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Friday, December 09, 2005

It's that time of year....

No, I'm not talking about Christmas and I 'm not touching the argument over whether to boycott stores that are choosing to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".

I'm talking about ordering seeds for the 2006 growing season! Wow, I just heard the distant sound of browsers closing. This might not seem exciting to a lot of you, but to the ones who know what I'm talking about - it is very exciting, if not touched by a bit of controversy.

Anyone who is familiar with organics knows that there are some pretty 'hot-button' issues involved in this arena. The lowering of the organic standards set forth by the USDA, the ever growing interest in organics by the multi-national food corporations and now the seed industry. It is getting harder and harder to find sources for organic seed to produce organic food. The latest move to make this even harder was Monsanto buying yet another seed company, Seminis.

For us as growers, this is a big concern. If companies like Monsanto continue to buy up all the seed, how do we plant anything that is truly organic and not genetically modified? If I am speaking greek to you and you have no idea what any of this means - you might want to do a little research of your own - this affects everyone, not just vegetable growers.

Lucy, over at Boulder Belt Farm blogged about this topic, if you are interested click the link to her blog and learn more. Luckily, Fedco has decided not to buy from Seminis any longer, however, another favorite of mine DOES buy from Seminis and is going to continue and that is Johnny's. I called and talked to them about it and they said they don't buy anything genetically modified, but how do they know when they are buying from the likes of Monsanto?

It is sad to me that something as simple as ordering seeds to grow your own food and in our case, food for our 20 members has to be marred by controversy and big business. Doesn't Monsanto make enough money polluting the world with their chemicals? Can't they leave the most basic right people have, growing their own food, alone? We all know the answer to this, but what can we do about it?

Today, I am going to do my best to not let this hamper the enjoyment I get from pouring over seed catalogs, looking over growing season notes from last year, deciding what things are new and look like fun to grow and dream of warmer days, the smell of the soil and the taste of that first ripe tomato.

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