Pantry Paratus Radio, Episode: 029
Interview with Scott from DownToEarthSeeds.com
Everything that I thought that I knew about gardening on the East Coast does not necessarily translate into success here in NW Montana. There is so much that I have to learn about gardening. I am the type of guy that if I am lost, I have no problem stopping to ask for directions. Great results starts out with great seeds, and there is only one person I go to buy heirloom seeds and that is Scott from Down To Earth Seeds Truthfully, I wish that I knew 10% of what Scott forgot about gardening! Self Sufficiency starts with good homestead supplies for food production; and the best way to the original whole food starts with heirloom seeds.
We talk about:
-Intro to Scott from Down To Earth Seeds purveyor of great heirloom seeds
-How did Scott get started in gardening?
-Getting excited about the seed catalog!
-What does Scott think as he looks across the industrial food-scape?
-Scott tells about his family’s experience at the farmer’s market
-Have we lost a generation of practical food production/preservation knowledge?
-Over information on gardening, starting with “what is dirt?”
-The summer of 1,800 tomato plants . . .
-Getting to know what produces what and how—start noticing
-Barbara Kingsolver quote
-When you produce the food, you have the full value of it, know exactly what went into it AND you own the means of production to perpetuate that cycle
-What is the difference between heirloom, hybrid or GMO seeds?
-What are heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds are “true to type,” pollinate openly and have been in production for 50 years or longer
-As the plant acclimates to soil and environment the taste will vary from Montana to a plant grown in Arkansas
-Hybrid seeds are highly sifted by traits that may be forced to breed to have characteristics that are highly desirable to be drought tolerant, poor soil tolerant, produce a certain color, etc.
-Hybrid seeds are “F1” and are great for one season, but you have to replenish every year because the offspring will not be “true to type” and you will not know (predictably) what will germinate next time
-GMO seeds “frankenseeds” are seeds that are genetically modified (DNA) to be extremely precise for traits to either pesticide resistance, or able to produce a very specific predictable crop every time. Think factory widgets looking exactly the same.
-Who funded the opposition for Prop 37 in California
-When Scott started his seed business in 1997 there were 1,300 commercially available seed producers . . . now there are three big ones of about 300 total producers left
-We may be producing quantity of food in this nation, but the quality is so inferior which leads to obesity, sickness, and inflation of food price
-When you food is nutrient dense, you need less food and feel satisfied
-How do you store seeds? Select the best looking fruit on the plants, sample across the garden so you have variation
-Heat will kill seeds, for every ten degrees above freezing you loose half your seed life!
-Can you freeze seeds? Yes, but it depends on how you do it. The seeds must be at a precise hydration level.
-Most commercial seeds for sale are at 8-12% hydration which will rupture if frozen. The optimum moisture level is between 4-8% in order to freeze them to be frozen and stored
-Do frozen seeds need oxygen to survive?
-Seeds very well be the gold of the future
-The critical element of keeping the food production fly-wheel turning . . .
-Preparedness by force and other foolish notions on preparedness
-Has Scott ever had gardening failures?
-What does it take for some plants to be viable to produce seeds? Freeze cycles, scarification, annual, biannual, etc.
-The value of a root cellar
-Support the small companies that have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you
-Why Scott does not plan on repeat customers
-Neat stories about the National Seed Lab in Ft Collins, CO
-What is the one seed that Scott saw at the National Seed Lab in Ft. Collins that he would not eat himself (and wonders why they even bothered to save those seeds)
Nothing in this blog constitutes medical advice. You should consult your own physician before making any dietary changes. Statements in this blog may or may not be congruent with current USDA or FDA guidance.