Selecting Safe, Non-GMO Seeds

February 13, 2009 at 4:34 am 3 comments

seed catalogues

Around this time, the catalogs have arrived and you are flooded with options. I think I received more than 20 catalogs this winter so far, and despite the current state of things, the gardening industry is thriving. I’m happy to see that some of my favorite catalogs have gotten huge (like Baker Creek) while others are still trying to look like smaller grassroots companies, although they are really owned by larger corporations (like Cook’s Garden). The homogenization of seed companies, particularly, the insidious conglomerate Monsanto is harder than ever to decipher, but here are a few seed companies that specialize in GMO-free, organic and heirloom seeds:

High Mowing Seeds: Vermont-based independent, family-owned business offers nearly 400 heirloom, organic, open-pollinated and hybrid seeds.

Baker Creek: Based in Missouri, Baker Creek offers America’s largest selection of heirloom seeds for the heritage gardener. Featuring beautiful and exotic heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seeds from 70 countries.

Seeds Savers Exchange: Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.

Fedco: Based in Maine, this seed co-op offers non-GMO seeds for colder climates.

Seeds of Change: Offering over 600 distinct varieties of 100% organically grown seeds, potatoes, and fruit trees.

Abundant Life Seeds: Certified organic and biodynamic seeds


More and more people are starting gardens, which leads to more sustainable lifestyles (which I love) but also, there are more catalogs out there selling these GMOs. Created in a lab, and modified through gene splicing, no one really knows the long term effect these have. Recent Austrian research showed GMO corn may reduce fertility. Also, most GMO seeds are funded by Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, and they genetically alter plants that can withstand this extremely toxic pesticide. Really, Monsanto has been patenting this process: they own the Roundup, and the seeds that resist it (aptly named Roundup Ready crops). So, farmers spray everything with nasty Roundup, kill all the bugs, and pass the chemicals on to us, all while infecting our farmlands with these scientifically developed seeds that the remaining bees spread around to other plants through pollination. It’s scary stuff, but the good news is that vegetables and seeds labeled as organic cannot be GMO.

Chances are, GMO’s are already a part of your diet, so why add to it? According to the Non GMO Project, It is currently estimated that in the U.S., 61% of corn, 89% of soybeans, 83% of cotton, and 75% of canola grown are genetically modified; GMO varieties of squash and Hawaiian papaya are also grown commercially. As a result, it is estimated that GMOs are now present in more than 70% of products in the average U.S. grocery store.

So, choose organic, grow your own, and help take Frankenfood out of the food chain.


Entry filed under: non-gmo, seed saving, seed starting, seeds. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

DIY Seed Starting Kit Starting Seeds Indoors

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. potagergardengirl  |  February 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Enjoyed this post! Also, I see your cold frame out your window. Did you build it yourself? And are you growing in it right now? I’m trying to decide if I want to rig something over my raised planters or foot the cost and buy a cold frame.

  • 2. growindie  |  February 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    We made it last spring, so this is my first year with it, but I love it. I planted a bit late last year, but was able to over winter lettuces, mustard greens, kale and spinach, and they are just starting to kick in more this month. Fingers crossed, I’ll have salads by next month. I will definitely post pics. Building a coldframe isn’t too difficult ( we aren’t the handiest of people, but we did have our handy friend help us) You just need some old windows and a wood frame (we built our own wood frame, but you can piece together old bookshelves even to do it.) I’m going to post on this soon, and will give some examples/ project ideas. glad you liked the post!

  • 3. ABigail Miller  |  March 1, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I really enjoyed your post, but wondered why you didn’t include Seed Saver’s Exchange in the blog recommendations (I saw the catalogue in the photo). They are my favorite! Great seeds and excellent customer service (by contrast, although I love their products too, I have personally been really disappointed by the service I have recieved whenever I called Seeds of Change with a question- I had a few about vermicomposting a while back). I just wondered if you knew something about them that I did not.

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