Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Heirloom Seeds-OTG (Off The Grid) Reprint
A recent condescending article out of the New York Times made me understand why there is a "them" and "us" mentality in this world. I'm sure you know the reaction when any type of preparedness topic comes up in polite conversation. I've seen it, and I'm sure you have too.
It's the little smirk, the raised eyebrow, the quiet chuckle that lets you know in no uncertain terms that you're a lunatic because you choose to be prepared for the hard times coming. We're not talking hard-core survivalists here--we're speaking in terms of "preppers," people who can read the signs of the times and know it's about to get tough, and you better figure out a way to feed your family when it does.
It's like being prepared and not living life on the edge is idiotic for some reason. It's like using your common sense and seeing the way things are, refusing to put on the blinders, is comical to these people and cause for derision and snide insults.
I'm beginning to realize how Noah must have felt!
The Times article starts off with a condescending smirk. The subject is, and the opening lines start with a suggestion that the reader consider buying a 1936 Oldsmobile coupe. No matter that modern safety features and technology haven't been incorporated into the 1936 car. If you're in the market for a car, why not start with a 75-year-old model? And then the writer comes in with his clever rejoinder and says that's exactly what heirloom seed purchasers are doing.
We're dinosaurs. We're stupid. We're ignoramuses that just don't understand, refusing to advance into the modern era of genetically modified seed that has been chemically treated and manipulated. After all, according to one seed seller, "modern seeds, which are generally hybrid crosses, produce a 'more vigorous plant, with better resistance to diseases.'"
We're called "right-thinking" gardeners, spouting an orthodoxy the Times author calls "heirloomism." And the chief executive officer of the Burpee Seed Company states that our desire for heirlooms comes from an "anti-science credo" that has hardened into a "Luddite fundamentalism."
And this is where the author of the piece really doesn't get it. He goes on about taste, about the size of the plant and supporting structure, about the time it takes for vegetables to grow and harvesting. He never gets into the main reason that we want heirloom seeds.
You see, I'm willing to allow a little more time for myto mature if it means I can get the seed from them to grow another crop next year. I'm willing to forego all the wonders of modern science and genetic manipulation (and the resulting crop failure like has happened for those poor farmers in India) for those heirloom seeds that have hardiness etched into their genetic makeup, those varieties that have withstood the test of time and continue to grow and reproduce without needing a life support system to sustain them.
I'm willing to do all that for the sake of not having to depend on a smirking, condescending agri-giant to supply me with my seed stock. I'm willing to do that for the sake of being able to feed my family without having to depend on government subsidies or a faltering economy to do so.
And I'm sure that's the main reason you continue learning, striving, and doing as well.
We used to know what that word meant, but many people don't anymore. Those of us who do are ridiculed for our grit and determination. The neighbors look at you askance as you plant another, till another garden plot, or try your hand at canning and food storage. Self-sufficiency has become the joke of the modern world that would rather trust its future to dubious associations and connections than experience true freedom.
And freedom is what it's all about.
Freedom from worry...
Freedom from stress...
Freedom from empty stomachs and your children going to bed hungry...
My Sentiments exactly.
I hope I don't step on anyone's toes by reprinting this. I've given credit, and hope if I'm in the wrong for reprinting, that someone will make me aware of it.