This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

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Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Feb 11, 2009

Heirloom, Open-pollinated, Hybrid- Genetically Altered?

Well, it’s another case of ‘one of these things is not like the other, one of these things DOES’NT BELONG’

It all started while reading a book called Organic Gardening by Charles Dowding. In one of his chapters there is a small section titled ‘Hybrids are not genetically altered.’ Well, I knew this, but didn’t really know how to explain in to hubby, so here is a run down found on Territorial Seed’s blog.

Heirloom: Most people would call a variety an heirloom if it is open-pollinated, 50 years or more old, and not produced by the large commercial farms. These varieties have been passed down usually because they are reliable and unique.

Open-pollinated: Seeds from these plants will produce a plant that is just like its parents, as long as it hasn’t cross pollinated with another variety.

Hybrid: This is the result of pollen from one variety fertilizing the flower in another. Planting the seed from these will not give you a plant like either of the two parent varieties- but a whole new variety. It takes the cross between the two parents to get the new variety, which is why you have to take cuttings to get the same plant. This happens in nature all the time.

And the last- genetically altered! This one doesn’t belong!!! Anywhere, any time! I wasn’t going to comment on this, but I have to ask “didn’t they (scientists, FDA and the like) learn anything from the hairy armpit peopleaka tree huggers- of which I've been accused of being (not the hairy armpit part:) back in the 70’s when they told them the pesticides would trickle to us and cause problems, ruin the environment, etc.?”

If you’d like, here is an article written by WebMD, but found on At the end the article says, ‘No one predicted the furora sudden outburst (as of protest) or fad! we’ve seen over gene-altered foods’. This was a quote by Clare Hasler, who directs the Functional Foods Program at the University of Illinois. She ends by saying "Right now, the future of biotechnology in agriculture depends on how Americans respond to these products. And no one’s making any predictions."

Um...No thanks, I’ll pass.

My greenhouse tomato 'Big Beef' grown in 2007

Happy Gardening!



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