Seed Bank

“Seeds are more valuable than guns and bullets. –Lucinda Bailey a.k.a. The Seed Lady”

She might be right. Whether it be war or a disaster, seeds may be more valuable than guns and bullets. You can feed your family with seeds you have sown, or with a small patch of vegetables nearby. I still remember the last calamity. Entire communities were going hungry, cut off from the rest of the world. What if they had a homestead, or a community garden nearby?

We ought to start saving seeds. Call it survival packets.

Cherry TomatoSeed saving is an age-old practice. Traditionally, farmers would select the most robust and disease-resistant plants and then save the seeds during a season. With the advent of hybrid seeds however, farmers have stopped the practice of saving their own seeds. This is because seeds harvested from hybrid plants produce seedlings that are unlike and inferior to the parent seed. Also, most of the seeds you purchase are treated with fungicides.

Our small farm has started a seed bank. (Biodynamic practices require the use of untreated seed. One way to ensure that seeds are not treated is by saving the seeds yourself.) We bank on heirloom seeds that are open pollinated. These are seeds that have been handed down and successfully cultivated for generations. A vegetable variety can be considered an heirloom once it has been cultivated for over fifty years. Heirlooms have a different flavor. We have heirloom seeds for tomatoes, eggplant, and some varieties of corn. We even have seeds for purple corn, a locally adapted variety that we got from individual farmers. Heirloom seeds reward us with better tasting produce. Unlike the hybrid varieties, heirlooms can be saved and replanted every year. (Hybrid varieties require planting new seeds every year.) Additionally, heirloom seeds adapt to the location over time and what you have are resilient seeds that will grow abundantly where you are. They are more resistant to disease or to harsh weather.

Heirlooms

We’re looking to save more and more varieties of heirloom vegetables, flowers and herbs. We’re trying to find and collect heirloom varieties and then grow these on site. And then we collect seeds when they are fully ripe and dry.  Easy seeds to collect are from tomatoes and beans. As our climate becomes more erratic, seeds that have been passed down, adapted to our soil, and grown resilient over time, will thrive and produce better crops.

Saving seeds gives us the means to grow our own food. It is the key to food sovereignty because you know how to get food and exactly where it comes from.  A huge chunk of the seed market is already controlled by big companies like Monsanto and Bayer.  These seeds are treated with pesticides, herbicides or are even genetically-modified. If you are able to save your own heirloom, local, open pollinated variety seeds, you are able to replant and regrow them every year, without being dependent on the big companies that patent and control hybrid varieties.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Do you sell seeds in your Makati office?

    Reply

  2. good day..

    salamat po sa mga napakaraming insights and encouragement na mga nabasa ko dito..

    naging hobby ko po ang magtanim since my bakante kaming lote…

    nung una puro flowers ang tinatanim ko pero ng mag start na akong magtanim ng gulay..napansin ng mga kapitbhay ko ang ginagawa ko kaya naging excited ako na palawakin pa ang aking mga nalalaman sa pagtatanim…imbes na sa mga naglalako sila bumibili sakin na sila minsan bumibili ng gulay…at mga flowers.

    simpleng mga bagay pero nakakatuwa na malaman malaki ang naiaambag natin sa kalikasan..talaga pong nakakatuwa ung article ninyo..

    how much po ung seeds ng wild sunflower seeds?
    pede po bang makabili?
    para po sana makuha ko din ung idea ng composting gamit ung wild sunflower seeds.

    Reply

    • Thank you for your comments. We do not have sunflower seeds for sale. We will let you know once we have. But you can also just get from the sunflowers you see growing in the wild. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Posted by Cora on August 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Isn’t it that wooden pallets attract termites? I would like to use them for raised beds but scared that they may be eaten by termites.

    Reply

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