Choosing organic vegetable seeds
Before choosing seed, you will have to decide what vegetables you want to grow. Think about what vegetables your family likes and eats and then add in some new ones that you haven’t tried before. Some are easier to grow than others, and the difference in the time each takes to mature also differs greatly.
Once you have decided what you want to plant, you will need to source your seeds.
Basically there are 2 types of seeds:
1. Hybrid and Genetically modified seeds.
These can be widely found these days and are seeds that have been tampered with by science. Hybrids seeds have been bred for certain favourable characteristics usually suited to large-scale commercial farmers. For instance many hybrids are bred to not be as susceptible to certain diseases, to look their best even after travelling a long way to their final supermarket destination, and to have a long shelf life. Most hybrids have also been treated with fungicide even in their seed form.
Genetically Modified seeds have been tampered with to an even larger extent, fundamentally changing the DNA of the plant seed and often inserting DNA from other plant and animal species into the seed, with unknown effects to humans. Also see our page on Genetically Modified Foods.
Both hybrid seed and GMO seeds cannot be saved and used again the next season. These seeds are coded to only grow within a certain period of time after being bought and farmers cannot save their own seeds from their produce for the next season (as was done for centuries in the past) but are forced to buy new seed from the hybrid and GMO seed companies.
2. Heirloom and open pollinated seeds.
Open pollinated seeds are exactly that – they are able to pollinate between different plants within the same species producing vegetables and seeds after their own kind. These are natural seeds that you find in nature.
Heirloom seeds refer to seeds that have been around for centuries and have often been passed down from generation to generation. They are historic seeds of the best varieties of vegetables from generations back. These rare seeds contain some of the finest vegetable qualities known to man, including amazing tastes, colours and textures. Today’s supermarket vegetables usually come from just a few strains of vegetables, when in fact there are literally hundreds of different types of each different vegetable. We have just become used to what the supermarkets supply, but it is now time to investigate the large number of unknown vegetable species and to enjoy these delicacies which have been handed down from generation to generation.
Heirloom and open pollinated seeds can be harvested from your own plants and kept for the next season so once you have bought them you should never have to make this investment again.
If you were to ask me what type of seeds to buy, I would definitely suggest that if you want to go organic that you try and get your hands on some open pollinated, or heirloom seeds. While many places might be selling “organic vegetables” I guarantee that while they might be grown organically, the vegetable itself is not organic or natural in origin but usually a hybrid grown in an organic way. While heirloom seeds are sometimes difficult to come by, try to find a local supplier in your country that you can order from.
For quality heirloom and open pollinated seed take a look at