preserved it. It has a provenance, of sorts. To be capable of being saved, all heirloom seeds must be open pollinated. Open pollinated plants are simply varieties that are capable of producing seeds that will produce seedlings just like the parent plant. Not all plants do this.
  • They are non-GMO. It is true that when you go to the store to buy seeds for your backyard garden, you most likely won't be buying GMO corn seed, but with this organic labeling from Ark Survival Seeds, you can guarantee the best quality and most nutritious vegetables from your garden.
  • They are non-hybrid. Hybrid plants are very popular. This is what you are most likely going to get at your local gardening center if it isn't specifically labeled "heirloom".
    Plant breeders cross breed compatible types of plants in an effort to create a plant with the best features of both parents. These are called hybrids and many of our modern plants are the results of these crosses. Seed from these hybrids will not produce plants with identical qualities. This is important if you are going to save your seeds to plant next season!
These seeds come packaged in paper seed packets because this prolongs the life of the seeds. By avoiding the use of tin foil and vapor plastic storage containers and packaging not only is it kind to nature, the seeds will be viable for longer. My recommendation is to store the seeds in a cool, dark place (like the refrigerator) until you are ready to use.

I use Biogrow 365 as my natural, organic fertilizer in my garden, along with compost and aged manure (either horse or cow). I don't use pesticide or herbicide in my garden, and I weed by hand. It is very comforting and relaxing to be in my garden, with my hands in the soil, growing something.

I have recently started saving my seeds for future seasons of gardening. I purchased the book "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth (see Amazon link below for a quick click to the book and to the seeds themselves). The book is AMAZING I have been able to successfully save most seeds. Tomatoes are the hardest for me so far, and hopefully this next season I will be able to save some for next Spring!