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Heirloom Seeds: Grow Them Out!

Jim Richardson was rather short on the causes of the destruction of cultivated biodiversity. He named industrial farming as the main culprit. He called the meat packing industry a “dis-assembly line”, where only very few breeds meet the “specs” required for “processing” (including bone length and thickness). He also had surprisingly little to say on the impact of the biotech industry and genetically-modified seeds on the narrowing of the gene-pool of crops as GM crops are taking over food production around the world.

His message was important and powerful, nevertheless, and I’m happy to share it here. “You want to save seeds? Grow them out!” Cultivating some long-forgotten variety of potato, tomato or even cabbage in your garden is “one of the best examples of community citizen-participation,” he said. When it comes to long-term food security, “it’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about not throwing away the wheel.”

Hard to argue with that… So as winter is winding down, and if you’re one of the lucky ones with access to a plot of land (no matter how small), connect with an heirloom seeds network (some leads here), let yourself be inspired by the glorious pictures and unfamiliar names, and plant yourself some vegetables that neither you, your children, your neighbors nor your friends, have never seen, let alone ever tasted, before. Yours will be a true contribution to mankind.


Read more: Blogs, Conscious Consumer, Food, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, News & Issues, The Green Plate, Videos, , , , , ,

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.


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1:12PM PST on Mar 1, 2015

Love growing heirloom seeds. Thank you.

9:05PM PST on Feb 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

9:59AM PDT on May 10, 2013

Thank you Laetitia, for Sharing this!

3:12AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

wow, great article

10:16AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

I just started propagating my own tomato seeds. EZ PZ with awesome results. Plus I had 100's of seeds to share. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

9:09AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

We get a Burpee catalog every year and I buy seeds that I haven't grown before - or even a variation of another one. I usually share it with our neighbors on each side of us.

1:51AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012


8:24PM PST on Mar 1, 2012


9:15AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

thanks, didn't know that.

1:33AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

I have strawberry plants from my great grandmother. They're probably at least 150 years old since she's had them, and depending on where she got them from, who knows? But the berries are sweet and juicy, so I'll keep those.

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Excellent presentation Joe! I do use the scent of lavender to help with sleep. I agree there is …

Thanks for the information.


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