Heirloom, Open-Pollinated and Hybrid

About the seeds we steward…

H – Our Heirloom Seeds are hand-pollinated according to the guidelines outlined by the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE).  This is so we know the seeds will produce plants that retain the parents’ characteristics.

OPH – Open Pollinated Heirloom seeds are from plants that have been isolated from other varieties of their species within a pre-determined distance.  Time, mechanical isolation and bagging techniques may have been used to assure the seeds reproduce true to their parents.

OP – Our Open Pollinated seeds have the potential for more genetic diversity – and even the extra productivity said to come with F1 Hybrids.  Plants within the same species and genus may be cross-pollinated by bees.  Our seeds are not “hybrid” in the sense of being produced through controlled pollination — often with highly inbred lines — by modern plant breeders.  Hybrids are typically developed for large-scale high input agricultural production systems.  In other words, we do not sell plants or seeds from F1 hybrids. However, natural hybridization — the crossing of genetically distinct parents, both within and between populations, varieties, and species — has been important in crop diversity throughout history.  It is a natural process, resulting from open-pollination, and one that farmers have often used to their advantage.  Thus, hybridization in this larger sense is likely reflected in the genetic make-up of some of our seed.  These we call Open Pollinated (OP).

About the seeds we purchase:

We only purchase seeds for our plants from companies that:

  1. Have taken the Safe Seed Pledge to avoid Genetically Modified Seeds and/or
  2. Are committed to the stewardship principles we wholeheartedly believe in (Certified Organic, permaculture, and only ecologically sound methods)