Friday, February 16, 2024

Seeds 2.0

"The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light." - Sandra Kring

Seed getting planted - 2024

An update to the original Seed article is in order!  It turns out that all seeds are not created equal.  As plants grow, they adapt to their local environment then when they produce seeds those seeds are better adapted to that specific climate that the parent plant grew in.

If you take these seeds across the country to a different environment, the plant may struggle, because they're in a completely new environment that has different conditions than where they came from.

These are conclusions that I've come to over the years from year after year of buying seeds from your typical seed sources, mostly Baker Creek.  What I started noticing is that one year I'd order seeds, some variations would grow phenomenally.  The next year I'd order more of the same variations, but the plants and productivity have always varied wildly each year - even though they're seemingly, the same seeds and everything else is as constant as it can be.

What I started realizing is the biggest variable is the seeds themselves and where they are from.  When you get your seeds from a big seed company, they hire farmers from all over the country (if not world) to grow the produce for them, then harvest the seeds and ship them to the seed company for the seeds to be packed up and sold.  One year, a specific pepper seed may come from Missouri, the next year those seeds may come from New York and the year after that perhaps from Oregon.  All of which have very different climates from each other which means when you try and grow those seeds, they're all going to have different results and varying levels of success, since the environment you're growing them in is different from where they came from.

But if you buy seeds that were grown locally or better yet, if you save the seeds yourself, then you know you're growing seeds that have been naturally adapted to your area.  Meaning they will be the seeds that are going to grow the absolute best in your area.  Each year that you grow and save seeds, the stronger those seeds get for your area.

This year I'm putting this theory to the test by buying some seeds from Masa Seed Foundation, which is conveniently just down the road, outside of Boulder and they are all plant variations that I've grown before which will allow me to compare how the seeds from Masa grow compared to the seeds from the bigger seed companies.  I've also started saving some of my own seeds which allows me to experiment further and I've definitely noticed that anything that I've saved seeds from - grows very, very, very vigorously when I grow them the next year.

One thing seems to be for sure... Local is Better!

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