The benefits of seed saving and growing your own food are numerous. The long distances that U.S. farm growers must transport their crops to market necessitate that food is picked before it is ripe. These long-distance trips from the grower to the grocery store also use a lot of energy in the form of fossil fuels.
Growing your own food allows you to pick your fruits and vegetables at the peak of flavor and nutritional content in addition to saving the environment. Only you control what fertilizers are used, eliminating the danger of pesticide and chemical poisoning. And, there are no transportation costs since your produce is right in your backyard.
Seed saving allows you to maintain a seed supply that has not been genetically altered nor exposed to harmful radioactive elements. Food that you grow yourself is produced for a fraction of the cost that you pay for produce in the grocery store. During times of uncertain economic conditions, those who practice seed saving and grow their own food have a sustainable food supply. And, seed saving ensures that you have access to the most flavorful and hardiest crops year after year.
Unless seeds are gathered from an existing organic crop, gardeners must purchase seeds for the first growing season. It’s important to recognize that only F2 plants are suitable for seed saving; F1 plants are hybrids. Seeds are gathered from the crops after they ripen but before they rot. Seeds are then separated from the fruit and then dried at room temperature. They are best planted again the next year or they may lose their germination percentage potential.
Seed saving has actually been credited with saving certain crops from extinction – crops from the farm as well as plants that are destroyed as the world’s forests are razed to make room for more mass-production farms. As commercial farmers don’t practice seed saving, this is left to smaller growers and seed packagers. Several decades ago, the rice crop in India was virtually destroyed by disease. Forward-thinking scientists found the most resistant varieties of rice and replanted the crops the following year with seeds from those varieties. Without seed saving, the rice crops in India would have been completely decimated and India would have had to rely on food transported from other nations.
There is a loud outcry from environmentalists who seek to educate people about the wildlife that could be lost as a result of the massive changes taking place due to man’s misuse of global resources. Yet, there is little being done to educate individuals about the effects that this same misuse are having on food production and the future of food growing. Individuals who save their own seeds and grow their own food can, with little effort, ensure that the seeds they save from year to year are the ones that grow best in their own little ecosystem. This will help protect the future of fresh fruits and vegetables and ensure the most productive, most nutritious, and best varieties remain viable for centuries to come.
Sam Jones has cut his water rates just by collecting rain water from his roof, which he then usess to water in his seedlings.