Gardening

Non-GMO seeds for growing organic

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Safe food begins with safe seeds
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Using non-GMO seeds for growing organic produces safer crops for our families

The term “organic” is not new. In fact, it’s inspired many people to start their own gardens in order to be certain that the food they put in their body is not loaded with chemicals. Unfortunately, growing your own plants won't guarantee that they’re safe.

An organic garden begins with non-GMO seeds, a.k.a. “safe seeds”. The abbreviation GMO means that Genetically Modified Organisms are present. These organisms come from pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and hormones. While they were created to prevent insects and natural diseases from ruining crops, they leach into the plants, harming consumers and the environment.

Safe seeds come from plants that completed a full life cycle without exposure to synthetic chemicals or toxic residue. If you’re interested in organic gardening, you’re probably familiar with the health concerns related to genetically modified food.

You can read more GMO facts at the NonGMOProject.org, a site that provides resources and separating fact from fiction.

Why grow organic

Compare your plants to ones grown in a laboratory. Yours will be exposed to the elements and therefore hardier. They will adapt to natural compost and even have stronger roots because they’ll have to work harder to absorb nutrients in the ground as opposed to being spoon-fed in a lab.

Which garden would you rather eat from?



Pest management

Pests and diseases don’t give organic growers a pass. Luckily, there are a number of natural products to ward off these problems without compromising your standards. Here are a few:

Diatomaceous earth (food grade) – This is a ground up, fossilized shell that helps fend off pests like slugs and snails. Spread a thin 1/2 layer over the soil and cover with mulch to prevent it from washing away. Many gardeners recommend wearing a simple dust filter face mask so you don't breathe in this light, powdery substance.

Good insects – Before agriculture was big business, nature had her own way of preserving the harvest: beneficial insects. Fight fire with fire by adding hedgerows, “flowering insectary plants” and allowing dandelions and other weeds lady bugs love to grow nearby.

Companion planting is a tried and true method to repel pests and bacteria while boosting the growth of more delicate crops. These top 10 companion vegetables will get you started. 

Fertilizers

Natural fertilizers give your crops the minerals and vitamins they need to thrive. One of the most effective fertilizers is compost. Start your own compost pile from old certified organic coffee grinds, twigs, grass clippings and leaves. Garden Organic offers a handy guide to making your own compost

Harvesting

Harvesting the bounty from non-GMO seeds is a time to celebrate all of the hard work you put into organic gardening. Enjoy your veggies and fruit, and save the seeds! They're already adapted to your location and conditions. Only harvest seeds from ripe plants and lay them out to dry before storing them in an air tight container in a dry, cool place.

Added benefits

  • In addition to ensuring that your food is safe, purchasing non-GMO seeds also supports the small farms dedicated to preserving them.
  • These seeds are friendly to the environment (when grown organically). Modified ones may kill pests, but they also seep into the ground and sometimes the water supply, posing yet another hazard to our health.
  • Investing in safe seeds sends a statement to the industrialized agriculture companies like Monsanto that you understand the dangers of consuming genetically modified food.

Currently, the United States does not require genetically modified products to be labeled as such. A walk through the produce aisle may not feel like a science fair, but the fact is that the non-organic produce on the shelves is not proven to be safe over the long run. Organic gardening is educational, safe and deliciously rewarding.

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