Today’s guest post from Phoebe of Getting Freedom is on a topic near and dear to my gardener’s heart. I am a huge advocate of heirloom seeds, for so many of the reasons that she talks about in this excellent post!
When we started our debt freedom journey, one thing I noticed rather quickly was our grocery budget was one of the only areas I had the freedom to cut. I didn’t want to sacrifice what we were eating, so I knew I had to be creative in my spending. My husband decided that it was only logical for us to grow as much of our own food as we possibly could, and for as little as possible.
I quickly began researching everything garden related. It didn’t take long for me to realize that seeds cost a lot less than buying plants. When I began looking through seed catalogs, and reading information online about seeds, I found that there was a lot to learn. While I have come a long way, I’m still no where near being an expert.
After many hours of research and catalog reading, we decided that Heirloom Seeds were our most cost effective option. You are able to plant a seed that you purchased one year, grow the plant, consume the fruit, and save the seeds to be planted next year. You have an investment that keeps on giving. This is because an heirloom seed, also known as an open-pollinated seed, has been passed on through the years, unaltered by man. They are a pure form of the original plant.
Before looking into seeds, I always thought a seed was a seed. I had no idea some seeds were genetically altered. Scientists have went into the DNA of seeds and altered them to resist certain diseases and to “enhance” flavor. While that may not sound bad right off the bat, think of it this way. There are certain varieties of tomato that’s DNA has been spliced with a cold water fish gene in order to resist frost. Personally, I’d rather take it the way God intended. Additionally, many heirloom plants are rich in flavor, as the best-tasting seeds were the ones saved. Modern seeds focus more on yield than flavor.
Amazingly, there are endless options when it comes to heirloom seeds. You can grow your average orange carrot, or you can choose a white or purple variety! Last year in our garden, I went with Black Krim Tomatoes, as well as Reverend Morrow LongKeeper Tomatoes which are more of a pink variety. Before finding heirloom seeds, I thought all tomatoes were either yellow, green, or red. While there may be a little more work involved in starting your seeds, and saving them later, the end result is far more rewarding and frugal. I also like knowing that I’m doing my part in preserving the plants of the past.
There are many different places to buy heirloom seeds. Last year we bought ours exclusively from Baker Creek Seed Company, you can see their online catalog here.
Phoebe is an expecting, stay at home mom to 3 children. She chronicles her family’s love for the unconventional life and their journey to debt freedom on her blog, Getting Freedom.