Author Topic: If we aren't part of the solution......  (Read 17429 times)

Offline cohutt

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If we aren't part of the solution......
« on: December 09, 2011, 09:21:59 PM »
then we are part of the problem....




Consider heirloom open pollinated seeds when the catalogs arrive this winter.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 09:38:27 PM »
Yikes!!   :o

First thing that came to mind was, "Food Extinction."  hmmm.   ???

Offline cohutt

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 04:32:05 AM »
The bottom half of the chart was almost 30 years ago- I wonder if it has changed noticeably since 1983

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 05:37:56 AM »
Simply put - you control the food, you control the people.

+1 and thanks for a great post Cohutt.  I would hope this would spark fear into everyone and also remind us how much seed Monsanto has taken over.  It should also serve as a prompt to think about growing heirloom veggies and saving your own seeds.

I really believe we are heading for a serious food shortage - well of real food like fresh veggies and fruits because we know we'll have all the products made with "high fructose corn syrup" thanks to our government subsidy of the Monsanto corn industry - yikes.


Offline bdhutier

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 04:20:01 PM »
It's scary because, the only real reason western civilization survived the little ice age was food adaptability, thanks to the many varieties.  Now that they are so slimmed down, it'll be more difficult to adapt.

Offline average_joe

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 08:29:03 PM »
Got my Baker Creek catalog in the mail yesterday. Ordered seeds from them the last two years and have been pleased with the company. 

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 11:46:44 PM »
The worst part is cross breeding when the bees and such pollinate our GMO free seeds..we then store those seeds and end up with exactly what we were fighting against..like alfalfa here in Oregon..and the poor farmers that are useless to fight it..I have heard some talk of having they're.crops.tested and if it came up positive for Monsanto genetics and they hadn't purchased there seed from them to court they went...but on a smaller scale you have a garden that is all GMO free seeds (remember organic doesn't mean GMO free) and Joe blow down the block has a good old pre started walmart garden and a happy bee passes by....bam your saved seeds are now possibly implanted with the suicide gene..so what to do? I pick my best starts and keep them covered with that clear cloth ground cover fashioned into a bag and hand pollinate once fruit has set I mark the set fruit with an X and only harvest those for seed saving..you could do a green house but IMHO it would be harder to keep polinaters out..

My BOL is far away from any gardens other than natural gardens..I plan on having a keep it secret keep it clean garden haha to insure my seeds are intact still seeds the way nature made them not man's hand...
 

Offline BassManNate

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 07:51:44 PM »
I only grow open pollinated heirloom varieties. I also only save seed from flowers that I am confident didn't cross with anything. If that means that I bag a few flowers before they open, then so be it. I don't want those freaking Monsanto genes in my garden.

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 09:22:35 PM »
Did anybody notice that with the exception of squash and tomatoes, there are less than 10% of the varieties still available circa 1983?  With squash, it is just over 10% and with tomatoes it us just under 20%.

Those vanished varieties may be out of reach of the general population, but I have a hard time believing they are completely extinct.  If we know there is a problem, then I guarantee that government planners know there is a problem.  It is a sure bet that somewhere in some government vault or bunker, there are stocks of these "lost" varieties.

Furthermore, it is a sure bet that these lost varieties are still out in the general population.  We preppers aren't the only ones who believe in harvesting seeds for next year's crop.  There are a lot of us and a whole bunch more of the other various groups.

Offline cohutt

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 05:47:09 AM »
OMS, I think you have a point. they say "commercial seed houses"; I believe it was probably still true using that measure but the internet has opened up heirloom availability significantly today.
Also, I imagine the data was cherry picked or filtered at the time for maximum impact.

Still, I think we all agree on the risk involved with a significantly narrowed pool of broadly used varieties with them mostly being hybrids of some sort.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 12:46:59 PM »
I would tend to believe that in 1903 a significant portion of the varieties were genetically identical but showed different phenotypes.  One is blond, one is brunette, one is redhead, but they are all still beautiful.  Once the genetics were more understood, alot of the varieties were combined, which leads to people thinking that there are a whole let less than there used to be.  It may be true to a degree, but I think this is overstating the issue.  Plus there are plenty of heirlooms that were driven to extinction by hybrids that outperformed them in certain climates.  Who knows, 1903 could have been a period of time when lots of farmers were experimenting with different lineages, registered them, and then they ended up being unsustainable or didn't perform as well as other established varieties leading to an overall decline in the total number of varieties.


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 11:02:59 PM »
I would not be surprised if the number of different varieties now is up from the chart's date of 1983.  It would be thanks to things like Seed Savers Exchange and others like this.  There's been a big movement to save the heirloom varieties.

That said, I still think that the numbers are way down from 1903.

I never use anything that I know is GMO.  I try to use heirloom varieties whenever possible.  I do use some hybrids, but usually only sweet corn.

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 12:20:42 AM »
I would not be surprised if the number of different varieties now is up from the chart's date of 1983.  It would be thanks to things like Seed Savers Exchange
SSE is well no longer a reliable source in several ways IMHO and this year the seeds I did order really REALLY failed.. compared to the same strain from a small seed company..
 http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/svalbard-doomsday-vault-biopiracy-by-un-treaty/

I would tend to believe that in 1903 a significant portion of the varieties were genetically identical but showed different phenotypes.  One is blond, one is brunette, one is redhead, but they are all still beautiful.  Once the genetics were more understood, alot of the varieties were combined, which leads to people thinking that there are a whole let less than there used to be.  It may be true to a degree, but I think this is overstating the issue.


ehhh I don't know..yes all are beautifully but ALL have different genetic makeup..and come from different climates.. I don't feel It's overstated much if at all.. and if the red heads,blondes,brunettes so on and so forth were bred until some monotone of color was the norm..wouldn't that be a genetic loss?? I think so..they were all the way they were for a reason and didn't need to be "leveled out" to a common ground..all just IMHO

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 08:08:51 AM »
The phenotypes are still there, they are just recessive and rarely show except under the right reproductive circumstances.  If you grow Kentucky Wonder beans and one of your plants has a white outline on the leaves, you can take that plant and propagate it to reproduce that trait faithfully, but it is still a Kentucky Wonder.

Many tomato plants are genetically identical, but have different size fruit or modified growing season, but they are still the same.  In the catalog you will eventually find the different "varieties", but they are genetically identical.

Sorry if I am playing devils advocate, but I minored in genetics, so this kind of thing interests me.  I only use Heirloom seeds in my garden if at all possible.

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 09:33:46 AM »

Many tomato plants are genetically identical, but have different size fruit or modified growing season, but they are still the same.  In the catalog you will eventually find the different "varieties", but they are genetically identical.

can you share some documentation that isn't Monsanto funded that says somehow two plants with completely different looks,growing season,taste and yield are genetically identical?? Humans are all humans but in no way are we all genetically identical
The phenotypes are still there, they are just recessive and rarely show except under the right reproductive circumstances.  If you grow Kentucky Wonder beans and one of your plants has a white outline on the leaves, you can take that plant and propagate it to reproduce that trait faithfully, but it is still a Kentucky Wonder.
But a true Kentucky wonder doesn't have that trait so to me it seems dangerous to encourage a unknown trait as it may be a genetic fault or cross contamination from another variety that could seriously affect the entire plant from vigor to yield..I stand firmly against modern hybrids because to me this is the jump off point of genetically modifying something..there's no reason it knew what it was doing..people say well it didn't grow well in this or that zone..so grow something that does! People shouldn't mess with genetics of most thing most of all our food..dangerous waters..


« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 09:59:02 AM by FromScratchWoman »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2011, 10:25:34 AM »
I stand firmly against modern hybrids because to me this is the jump off point of genetically modifying something..there's no reason it knew what it was doing..people say well it didn't grow well in this or that zone..so grow something that does! People shouldn't mess with genetics of most thing most of all our food..dangerous waters..
A hybrid is just a cross between 2 varieties of the same type of plant.  It can occur naturally, but is usually encouraged by the plant breeder.  It is no different than someone breeding a cocker spaniel and a poodle to get a cockapoo.

There is no connection between hybrid seed and GMO seed.  By blurring the lines between these things, it weakens the fight against GMOs.  The way I see it, it is very much like the stuff Jack was talking about the part of yesterday's podcast about the hysteria about the food modernization act.  The more people spread the idea that GMO and hybrid are too close, the more crazy the people fighting against GMO look.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2011, 11:37:12 AM »
Also, I imagine the data was cherry picked or filtered at the time for maximum impact.

Probably so.  The 1903 numbers are from "commercial seed houses" (how many?), and the 1983 number is from a single government facility that, I suspect, was pretty small at the time.  Currently that facility has enough room in its storage vaults for 1.5 million samples (but I haven't found data about how many different varieties they are now storing).

The point is still good, though.  Individuals bear a lot of the responsibility for keeping varieties in existence.  Anyway, what's the chance of a gardener getting hold of an old variety if the only place it exists is a federal liquid nitrogen tank?

...If you grow Kentucky Wonder beans and one of your plants has a white outline on the leaves, you can take that plant and propagate it to reproduce that trait faithfully, but it is still a Kentucky Wonder.

Many tomato plants are genetically identical, but have different size fruit or modified growing season, but they are still the same.  In the catalog you will eventually find the different "varieties", but they are genetically identical. ...

My genetics is probably a lot older and rustier than yours, Shaunypoo, but this really doesn't sound right.  If a plant has a trait that can be reliably passed down from one generation to the next, and it's not just a response to the conditions it's growing in, then what else could it be other than a genetic difference?  Your white-outlined beans might be descended from Kentucky Wonder and share 99.99999% of their DNA, but there's still that 0.00001% percent difference that arose as a spontaneous mutation.  You can sell your new beans as Dixie Frosty Mornin', because the purchaser can rely on that white-outline trait being present in the DNA.  If your variety goes extinct, nobody will ever have that same white-outlined bean plant again.

A hybrid is just a cross between 2 varieties of the same type of plant. ... There is no connection between hybrid seed and GMO seed. ...

This is true, but commercially there is one similarity.  Many hybrids will not breed true from seed.  They need to be created every time by crossing the two parent varieties.  Therefore, the home gardener can't save seeds to grow the same variety next year, but is effectively required to buy seeds from the manufacturer.

Offline archer

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2011, 12:06:11 PM »
hybridization is a natural process. nature does it. humans just do it faster towards a shorter term goal. it is not GMO. cross species will not mix naturally (which is what GMO does).


Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2011, 12:08:11 PM »
At what point are you declaring your criteria for two things being genetically identical?  At this point 2 plants from the same parent plant but from 2 different seeds aren't "genetically identical".  If they are the same genus and species, they are classified as close enough to be termed "genetically identical".  Technically, all tomatoes are "genetically identical" since they can be cross pollinated with one another.

It can still be a Kentucky Wonder because you can cross Dixie Frosty Mornin' with Kentucky Wonder and get what looks to be just Kentucky Wonder.  Cross two F2 generation plants, and 25% will be Dixie Frosty Mornin'.  This is of course the most simple of examples, but it still holds true.  At this point you are looking at blonde (Dixie Frosty Mornin') and brunette (Kentucky Wonder). 

Unknown traits are what is expressed in all the varieties that we enjoy today.  The natural equivalent to our Cauliflower doesn't look like the heirloom you grow in your garden, but got that way because someone saw a trait they wanted and bred it to maximize that trait.  All of your heirlooms have undergone the same process to get where we are today.
A true Kentucky Wonder may have the white outline somewhere in its genetics, but just hasn't been expressed yet.

My main point is in 1903 they may have been looking at 8 variations of Kentucky Wonder and classifying them as 8 different plants (which I think they should be) but today they see 8 variations of 1 plant and classify it as 1 plant (albeit with 8 distinct variations).  I understand the point of the chart, I am just saying that the stats will say what whomever is making the chart wants them to say and should not be taken as gospel.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2011, 12:12:53 PM »
This is true, but commercially there is one similarity.  Many hybrids will not breed true from seed.  They need to be created every time by crossing the two parent varieties.  Therefore, the home gardener can't save seeds to grow the same variety next year, but is effectively required to buy seeds from the manufacturer.
But some hybrids do produce true.  Take the Mortgage Lifter.  This was a hybrid created from 4 different types of tomato.  It has become an heirloom.  Also, as a home gardener, I should be able to produce the same kind of hybrid by starting with the same varieties of plants.  It will likely take an entire year or more to accomplish it, but it can be accomplished.

Betcha can't produce a GMO. ;)

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2011, 12:30:18 PM »
We have been genetically modifying plants and animals for millenia.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Offline archer

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2011, 01:36:31 PM »
We have been genetically modifying plants and animals for millenia.
that is true, but not by cross breading between species.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2011, 02:20:32 PM »
That is frankenscience.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2011, 02:43:26 PM »
I took issue when I first saw this image on Facebook and I'm gonna take issue with it here.

You cannot compare what was available from a commercial seed factory 100+ years ago with what the government decides to keep in their warehouse today. It is a useless comparison that shows nothing.

It would be like comparing what was available for purchase 100 years ago with what you (specifically YOU) grow in your garden today. It means nothing. Why do we care one iota what the government keeps in their warehouse?? We're not going to depend on them to save our seeds for us, and telling THEM to keep more seeds is just going to cost us more money.

If you're interested in preserving heirloom breeds, please get involved with a seed saving club or something. There are less varieties today than there were a hundred years ago, but I'd bet $100 that it's not anywhere near as dramatic as that image suggests.

Offline cohutt

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2011, 03:58:25 PM »
Congratulations.

You have revived a discussion on a topic that is often forgotten unless there is a crisis news story that rings of panic and hysteria.   

There will never be huge leaps back towards agricultural diversity, but the more we all remain committed to it both in message and in practice, maybe we can take a few crumbs back away from the Monsantos of the world.

Keep it in mind, consider heirloom varieties when you are ordering seeds and maybe order an extra packet or two to share and introduce an uninformed gardener to the concept.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 04:09:44 PM »
There will never be huge leaps back towards agricultural diversity, but the more we all remain committed to it both in message and in practice, maybe we can take a few crumbs back away from the Monsantos of the world.

Keep it in mind, consider heirloom varieties when you are ordering seeds and maybe order an extra packet or two to share and introduce an uninformed gardener to the concept.

^ This.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 04:28:40 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2011, 04:57:03 PM »
Agreed, whenever possible, I use heirloom seeds.  The only hybrid seeds I typically grow are sweet corn.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: If we aren't part of the solution......
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2011, 09:39:09 AM »
Agreed, whenever possible, I use heirloom seeds.  The only hybrid seeds I typically grow are sweet corn.

I guess corn is pretty much screwed.

I prefer heirlooms.  When I talk to someone about prepping in general I mention that I have started gardening.  Some people I know garden and they lament that they always have to buy new plants every year.  I grow everything from seed, so using self sustainable heirloom vegetables appealed to me.