10 Reasons to Save and Celebrate Heirloom Seeds
By Griffin Klement
In preparation for Via Organica’s Third Annual Seed Festival on Saturday, April 25, we have outlined 10 reasons why we all need to start saving and celebrating our heirloom seeds.
1. Save money
Heirloom seeds need only be given or purchased once, versus every year as is the case with hybrid and GMO varieties. Plus, heirloom vegetables are expensive, so growing your own will save you money.
2. Security and self-sufficiency
Hundreds of excellent plant varieties have been lost forever as big corporations such as Monsanto have consolidated the seed industry and focused on more profitable hybrids. Saving heirloom seeds is the ultimate in self-sufficiency because you control the supply.
3. Hybrid seeds
A majority of the seeds on the market today are hybrid varieties. When saving seeds from hybrid varieties, one cannot guarantee the offspring will produce the same traits as the parent.
4. Stronger, more resilient plants
Since you (and Mother Nature) select only the best producing and strongest plants to save each year, your seeds will become more resilient and better adapted to your local climate and conditions.
5. Taste comes first
Unlike varieties found in supermarkets, heirloom seeds haven’t been bred for ease of shipping and shelf life. They have a depth and variety of flavor rarely found in hybrid seeds.
6. Beauty and variety
From blue corn to yellow tomatoes, there are way more sizes, shapes, and colors available in heirloom and open-pollinated plants. The natural beauty of heirlooms makes them a joy, both in the garden and on the plate.
7. GMO seeds
With the growing threat of GMO seeds produced by the likes of Monsanto and Syngenta, it is more important than ever to protect our heirloom seed varieties. Biotech companies have taken control of our seeds, farmers, and food; saving heirloom seeds is an important step in the fight to regain control of our food system.
8. Become a better gardener
Seed saving requires careful observation and attention as you decide which seeds to save. In the end, this extra attention will make you a better gardener.
9. The joy of discovery and creation
Saving seeds will open your eyes to the beautiful world of plant biology and natural selection. Plus, it is a creative process that allows you the joy of growing a variety of plant that suits you and your family’s personal tastes and preferences.
10. Preserve heritage and tradition
Mexico has one of the world’s richest seed saving traditions. Our Mexican ancestors not only developed the first varieties of maize by saving seeds, but also the first tomatoes, squash, beans, chili peppers, avocados, cotton, tobacco, amaranth, sunflowers, vanilla, and of course, chocolate.
By continuing the tradition of seed saving in Mexico, we are celebrating the hard work of our ancestors and preserving these traditions, stories, and flavors for generations to come.
To learn more about seed saving, discover local varieties of heirloom seeds, and register for donation of heirloom seeds, join us on Saturday, April 25, 9-5pm in front of Vía Orgánica at Margarito Ledesma 2, Colonia Guadalupe.