Having a garden is important to being self-sufficient. Growing your own food can cut your food expenses by quite a lot and make your trips to the grocery store less frequent. You can plant your garden with seeds or plants that you buy every year, but you could also be a little more self-sufficient than that.

Buying heirloom seeds and learning how to harvest and store seeds is that much better. It is more work, but it frees you from making the same yearly purchases every spring. I also like the idea of having seed to pass down to Savannah. If I learn and get the bugs worked out of my heirloom skills now, then I can teach Savannah first hand what works. I’ll save her the trial and error stage that I will be in this year and probably several years to come.

Now, I want to make sure you know that heirloom and GMO-free seeds are two different things. I didn’t realize this until a few years back. I thought that all GMO plants were infertile or that, if a plant did grow from the see, it wouldn’t produce any yield. This isn’t true however. Heirloom merely means that the seed will produce the same plant that yields the same seed. If you want GMO-free, you will have to shop for specifically GMO-free. Luckily, the company I ordered my seed from carries both. I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have, but I did make sure the corn seed I found was GMO-free since it’s the hardest to find around here.

You will have to beware cross breeding with neighbors’ crops if they are raising anything that is compatible with your plants. Especially if you are trying to stay GMO-free. If your plants produce a cross-bred yield, you obviously can’t keep the seed from it unless you want to grow that same thing again. Don’t plant all your good seed every year. You should always keep extra seed back in case of cross breeding. You don’t want to loose your heirloom line to one year of a bad cross. This may still not save your line, but it will increase your odds of protecting it.

I am really excited to be trying heirlooms this year. I’ll try to pass on any information and tips I find along the way. It’s bound to be an informative year!