This year I am going to more actively attempt to stay away from Monsanto products and try to support heirloom seed companies and natural growers because I really don’t like Monsanto very well and am slightly freaked out by their idea of what is okay to do to the food we eat. I am extremely bothered by the fact that they control so much of the market for our food supply. Check out this list of varieties commonly sold.
I am a bit worried about this as far as my tomatoes go because I really like buying Early Girl and Celebrity tomatoes at D&B Supply every year for very little money (and not having to start them from seeds is great). I don’t like having tomato starts in my house very well (I think I am allergic) so I am starting to think outside the box. Last year I gave winter sowing a try. I LOVE the idea – but most of my plants dried out and the method really didn’t work very well. I am really bad at watering and noticing moisture levels. HOWEVER. It might be worth it to try again.
So this year, I am going to try and get some plants going using the winter sowing method and see if it works any better if I pay a little better attention once spring hits. If you are unfamiliar with the winter sowing method, check this link for a pretty good description. There are lots of Pinterest posts and websites that describe this method in detail but basically you use milk jugs or other containers that let light in and put seeds out in the winter outside in these mini “greenhouses.” Then, in the spring, they sprout when it is time. Like Mother Nature. You cut open the container, but leave a hinge, and add nice potting soil and some seeds This supposedly makes for hardier plants that don’t need to be hardened off before transplanting. But you do need to watch the moisture levels if you live in an arid location (like I do). I am thinking of trying to start hardier seeds this way. It’s far to early for tomatoes, but I think that in a few weeks I may try onion starts using this method and see.
Another experiment I think I will try is to use a clear storage box as a mini greenhouse. Ah, to have a real greenhouse would be something. But we will see if the mini greenhouse works at all. This is also something I saw on Pinterest. Lots of things to try. If these experiments should fail, you shall see me at my local garden center looking for the least likely Monsanto owned starts I can find.
Now is a good time to be ordering seeds and planning ahead if you are getting itchy to get back to the garden. I went to Walmart the other day for diapers for baby girl and they already have seeds and seed starting trays and everything there. Crazy. I bought three packages of Burpee Organic seeds. I couldn’t help it. Burpee is up in the air for me right now. They are non-gmo (not genetically modified) and organic but do buy some of their garden varieties (as many companies do) from a company bought out by Monsanto, Semenis. So, they are not owned by Monsanto, but some of their garden varieties may, in a small way, support the bigger company. Who would have thought that simply planting food could be so ethically challenging? This year I ordered from two companies: Baker’s Creek Seeds and Botanical Interests. There are plenty of other great companies that are/or at least seem to be Monsanto free.