Seed catalogs: Welcome to the monoculture

DJ describes how he just got three seed catalogs in the mail, noticed they were mostly selling the same varieties, and tossed the catalogs in the trash.

If I’m going to gow the same veggies they sell as Wal-Mart, why go through the trouble? I might as well buy them at Wal-Mart.

Instead he recommends places that sell heirloom and unusual seeds, like Stellar Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, and more. These aren’t monoculture seeds, and among other things, the food they produce tastes better. Monoculture tomatoes like you buy in a supermarket can taste like cardboard. But a heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato bursts with flavor.

In addition to the specialty seed vendors DJ mentions, I would add Native Seed Search. They once found an heirloom corn seed in a medicine man’s pouch, grew it, and discovered it was resistant to corn blight. It has now been cross-bred with other species. Sue and I have been to their store in Tucson. They have an amazing amount of carefully selected and bred seeds from the southwest and west.

Not monoculture!

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  • sue

    Sunflowers. Rust resistant.

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