Harvesting seeds for our upcoming seed swap in Canco Park
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Because it all starts with a seed we have been saving all of ours. Each fall we harvest seeds from our garden for the following year. Seeds grown, harvested and replanted in Jersey City harden and are more successful each year. Our heritage seeds germinate at a higher rate than commercial seeds from plants grown in a greenhouse.
We are currently sorting and labeling our seed packs for an up and coming seed swap. Details to follow. Let's start this beautiful green wave across Jersey City.
WHY IS SEED SWAPPING IMPORTANT?
1. Economy, You Save Money
Purchasing fresh seeds every year from a garden center, catalogues, or other supplier... you know the costs can quickly add up. Whereas, saving your own seeds and trading them with others is completely free, other than taking a little time in the process. You will also find many unique varieties that simply don’t exist in the catalogues. Plus each single mature dried flower can produce up to hundred of seeds.
2. Quality, You Get Heartier Local Seeds
The majority of store-bought seeds come from somewhere else. And the parent plants could have grown in conditions completely different from your local environment. This makes it hard to predict how those plant varieties will fare in your garden.
Seeds you get from local seed swaps are typically grown by other gardeners who live near you, which means you already know these seeds can grow well in your local area. Also, the longer you continue to harvest and replant your seeds, you may find they’ll get stronger and better each year. They continue to adapt to your local conditions over many generations.
3. Genetic Diversity, You Help To Keep Variety
Our world is rapidly losing genetic diversity as both plant and animal species throughout the world are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. It’s estimated that farmers used to grow about 80,000 species of plants prior to industrialization. Currently, they rely on around 150 species. The primary reason for this is to create predictable, uniform crops that can be easily harvested and processed on large-scale farms. Needless to say, this does not support plant diversity. It also creates a very dangerous situation where disease can kill off a certain variety of plant, and there are no other varieties to take its place. We need as many different varieties as possible to ensure a healthy, secure food supply for the future.
Related: Why It Matters to Buy Heirloom Plants and Seeds
4. You Support Non-GMO Seeds
A particularly insidious development in the industrialization of seeds is genetic modification. Various food crops have been genetically altered to fit into the industrial agriculture model. Genetically modified organisms have been linked to certain health risks, as well as adding disturbing mutations to our already dwindling gene pool of plants. Growing and sharing your own seeds is a way to keep genetic modification out of our gardens and our food.