Beating the GMO Future
By Alf Finch
Originator of Eden Seeds and Select Organic
Learning the simple art of seed saving is one way to beat GMO’s.
Another way to pressure producers to avoid using GMO’s is not to buy their produce. Home gardeners can ensure they use old traditional varieties by saving seed for themselves and others. Recent GMO’S are made from two unrelated species. The modern hybrid is a man made forced cross between two inbred varieties of the same species and as such is genetically modified. The result is a plant which will not grow true to type from seed and is usually bred for shelf life and appearance. What was our food heritage becomes patented by large companies, through this process of hybridization.
In taste and nutrition hybrids are usually far inferior. Whilst large companies increase GMO’s and hybrids the way to ensure old traditional varieties for the future is to learn the skills to save the seed and ensure it is distributed widely.
The theory of a "bank of seeds" somewhere securing our seed futures has led to loss in the past by deterioration in storage or simply seed varieties being locked away. The best seed bank is in the garden where we can learn the simple art of seed saving.
At Eden Seeds we encourage the gardener towards self sufficiency.
We are pleased to be able to continue the efforts to spread the old traditional open pollinated seed to growers using the Federal dollar system and with much help from nearly 200 shops which make Eden Seeds available all over Australia.
The hardest work is done by the seed savers who work anonymously throughout the year to ensure that the scarcer varieties are commonly available for Australia wide distribution. The seed savers challenges include droughts and floods, soil fertility pests and diseases, purity, cleaning and optimum storage. Although we need to make sales to consumers our biggest delights are to receive parcels of new season seeds from our dedicated growers.
Our seed is not chemically treated. Most growers are not certified organic because of the costs involved. However we do not insist on certification as we are grateful for all seed received and are pleased to see that more growers and consumers are supporting sustainable organic and bio-dynamic growing methods. We have now started a venture called Select Organic which lists in the Eden Seeds catalogue over 270 varieties grown organically.