Lots of starches, lots of greens. Fancy chocolate-covered...beans!

Well, I've ordered my seeds for this summer's crops.  There are two really great local heirloom, heritage, non-GMO, untreated, open-pollinated seed companies right here in the Valley -  Incredible Seeds, run by Chris Mueller in Lawrencetown and Annapolis Seed Comany, operated by Owen Bridge in Nictaux.

What does all that mean? Heirloom/heritage seeds come from plants having a long history with humans and haven't generally been used by large-scale commercial farming operations.

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are "any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology".  In other words, plants (in our case) which have been genetically modified to enhance such things as pest resistance, sensitivity to herbicides, glow in the dark or even limit the life cycle of the plant to one generation. This last point means a few things - the plant may not produce seeds - or, if it does those seeds will be sterile. It could also mean that the plant has been genetically modified to die after only one growing season. This prevents farmers from saving seeds or nurturing perennial plants into the next growing season.  Why? So large corporations such as Monsanto and Cargill can force farmers into buying new (Round-Up resistant) seed each year.

GMO could also mean that the plant has been genetically modified to be herbicide resistant.  Think about that for a second - farmers are pouring poisonous Round-Up directly on the ground.  Of course there are GMO plants in the way, soaking up the poison, but these chemicals are opened up, sometimes mixed with water, and then dumped right out on the ground.  And the plants which stand in the way are either destroyed (weeds or other non-GMO) or are drenched in the toxins.  Do you think commercially produced wheat, oats, flax, beans, soy, lentils, canola, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, or any other plant you can think of which is grown on a commercial scale, are washed before they're plunked into the manufacturing process?  How much you wanna bet that all those toxins (herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers) dumped on the ground are going right down our gullets, too?

And we want to talk about cancer...

Me thinks I doth rant too much.  Anyways...

Open pollinated plants mean that the plants can be pollinated by insects or the wind to produce new generations of plants.  Of course this also means that the plant will produce seeds and those seeds can be harvested and preserved by gardeners and farmers for next year.

We'll be labouring over fruits and veggies with names like Ardwyna, Gravedigger, Lipstick, Oaxacan, Delicatas, Green globes and michihili. With such wonderful names as those, how can we possibly go wrong?

I also need to plan my beds - I'm leaning towards raised beds in the back yard.  In our neck of the woods, raised beds are the best idea because of all the moisture we have in the ground.  What else are we going to do back there, anyways?  There is also the added bonus of having the security light back there for those clandestine, late-night cucumber raids!

Two hours later...
 A lot of other gardeners must had the same seed-ordering idea already, because some of the seeds I'd been ogling are already sold out! Crazy talk!

Can't wait to order my chickens... it's gonna be a fantastic summer!

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