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We are proud to carry exclusively open-pollinated seed. Open-pollinated seeds are stable varieties that, if properly isolated, produce seeds that can be saved year after year. This seed will continue to produce the same beloved genetics that the first generation had.
We believe seed production is an integral root of a secure food system. By selling only open-pollinated seed, we provide our customers with the opportunity to build their own little corner of a secure food system.
Furthermore, we do not carry any seeds under a Plant Variety Protection or Utility Patent, which makes saving seeds unlawful. We do not believe that anyone should own exclusive rights to a seed, variety, or set of genetics.
Many of the seeds we carry are known as heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated seeds that have been passed down for generations due to their outstanding genetic qualities. Generally, these seeds date back to pre-World War II. We deeply respect the historical relevance of heirloom seeds and work to preserve the stories and origins of these amazing varieties.
Every seed we sell is untreated and non-GMO.
A cornerstone of our business is to encourage gardeners to take control of our seed and food system. Genetically modified seeds are directly antagonistic to this mission. Open-pollinated seeds are more genetically diverse, affordable, and adaptable to varying climates and growing conditions than genetically modified seeds. Furthermore, more open-pollinated varieties remain protected in the public domain as the common property of everyone.
As signatories of the Safe Seed Pledge put out by the Council of Responsible Genetics, Sow True Seed does not and never will knowingly sell GMO seed.
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families, or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems, and ultimately healthy people and communities.
We work hard to prioritize providing organic and naturally grown seeds to our customers. This isn’t always simple or possible, and we are constantly weighing the importance of these labels against the importance of supporting small farmers who sometimes cannot afford the enormous costs of organic certification, but use practices in line with organic ideals. Furthermore, we weigh the importance of these labels against the importance of genetic diversity, as some varieties are simply not available if we require them to be certified organic. It’s a constant and nuanced conversation that we engage in together as a team and also with you! We encourage our customers to become involved and let us know what your values are and what is important to you and your gardening practice.
We are committed to sourcing as much of our seed as possible from small-scale growers. When we buy from U.S. small-scale farmers, we support a food system that is more robust and resilient. These seeds are carefully selected by the growers for quality and they’re often harvested in a region similar to the one they will be planted in, making them well adapted to the climate and even more likely to thrive. Our farmer-grown seed collection grows a little bit every year as we continuously find more sustainable ways to expand this program.
In a business that has become more and more industrialized over the last seventy years, our farmer-grown seed is reminiscent of how agriculture used to be. We work to develop long-term relationships with our growers, giving farmers an additional form of income that goes directly to them rather than another large company or third party buyer. Our ability to source seed directly from the farmer that grew them allows us to provide our customers with an even higher quality product with greater traceability.
When you browse our seeds, look for our Small Farm Grown varieties!
The Department of Agriculture requires that seed germination rates be tested once a year. We take this one step further by testing our seed every six months. We adhere to Federal Germination Standards with all of our seeds and the moment a lot of seeds fails our germination tests, we pull it from our shelves. If you’re ever curious about the germination rates of your seeds, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com with the name of the seed variety and LOT number found on the seed packet!
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