Plastic Free Gardening
- One reason to grow your own vegetables is you can eliminate the need to bring home starts in plastic containers.
- When you grow our own vegetables they're usually right outside your home, so the need to get plastic bags to put your produce in is eliminated.
Did you know that Microplastics have been found in food? Apples and lettuces were the most and least contaminated samples, respectively. Micro and Nano Plastic Study link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935120305703
More reasons to garden
- You have the ability to grow the food that you want and you also avoid transportation hang-ups.
- Is more secure if it's right outside your back door versus being trucked and having produce and fruit travel from producer to end consumer.
- Another reason to grow your own garden is your food safety. You get to determine what sort of fertilizers are used on your plants.
- Likewise, the pesticide angle is also in your control. Whatever goes on the surface of the fruit is determined by you.
- Another great reason to grow your own garden is that you get to choose from a vast variety of vegetables and fruits to grow.
We're going to start out with the distinctions of different types of seeds to help you navigate the world of seeds!
Organic vs. conventional
The first definition we have is organic versus conventional. Organic is a definition that is ruled by the USDA. The standards are generally thought of as more beneficial than chemical fertilizers, or what you would call conventional. There's no specific rules of what is conventional- that's just a general term. Organic is a specific set of rules and it avoids- generally speaking -harmful chemicals and pesticides. So, I like to use organic seeds as much as possible.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. What that means is that at the laboratory level, the scientists take segments of genetic structure from a species and insert it into another species. So, you don't know what you're getting. I generally avoid pretty much at all costs genetically modified organism seeds.
An heirloom seed is basically a variety that has been passed down through the generations. There's no technical or legal term called heirloom. But when you see heirloom on a seed package, you can be assured that it is a variety that has probably been passed down for 50 or 100 years or more.
One of the more important ideas behind the heirlooms is that you can save the seed from an heirloom variety and grow it, and it will produce the same vegetable that you got the seed from- that's not always the case, such as with hybrids.
I have a variety of mustard called Miss America and it's an F1 hybrid. This means that two varieties of mustard were bred together. The first generation of seed from that is the F1. It produces a concept called hybrid vigor. However, F1 seeds can't be saved and used to produce the same variety that you grew.
Organic is generally thought of as being better, and probably is in fact safer for the consumption of food fruit and vegetables because there are great limitations on what a farmer can use on their crops directly and in the soil, and it is healthier, in my opinion.