Discussion Over Why Heirloom Seed Harder to Find

I’m growing rather frustrated with not being able to find the regular seeds I use every year becoming less available. When the Bloody Butcher tomato seed was already sold out in February. I said “oh well”. When the Rio Grande tomato seeds were unavailable because of crop failure that year. I said “well darn”. Well the red sail lettuce was unavaiable. I said “hmm?” But now I cannot find ANY black eyed purple hull pea seeds I say “What’s going on here?!”

I understand different things can affect seed shortage. Things like crop failures, contamination by cross pollination by genetically modified plants, or is it just the economy is so bad more people having gardens. I personally believe its a combination of all of these factors.

It’s a sign of the times when Sustainable Seed Company actually says on their home page that there is only so much open pollinated corn available so please save some of your own seed for next year because it might be unavailable. I mean they are in the job of selling seed and instructing you to save your own.

We, including myself, have taken for granted seed will be available for next year so why go to the trouble of finding out how to correctly save seed. I see the air seeled cans of seeds in every garden catalog to save “for emergencies” and haven’t bought into that hype. But I now do see the reason for it. I don’t see myself buying those metal cans of seeds but I do think my eyes are opened to the possibility my favorites are gone. That does concern me.

I have heard of a few seed saving books and when I get some extra money I think I might order a few. I’d like to find out how to pick the plants to save seed from, how to correctly harvest and store the seed. I mean I heard once you have to ferment tomato seeds but how exactly do you do it? And how do you prevent cross pollination? And what does cross pollinate?

I’m not keen on adding anything more to my to do list but I think a little reading up on this subject can actually help our family in the long run. I mean at best we will save a little money an frustration at having to buy more seed each year. I’d love to hear from you on this topic. Let me know what you feel the biggest contributing factor to the heirloom seed shortages are.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by goffcouture on May 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I just bought purple hull southern peas from Victory Seeds a few weeks ago: http://www.victoryseeds.com/. I hadn’t used them before but was pleased with the selection and the speed with which my order was shipped. Hopefully you’ll be able to purchase some this year, and save for next. šŸ™‚

    Reply

  2. Posted by goffcouture on May 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Aw that’s a shame. šŸ˜¦ Sorry.

    Reply

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