Seed Saving Basics

I’m passionate about saving seeds and food independence. Sowing and saving seeds is a way for all of us to sow our own freedom, he who controls the food supply controls all people. I encourage you to save seeds and save WAY more than you need and give generously to as many people as possible and encourage them to do the same. Keep it simple only save 2-4 varieties per year and every year try a new type of fruit to save seeds from One tomato has over 50 seeds One pumpkin or squash has over 200 seeds One marigold flower produces over 500 seeds Seeds were the original currency, you cannot eat dollar bills, you can live without dollars but you cannot live without fruits and veggies WE WILL BE COVERING 3 VERY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SEEDS . GMO/HYBRID/HEIRLOOM WE WILL ALSO BE COVERING HOW TO SAVE DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF SEED IN YOUR GARDEN. SQUASH/BEANS/TOMATOES/PEPPERS AND LETTUCE IF WE HAVE TIME I CAN TOUCH ON PERMICULTURE/NO-TILL GARDENING I’M GOING TO READ YOU BRIEF DEFINITIONS TRUST ME THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO HELP SHOW THE IMPORTANCE OF SEED SAVING HYBRID SEEDS: WHAT ARE THEY? Farmers and gardeners have been cultivating new plant varieties for thousands of years through selective breeding. They did this by cross-pollinating two different, but related plants over 6 to 10 plant generations, eventually creating a new plant variety. The process required patience, but was rewarding. By selectively cross-pollinating related plants in this way, farmers could create varieties that were healthier and stood up to the farmer’s micro-climate — their soil, their weather patterns, their predatory insects. Yet in the mid-nineteenth century, Darwin and Mendel discovered a method of controlled crossing that can create these desired traits within just one generation. This method produces what’s known as F1 hybrid seeds. These hybrid seeds are just as natural as their historic counterparts; they’re still cross-pollinating two different, but related plants. While there may not be anything inherently wrong with this process, it does keep you dependent on seed companies year after year since you can’t save your seeds and expect the next generation of plants you grow to be identical to the first. While this is a small nuisance to a home gardener, it can be devastating to subsistence farmers around the world. By the 1990s an estimated 95% of all farmers in the First World and 40% of all farmers in the Third World were using Green Revolution hybrid seeds, with the greatest use found in Asia, followed by Mexico and Latin America. The world lost an estimated 75 percent of its food biodiversity, and control over seeds shifted from farming communities to a handful of multinational corporations GMO SEEDS: WHAT ARE THEY? Unlike hybrid seeds, GMO seeds are not created using natural, low-tech methods. GMO seed varieties are created in a lab using high-tech and sophisticated techniques like gene-splicing. Furthermore, GMO seeds seldom cross different, but related plants. Often the cross goes far beyond the bounds of nature so that instead of crossing two different, but related varieties of plant, they are crossing different biological kingdoms — like, say, a bacteria with a plant. For example, Monsanto has crossed genetic material from a bacteria known as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) with corn. The goal was to create a pest-resistant plant. This means that any pests attempting to eat the corn plant will die since the pesticide is part of every cell of the plant. The resultant GMO plant, known as Bt Corn, is itself registered as a pesticide with the EPA, along with other GMO Bt crops. In other words, if you feed this corn to your cattle, your chickens, or yourself, you’ll be feeding them an actual pesticide — not just a smidgeon of pesticide residue. GMO SEEDS: THE CONSEQUENCES Sadly, GMOs are a great, big scientific unknown. So far, the U.S. government has allowed biotech firms to get away with this crazy injust position. However, some testing of GMO seeds has been done in other countries, and it takes investigative journalism found in books like Seeds of Deception to expose just what’s at risk. HYBRID SEEDS VS. GMOS In short: Hybrid Seeds are nothing to fear, but you may not want to support them given that they fail to breed true and have caused so much global havoc. GMO seeds are far more unnatural and likely to cause harm — both to your environment and your health. HOW TO AVOID GMOS Unfortunately, because GMOs aren’t currently labeled in the U.S., you have no way of knowing whether or not you’re eating them. Roughly 85% of all grocery store foods contain GMOs, and there only a handful of sure-fire ways to avoid them: 1. Opt to buy single-ingredient certified organic food. 2. Choose Non-GMO Verfied labeled foods. 3. Grow your own open-pollinated, heirloom variety plants. 4. Know your farmer and ask pointed questions about his or her growing practices, then opt to support GMO-free growing. Heirlooms seeds The definition and use of the word heirloom to describe plants is fiercely debated. One school of thought places an age or date point on the cultivars. For instance, one school says the cultivar must be over 100 years old, others 50 years, and others prefer the date of 1945, which marks the end of World War II and roughly the beginning of widespread hybrid use by growers and seed companies. Many gardeners consider 1951 to be the latest year a plant could have originated and still be called an heirloom, since that year marked the widespread introduction of the first hybrid varieties. It was in the 1970s that hybrid seeds began to proliferate in the commercial seed trade. Some heirloom varieties are much older; some are apparently pre-historic. Another way of defining heirloom cultivars is to use the definition of the word heirloom in its truest sense. Under this interpretation, a true heirloom is a cultivar that has been nurtured, selected, and handed down from one family member to another for many generations. Additionally, there is another category of cultivars that could be classified as "commercial heirlooms": cultivars that were introduced many generations ago and were of such merit that they have been saved, maintained and handed down – even if the seed company has gone out of business or otherwise dropped the line. Additionally, many old commercial releases have actually been family heirlooms that a seed company obtained and introduced. Regardless of a person's specific interpretation, most authorities agree that heirlooms, by definition, must be open-pollinated. They may also be open-pollinated varieties that were bred and stabilized using classic breeding practices. While there are no genetically modified tomatoes available for commercial or home use, it is generally agreed that no genetically modified organisms can be considered heirloom cultivars. Another important point of discussion is that without the ongoing growing and storage of heirloom plants, the seed companies and the government will control all seed distribution. Most, if not all, hybrid plants, if regrown, will not be the same as the original hybrid plant, thus ensuring the dependency on seed distributors for future crops. Loss of seed diversity because of lack of interest in seed saving Loss of Seed Diversity Coincides with the Consolidation of Seed Companies Seeds have traditionally been saved and shared between farmers from one harvest season to the next. Farmers rarely ever had to buy new seed. Nature, when left alone, provides you with the means to propagate the next harvest in a never-ending cycle. Now, however, farmers relying on patented seeds must buy them each year from pesticide companies like Monsanto. Saving such seeds is illegal because it is considered to be patent infringement. Many farmers depend on Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) (and patented) seeds. More than 90 percent of US soybeans and 80 percent of corn acreage is planted with Monsanto’s patented GM seeds. For 200 years, the patenting of life was prohibited, especially with respect to foods. But all of that changed in 1978 with the first patent of a living organism, an oil-eating microbe, which opened the proverbial floodgates. Patenting of life forms was never approved by Congress or the American public. But as far the GMO industry is concerned, they own a gene, wherever it ends up. According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), as of August 2013 Monsanto owned 1,676 seed, plant, and other similar patents. This was the plan all along. As reported by Friends of the Earth International: Seed Industry Consolidation Increases Along with Seed Costs In 1996, there were still about 300 independent seeds companies left in the US. By 2009, there were fewer than 100. With the rise of GM crops and seed patents, meanwhile, the pesticide industry has been snapping up an ever-growing share of the seed industry. Just four agrichemical companies own 43 percent of the world’s commercial seed supply, and 10 multinational corporations hold 65 percent of global commercial seed for major crops. According to Philip Howard, an associate professor at Michigan State University: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Solutions to the growing problem! Share seeds freely among friends, family neighbors, save seeds as often as possible Ask your farmers if the fruit is heirloom and save the seeds Grow more food at home or shared gardening space Start a community garden at your church/school/community buildings Hold regular seed swaps and start talking about seeds and seed saving, give them as presents/ teach others how to grow food and share this knowledge/ get children involved in seed saving/gardening/ eating fresh food. Share the movie “seeds the untold story” Share your knowledge with everyone, it is free and very powerful! Seeds Saving Process for a few heirlooms 1. Squash start with fully ripe fruit that is ready to eat, save the seeds and dry on paper towels until they are dry enough to snap. 2. Beans/ Corn Dry beans/ green beans/ pole beans/ bush beans - Direct sow after all danger of frost, follow the seed label, how many inches apart and how deep to plant. Let the plant grow and die on the vine for bush beans and pole beans this is called winnowing NON ORGANIC dry beans you purchase have been sprayed with roundup to speed up the vine drying process. Dry in shells on paper plates until dry then shuck the seeds, after they have been dried for at least a week store them in a paper envelope. 3. Lettuce How do you know when the plant is mature enough to harvest seeds? Lettuce bolts and flowers, 2-3 weeks after flowering shake lettuce plant into a paper bag, lettuce seeds are tiny and can be hard to collect. You can also cut the flower stalks off put them in a paper bag in a cool dark place for a few weeks until you have time to harvest the seeds. 4. Tomato only use very ripe fruit and save extra seeds in case some do not germinate. I personally ferment my tomato seeds because the mucus is thought to prevent germination. I have saved seeds without fermenting and they did sprout both ways. Tomatoes are a night shade and were once thought to be poisonous. Glad that was not true LOL Show glass jar with paper towel General rules of thumb to remember for seed saving: If the seeds float they are not any good They should have a good snap when dry All seeds can be sprouted and grown but you may not get the same fruit unless you are sure the seed is heirloom and it have not been cross pollinated with another variety. Seeds last for up to 10 yrs if kept in a cool dark place like a garage or closet Seeds do not have to be frozen, but it will not hurt them, with some exceptions Sowing and saving seeds is a way for all of us to sow our own freedom, he who controls the food supply controls all people. I encourage you to save seeds save WAY more than you need and give generously to as many people as possible and encourage them to do the same. Keep it simple only save 2-4 varieties per year and every years try a new type of fruit to save seeds from One tomato have over 50 seeds One pumpkin or squash has over 200 seeds One marigold flower produces over 500 seeds Seeds were the original currency, you can not eat dollar bills, you can live without dollars but you cannot live without fruits and veggies Watch a few of my videos on seed saving and feel free and follow my channel for more seed saving tips.
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