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Baker Creek Seeds & The Safe Seed Pledge

Learn about Baker Creek heirloom seeds and their commitment to the Safe Seed Pledge, and you’ll see why Homesteading Family has been a loyal customer for over 15 years.

Seed packets on a wire shelf.

In this podcast, you’ll hear us discussing the issues with the GMO purple tomato. If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, you’ll want to check out the podcast we did with Bevin Cohen, in which we discussed GMO seeds and what the home gardener needs to know.

This is a follow-up to the GMO seeds podcast. We’re chatting with John Brazaitis from Baker Creek to discuss how they source their seeds and why we’ll trust them with our business in the future to protect our garden from GMOs.

If you’d like to learn more about Baker Creek and see a tour of the village in Missouri, I was able to tour it back in 2018.

A man with a beard in a Baker Creek Seed Co. hat.
Photo credit Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. / rareseeds.com

How Can the Home Gardener Avoid GMO Seeds?

As home gardeners, the only way to know we’re not growing a genetically modified crop is to purchase heirloom open-pollinated seeds. We’ve trusted Baker Creek for many years. The great news is that there are now many seed companies selling heirloom and open-pollinated seeds.

If you want to learn more about purchasing seeds, read this post on choosing the BEST vegetable seeds for your garden.

Baker Creek Seed store shelves lined with seed packets.
Photo credit Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. / rareseeds.com

The Safe Seed Pledge

To further protect your home garden from GMO seeds, John recommends finding companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge. This pledge states the following…

“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.”

(Source)

Though the Safe Seed Pledge was once a non-profit organization that is no longer in business, it remains part of its legacy, and many seed companies still adhere to the pledge.

To build more resiliency on our homesteads, it’s always best practice to save our own seeds each year. We can then share them with neighbors, sell them at our local Farmer’s Market, or even look into the Seed Savers Exchange, where you can buy, sell and trade seeds with people from all over.

Lettuce seeds spread out in rows.

How Baker Creek Ensures Non-GMO Seeds

The process of testing seeds for GMOs is expensive and requires extensive laboratory work. When Baker Creek receives a crop threatened with GMO contamination, it sends it to a lab. They run an analysis on all seed that tends to be GMO (which includes corn, soybean, sugar beets and now tomatoes).

Unfortunately, adding tomatoes to the mix will cost the industry and consumers. John says we’ll likely see an increase in the cost of tomato seeds in the future as more companies test their tomato seeds to ensure they’re free from GMOs.

To protect yourself from this increase, John recommends learning how to save seeds from your heirloom tomatoes. If you suspect neighbors close by are growing GMO tomatoes, it’s best to take precautions with the fruit you’ll save seeds from by covering them with a sheet or even purchasing little mesh bags to put over the flowers during pollination.

Tomato seedlings growing under a grow light.

How We Can Reduce GMO Seed Production

We all know that we vote with our dollars. The fewer people who purchase GMO tomato seeds, the less they’ll be available on the market.

Let’s all do our part in educating one another, sharing what we know about GMOs and how they affect future crops, and then learning to save our own heirloom seeds for our future gardens.

Baker Creek Seed Store with echinacea flowers of all colors in the foreground.
Photo credit Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. / rareseeds.com

Where to Find Baker Creek

A man with two daughters planting seeds in a garden row.
A man and wife smiling.

Welcome to Homesteading Family!

Josh and Carolyn bring you practical knowledge on how to Grow, Cook, Preserve and Thrive on your homestead, whether you are in a city apartment or on 40 acres in the country. If you want to increase your self-sufficiency and health be sure to subscribe for helpful videos on gardening, preserving, herbal medicine, traditional cooking and more.

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