Grown from Seed

New Kid on the (Seed) Block

By Theo Bill

With companies going out of business, unemployment up to record levels, and whole sectors of industry being propped up by the government, there is a good news:  a new company out of the Russian River area of the San Francisco Bay has arrived on the vegetable seed front: The Sustainable Seed Company. Their philosophy is simple: high quality, home-grown produce that anyone can grow and re-grow for years to come.

Heirloom Vegetables


Just like the Victory Garden movement of the 40’s and 50’s, today’s gardeners are being encouraged to grow their own food.  And it’s little wonder why – with food prices going through the roof, it’s much cheaper to buy a $1.99 seed package of broccoli grown in your own backyard than going to the store.  That $1.99 package of seed could give you over 300 heads of broccoli!  Those heads of organic broccoli at my market run about $1.50-2.00 a piece, giving your $1.99 investment a return of over $450.00!  Talk about return on your money!

With the looming economic crisis in the headlines, it’s easy to forget about the importance of our food quality. Studies have shown that the food grown from an average backyard garden can contain up to eight times the vitamins and minerals found in the same store-bought vegetable.  Leaving your food production up to “the professionals” is robbing you and your family of needed nutrients and health.

Most commercial agriculture produce you buy in the store is either a hybrid or has been genetically modified in such a way that you can’t plant the seeds grown and expect to get the same vegetable yourself.

Many of us have heard about GMOs and how the French have boycotted it and we don’t; or how they could be bad for our health or just not as productive as normal plants.  What many people don’t realize, says “Farmer” John, Erik Olsen, and Theo Bill, owners of The Sustainable Seed Company  is “GMO’s don’t let you save your seed.”

For thousands of years, farmers have saved their own seed.  They chose the biggest, fastest, best seed they grew for next year’s planting.  Backyard gardeners have been doing the same – Seed Savers Exchange, an international organization whose goal is to preserve heirloom seeds, has collected over 1 Million samples from individual gardeners over the last 35 years.

Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom Seeds

But now, unless you buy heirloom seeds, you probably can’t save that seed for your garden next year.  That’s one of the main goals of The Sustainable Seed Company , “Farmer” John says, “We have to give folks the ability to grow their own seed, but just as importantly, they need to be able to save that seed.” They  only sells heirloom or “open pollinated” varieties that anyone can grow and safely save that seed.  It’s important to the owners that people have the power to control their food security.

Food security, produce quality, economic savings – these are all things the Sustainable Seed Company is trying to promote.  “With over 160 heirloom varieties for $1.99 or less, we want to give people a way to feed themselves and give them a source of possible income” says “Farmer” John.   To hear him talk about it, you’d think back-yard gardening could be a cure to the current economic crisis – letting people save and earn money as well as reducing health-care costs – all from growing your own food!
For more information:
(707) 703-1242

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