Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Safe Seed Pledge

When I first began gardening, I would drive to my nearest garden supply store and buy a packet of seeds, usually whatever first caught my attention. Now I'm a more informed and cautious gardener. I suspect my local seed company is in competition with DuPont and Monsanto for genetically modified seed corn, so I choose to buy my seeds from more conscientious suppliers.

There are many seed catalogs out there. Some of them have wonderful photographs, others have useful growing information, still others might include supplies and tools. It's fun to curl up next to the fireplace and read the catalogs---there is so much to learn from them.

I choose open pollinated or F1 varieties. Seeds collected from open pollinated plants will produce offspring essentially the same as the parent plant. Heirloom varieties are all open pollinated (but not all open pollinated plants are heirlooms). An F1 hybrid is a first generation hybrid produced from two open pollinated parent plants. Hybrids may be more disease resistant, but they will not reproduce reliably. By contrast, genetically modified plants have been created by inserting unrelated genetic material into a plant. The long-term hazards of consuming genetically modified food is still unknown. I'm choosing to avoid it.

I'm sending my business to companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, which indicates the company will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. These companies support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils and genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems. It's said that "money talks" in our culture, so I urge you to send your seed business to companies that make you proud.

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