Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Real seed



As if there wasn't enough to worry about in the world of food already, with supermarkets filling our heads with the need for special offer junk, sugar in absolutely everything and multi-national companies tampering with whatever takes their fancy, GMO OMG has planted the seed of nightmare killer corn and chemically engineered soya.

I thought I was doing my bit by being a vegetarian, growing my own fruit and veg and forcing it on my kids instead of feeding them McDonalds, but "no!", the scientists have been at my seeds. When I first got my allotment there was an enormous parsnip growing happily there that went to seed and I was warned against collecting the seed because my parsnips "wouldn't come true". I nodded wisely, thinking "poppycock" in my head and collected the seed anyway. But what was in this whole "not coming true" business? Should I be scared of my hundreds of seeds that I got for free?

Basically a F1 hybrid seed involves hours and hours of hand pollination and careful conditions and work on the part of the breeder. It's like the elite of seeds, you can't have any old insect coming along and cross pollinating from other common old plants. So on purpose the seed with not be the same as its parent otherwise what would have been the point of all that hard work. However I'm not sure I care much for elite veg as I'm just growing food. I'm not a seed breeder trying to make a profit nor am I up for discrimination against my veg. GMO seed are a little more sinister. It's where the DNA of one organism like bacteria is injected into another to result in new traits effectively making a super seed that can then be owned by corporations. Things are a bit more complicated than that but the solution is quite simply to just grow some real seeds.


I got these ones today and I feel much better about everything already. They are from The Real Seed Company who state that they provide "real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables."

It feels like I'm doing the right thing and even if it's just a selection. It's keeping heirloom and heritage varieties alive and they have such fantastic names like 'Glory of Enkhuisen' cabbage.


And 'Grandpa Admire's' butterhead lettuce which could easily have been seed saved by my own Grandpa.




  1. Oh thank you for posting this I had no idea about this company but will definitely be checking them out now! I love heritage verities and feel exactly the same way about F1 seeds, to me they take some of the wholesomeness out of growing your own veggies, obviously I would love for all mine to look perfect (and not get eaten by every insect in England!), but end of the day its the taste that is really important, and the older verities, to me at least, just taste better!

    1. Thanks for your comment Wendy, The Real Seed Company are brilliant. I'll be ordering again when I've picked what else to grow. Good luck with the veg


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