Sunday, February 17, 2008

Seeds are here.

Our seeds have arrived. Now I'm wishing spring were closer.

I ended up ordering from Bountiful Gardens and Seeds of Change. I'm also planting herbs that I ordered last year from Richter's Herbs but didn't get a chance to plant. Next year I'd like to check out Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Native Seeds also.

To order seeds this year, I looked for companies that have no ties to Monsanto at all. This meant that three companies that I like, Cook's Garden, Territorial Seeds and Johnny's Selected Seeds are out. They do not sell GMO seeds but they do buy seeds from Seminis which is owned by Monsanto. In this country the most power we have is the power of our dollars, so even if a company is ethically minded, if they buy seeds from Monsanto, I cannot spend my money there.

It can't be easy for the companies to stay away from Monsanto owned seeds. "Six companies Du Pont, Mitsui, Monsanto, Syngent, Aventis and Dow control 98 percent of the world's seeds. These companies are opening research facilities and acquiring local seed companies and farmland on every continent, and they can't do it fast enough." When your seed company sells thousands of varieties, you can't produce all of those yourself so you must purchase them. If the majority of your customers neither know nor care about Monsanto, is it worth it to you to downsize to cater to the small percentage that *does* know and care? No. Not at all.

When Monsanto acquired Seminis, a huge seed-supplying company in the US, this article stated "While voting with ones dollars can be an effective tool of change, it is also important to recognize that these are also seed catalogs that have recognized the needs of smaller organic producers, offering strong lists of regional varieties and expanding their certified organic selections. None of these companies was overjoyed with news of the acquisition, and they all seemed to be in different phases of analyzing its impact. It’s not an easy task. Seminis’ varieties account for 11 percent of Fedco Seed’s gross sales, and the numbers are much higher in categories like melons and squash. While Fedco founder C.R. Lawn expressed his personal inclination to have nothing to do with Monsanto, the volume of sales demands careful consideration. Fedco is surveying its staff to decide how to respond, with options ranging from phasing out all Monsanto-Seminis varieties to putting a “tax” on these varieties and using this money to fund regional grassroots seed development."

Still, I have to do what I can, and what I can do is put my money into the hands of companies (mostly small) who provide seeds free from Monsanto's ever increasing reach.

Here is a list of companies known to have no ties to Monsanto:
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Seeds of Change
Seed Saver's Exchange
Renee's Garden
Baker Creek Seed Co.
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Abundant Life Seeds
Underwood Garden Seeds
Bountiful Gardens
Kitchen Garden Seeds
High Mowing Seeds
Heirloom Acres Seeds
Garden City Seeds
Tomato Fest
Mountain Rose Herbs
Southern Exposure
Amishland Seeds
Tiny Seeds
Local Harvest
Heirloom Seeds
Fedco Seed Co. (currently sells a few Seminis seeds but is phasing them out quickly)
Diane's Flower Seeds (she has veggies now, too)
Wood Prairie Farm
Victory Seeds
Wildseed Farms
Horizon Herbs


Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hi pichinde, i've read your post 3 times now and I'm still confused why this company, Monsanto, is one to be avoided. It is because it's a big biz, corporate-owned entity? Is it doing bad things to the environment? Is it, like so many other stores, limiting ones choices to a generic handful, based on what sells?
In my neck of the woods, Territorial Seed Co. is THE big seed catalog to shop from because they are based in Cottage Grove, Oregon and specialize in many varieties that grow well in Oregon. I see that they are on your list of companies who do business with Monsanto.
Sorry if I'm dense, I just didn't see the bottom line in your post. Tell me, tell me! :-)

Christy said...

I'm getting all my seeds from Southern Exposure this year. I got them all from Seed Savers Exchange last year.

Nita said...

Abundant Life is owned By Territorial and Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars. Add these to your list to boycott.