Genetically Modified foods and seeds have been banned, labeled and restricted from being importing in many countries, India being the latest addition. While the US of A is not on that distinguished list, I am hoping that my State of California will pass GMO labeling in 2012. The labeling aspect is just a small portion of the issue as the seeds like to intermingle with one an other. This is why it is imperative to only buy seeds verified to be GMO-free and organic. A fantastic new/old trend is becoming a member of a seed library.
A seed library is a exactly what it sounds like, members check out seeds and at the end of the growing season bring back new seeds, if successful at seed saving. For those unsuccessful, don’t worry, only a donation of $1 is required to buy more seeds, the deal of the century! I have been a member of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) for a year now. There are ongoing educational opportunities about planting, pollination and saving seeds during the monthly meetings (every 3rd Saturday at the Learning Garden in Venice). My SLOLA lifetime membership set me back a whopping $10 for unlimited access to a wide variety of organic and non-GMO seeds.
While I have yet to check out seeds, I plan on saving the seeds from my own cucumber, tomato and basil plants with the help of my education at SLOLA. I did bring in a new member this month. Composting Chick checked-out squash and tomato seeds and she is pumped to get growing. I can’t wait to exchange some produce.
I did a quick search for seed libraries on a National level and there are many out there. Please consider joining, even if you never plan on checking out seeds, monetary support is always needed and the organization is great for your community. As I attempt to save my cucumber, tomatoe and basil seeds, I will share learnings from my experiences and hopefully have some seeds to share as well. Maybe the seeds you save will be next year’s Father’s Day gift for your gardening dad. Speaking of, hopefully all you dads out there had a great Father’s Day.
– GreenUp! Guy