As we come to the end of the growing season, it is time to start preparing for next year's crops. One of my favorite things to do is collect and save seeds. It is amazing what an incredible sense of abundance one gets when saving seeds.
Our lettuce did very well in the garden boxes this year, and I let the plants go to seed. Yesterday I cut off all the tops and prepared to save the seeds. After over an hour of pinching off the tops and rolling each pod in my hand, I put aside the task for a moment. This might be a good task to share with the kids at the Art Garage. Many people don't know how to save seed, or even that they can. I remember when I was shown by a man in Montreal how to save the basil seeds off my very overgrown plant. I remember being fascinated and was pleased when I was able to grow a second garden full of basil the next spring. My basil here in Peoria is on its seventh cycle, although this year we had a lot of challenges so we may lose our seed line.
If you are buying seed, it is a good idea to buy the non-GMO variety. Not just because of the unknown effects of GMOs, but because one of the most prevalent modifications is the inclusion of what is referred to as "the Terminator Gene." Yes indeed folks, that is the name. It was patented by Monsanto, and is still used in their seed lines. The only function of this gene is to stop the next generation of plants. So if my lettuce, for example, had the terminator gene, none of my seed would sprout. It would be sterile. This is why many ecologists called the alarm signal on GMOs. It was feared that this gene could infect neighboring crops due to cross pollination, and without the ability to produce new crops from their seeds, we could face a food shortage, famine, or the end of our natural food supply. What a horrible scenario.
We won't entertain that too long.
Instead, let's look at the power of growing our own food, and saving our own seed. What is more empowering than to be able to feed yourself and your family. This is one way of being free. It is also a beautiful way of sharing in God's bountiful earth.
So don't pull out the plants because they have reached their seed stage. Let them give back for years to come. And be sure to show your kids this miracle of nature.