This is the first in a series of blogs we will be producing throughout 2015 to explain how growing organic produce from heirloom seeds will not only produce a healthier food crop, but also help protect the beleaguered pollinators (birds, bees, and butterflies) that allow fruiting trees, berry vines, and vegetables to bear crops in the first place.
All over the world, people are rediscovering the benefits of growing their own food. Some of you have been doing this as long as I have (since the 1970s). These days, most major seed companies only offer genetically modified (GMO) seed, developed to tolerate herbicide and pesticide applications. On commercial farms, this enables farmers to grow their crops and spray herbicides and pesticides directly onto the plants. The resulting produce contains what I consider "unsafe" amounts of these chemicals, confirmed by the numerous studies that have established direct links between some cancers and these very same chemicals. For this reason, if for no other, I choose to eat organically grown foods over factory farmed food.
What could be more important than the quality of food we eat? We've all seen the messages that organically grown food is better for us, a privilege for which we are often asked to pay extra. Yet only a hundred years ago, all food was grown organically and the chemical fertilizer industry of today was non-existent. Back then, pesticides and herbicides weren't used to "aid" farmers and backyard gardeners in their attempt to grow more and "better" crops. When these man-made additives were first introduced their effect on our bodies wasn't considered. Today, after much scientific study, we've come back around to the simple conclusion that healthier foods equal healthier bodies. DripWorks believes that organic produce, grown from old world heirloom seed, provides that healthier alternative, for us, for our garden, and for the world in which we live.
The heirloom seed company that DripWorks has chosen to partner with is Baker Creek Seed Company (rareseeds.com) of Mansfield, Missouri, sponsor of the annual National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California (you might have seen our booth there). If you haven't been to this expo, we recommend checking out their website and looking at all of the amazing speakers giving talks about sustainability, gardening for adults and children, and the bigger picture of keeping ourselves healthy. Attending this annual three day event is a truly worthwhile experience for anyone interested in the real food, pure food, local food, and slow food movements.
The DripWorks Demonstration Garden, about an hour and a half north of Santa Rosa, is another spot where you can see Baker Creek Seed's heirloom vegetables being grown. If you're in the area, please stop by, Monday through Friday and see how veggies—with the aid of drip irrigation—should be grown! We love to meet our customers and offer them a taste of Mendocino County.
In addition to the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, CA (September 8, 9, & 10) Baker Creek Seeds also sponsors three other annual events in 2015: The Spring Planting Festival in Mansfield, MO (May 3-4), The Comstock, Ferre's Heirloom Exposition (May 24) and the Comstock, Ferre's Harvest Festival (October 4) in Wethersfield, CT.