Question of the Week
A good place to learn more about heirloom seed production is the ATTRA publication Seed Production and Variety Development for Organic Systems.
ATTRA also offers an online database of seed sources for organic growers that includes a section on untreated, non-GMO, and open-pollinated seed. Visit the Organic Seed Suppliers Search.
Although there are no GMO vegetable seeds on the market at this time, trial plots are situated in some locations. Both GMO tomatoes and GMO potatoes have been developed for commercial producers, but not marketed. Transgenic research has focused on four U.S. crops—soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola. Derivatives from these major crops are found in many processed foods.
A good resource for seed saving is the latest edition of Seed to Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth. It can be ordered through the Web site of Seed Saver Publications, www.seedsavers.org. Vegetables such as beans, peas, and tomatoes—which are self-pollinated—are very good choices for the beginning seed saver, as their seed almost always remains true to type.
The Seed Savers Exchange publishes annually an extensive listing of heirloom varieties available from members.
Seed Savers Exchange
3094 North Winn Road
Decorah, IA 52101
Another organization for seed savers is the Southern Seed Legacy Project.
Southern Seed Legacy (SSL)
Department of Anthropology
250A Baldwin Hall
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
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