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Re: Seeds (was What price biodiversity? (Gen eng'ring; corporations; ag; food supply)



Hi all - 

I recently forwarded an email titled "Re: What price biodiversity? (Gen
eng'ring; corporations; ag; food supply)" that included this line:

<<Only one company sells certified organic heirloom seeds nationwide. >>

A number of you wrote me and asked who that seed company is. 

According to the book quoted in that email (_Strategies for Staying
Alive_), it is Seeds of Change, P.O.Box 15700, Santa Fe NM 87506-5700.  I
have seen their seeds in stores in my area, or you can get a catalog and/or
order from (505) 438-8080.

According to an older catalog of theirs (1995), 
1) "Seeds of Change is the only national company whose seeds are all 100%
organically grown", certified in accordance with Oregon Tilth standards.
"Seeds that are not certified are those we have wildcrafted or obtained
from Native Americans whose methods are rganic but who do not solicit 3rd
party certification."
2) "Seeds of Change offers only open-pollinated seeds... F1 hybrid seeds,
by contrast, being a cross between 2 genetically different parents,do not
allow for the input of nature, individual gardeners or farmers in the
development of desirable adaptations. They are evolution at a standstill,
and either do not reproduce at all, or do not reproduce true-to-form, thus
creating an ongoing dependency upon the company which produces them.  With
Seeds of Change open-pollinated seeds,you can save them yourself and grow
them out year after year."

The back of the catalog I have includesa page of references - books,
suppliers/organizations, reference publications - which it seems might have
other leads for heirloom seeds (like perhaps Native Seed/Search, Tucscon AZ
(602) 327-9123 and Seed Savers Exchange (319) 382-5990)


>> In going through my catalogs, I found another interesting one: Abundant
Life, P.O. Box 772, Port Townsend WA 93868. Their catalog shows a list of
stores that they're in, or you can call (206) 385-5660.  They've been
around for a while - they printed their first seed catalog in 1974. They
say their seeds:
(1) Include no hybrids - only open-pollinated.
(2) Are never chemically-treated (ex. with fungicides)
(3) A high percentage are organic. (Though in the catalog I have, an older
one, I couldn't always figure out if a particular one was organic or not,
but maybe it would've been clear with more study, and maybe they've made
that easier to ID in more current catalogs.)

Note: Relative to the original quote and why Abundant Life wouldn't mean
there are two companies at leas... the author said he took his line from
the Seeds of Change catalog. However, I noticed that he changed it from the
quote I saw there, changing the distinction "are all 100% organically
grown" and instead just saying "organic". Thus it would seem that there are
other companies selling certified organic heirloom, just that Seeds of
Change is the only nationwide company that sells _100%_ organic seeds.

>>> Well, these seem to be two good resources for the seedplanters to
pursue! And if there are other good sources for heirloom organic seeds,
please feel free to let us all know!

Happy planting!!

Patricia Dines


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