Does the fact that Monsanto controls as much or more than 90 percent of seed genetics strike the fear of god in you? How about the latest news from the research world that GMO corn may be linked to organ failure? If you are like me, shaking in your boots at the thought of what our food supply future looks like, you are probably always on the prowl for a good seed source of open-pollinated, non-hybrid, organic seed. I've got a few places I haunt for a little peace of mind:
- J.L. Hudson, Seedsman - This is a public access seed bank in La Honda, California. They've been around for 100 years, operating under the belief that the "unrestricted exchange of seeds and knowledge are essential to a free society." Amen! They sell a few organic seeds, but definitely no genetically-engineered ones. However, J.L. Hudson lets us know that over time, traits from GE plants may end up being transmitted to heirloom varieties due to cross-pollination and our entire food system will have the potential of becoming modified. Scary stuff.
- Bountiful Gardens - These guys are a non-profit organization connected to Ecology Action, developers of sustainable mini-farming coined GROW BIOINTENSIVE (TM). They offer a load of open-pollinated, organic veggies, compost crops, medicinal herbs, and rare or odd varieties, like Beetberry, a recently rediscovered 400 year old plant that produces tender greens used in salads along with little sweet berries. I can't wait to try this one.
- TomatoFest - This is the place to go for a gargantuan selection of organic, heirloom tomato seed. I purchased several cool summer varieties from them last year and had beau coup success with my maters. What I like most about them is that they give a good description of the tomato so you can decide if it will work well in your area.
- Path to Freedom / Little Homestead in the City - I adore these folks with all of my heart. Concerned with GMO corn and soybeans entering our mainstream food supply, Jules Dervaes decided that he needed to do something drastic: unplug from the system and grow his own food. He and three of his grown children live on a tenth of an acre plot in Pasadena where they grow the majority of their food. These guys are really living their ideology. I read their blog daily for inspiration and think of them first when I need something around the homestead. They have an online store that sells all kinds of groovy urban farmer gadgets and a collection of seeds, of course non-hybrid, GMO-free, and grown using organic principles, saved from their crops. Please support these folks and all of the amazing work that they do to educate and enlighten the general public as to what one can actually do with small urban spaces. And check out their film short, Homegrown Revolution, and the documentary Homegrown by Robert McFalls, which details the lives of their family.