Seed catalogs are some of my favorite zines to look through. I’ll admit that I sometimes look at People Magazine or InStyle in doctor’s offices but the shame and self-loathing clogging my gullet after downing that useless information is the opposite feeling I get after looking through a seed catalog. Those visions of perfect rows, kiddos digging in the dirt, harvesting and eating raw veggies straight from the plant. Those imaginings of fresh tomato sauce and applesauce and gallons of salad. Those bring to me wholesome feelings of health, sustainability, natural beauty, and just plain old good feasting.
When ordering my seeds this year, I focused on finding a seed company that doesn’t buy GMO (Genetically Modified) seeds. The beautiful golden rows of corn waving in the summer and fall winds, this picture that most of us get when we imagine the midwest, many of these plants have been genetically modified. Seedsforgood.com says that our “native, heirloom, non-hybrid, and non-genetically modified…seeds are rapidly becoming rare as a result of genetic engineering.” If you’ve ever tasted an Heirloom tomato you will not want to return to the ones that are sold in the supermarkets: tasteless, colorless, lifeless, homogenous.
The Council for Responsible Genetics has a list of seed companies who have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, vowing to avoid purchasing GMO seeds.
I’m personally partial to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, purely for aesthetic and sentimental reasons. When I visited my in-laws in Missouri a few years ago, we took the kids to visit Baker Creek. Their operation is beautiful and includes a pioneer village, a working farm, a seed store, a restaurant that serves delicious vegetarian meals, and music festivals throughout the year. They are very committed to non-GMO seeds and their seed catalog (which you can request for free on their website) is the Anthropologie of seed catalogs.
Happy seed ordering. Enjoy your favorite catalogs and the visions of your planting future!
Christiana is the manager of this collaborative blog. She has postgrad degrees in theology and creative writing from St Andrews University in Scotland. She lives with her family in intentional Christian community in rural Illinois. While her husband farm manages, she writes, sings, dabbles in gardening, cares for their two kiddos, cooks, preserves food and attempts to homemake. She also blogs at thebeautyofthishour.wordpress.com.