For the last 30 years, I have saved seeds from my prized snow pea plants. Today those plants can withstand a hard freeze and produce pods in ninety degree weather. The seeds grow more than six feet tall and gardens throughout Tucson flourish with hardy plants that produce an abundance of sweet pea pods.
Our seeds are all open pollinated and chemically untreated. None of our seeds are hybrid. We choose to source seeds from growers in the United States who use minimum chemicals and fertilizers. Many small growers simply can’t afford to certify that their seeds are organic given the cost of USDA Organic Certification.
Irradiation of Seeds and Food
Today we are faced with major concerns about the health risks associated with pesticides and chemical additives in our food supply and environment. We regularly hear of dangers to our food supply from Salmonella and other contamination. In addition to these concerns, food technologists are promoting ionizing radiation as a method to preserve food. Food irradiation is a dangerous and untested process that has profound ramifications not only for our food but to our environment. Currently herbs and spices and some vegetables are allowed to be irradiated without being labeled.
Open Pollinated Seeds
Seeds that produce “true” are called open pollinated. Only open pollinated seeds allow you to save the seeds from your prize zucchini and save them for the next spring. For those who may want to save seeds from each harvest, allowing the gardener to replant stronger, better adapted seeds, open pollinated seeds are the answer. Hybrids are modified so that they only produce “true” for one season. Hybrid seeds are sterile in terms of their ability to reproduce the next season. This requires you to buy seeds every year. If you try to save the seeds from your favorite hybrid zucchini, the seeds will not produce plants that have viable fruit. If you want viable seeds for the next season, you must grow open pollinated vegetable, flowers and herbs. Open pollinated seeds guarantee genetic diversity, while hybrid seeds simply do not have the ability to adapt to their environment.
Genetically modified (GMO) seeds contain gene combinations that appear nowhere in nature. Today, seeds exist that contain genetic material from Icelandic flounders that allow the seeds to withstand freeze. Soybean seeds have been genetically modified by Monsanto to resist the killing effects of Round Up pesticide. These GMO soybeans sprayed directly with pesticide will not die but the weeds and plants around them will die almost immediately.Genetically modified organisms threaten our food supply and have the potential to wipe out large viable natural seed by mutating that seed.
Westwind Seeds & Gardenscapes supports the many organizations working to make our food supply safe and support and heal our environment. Save your heirloom, open pollinated Seeds!
With the exception of the Safe Seed Initiative information above, I wrote most of this information 35 years ago in my 1980 Seed Catalog. As I prepared information for this new web site, all of the information that was relevant 30 years is even more pressing today. We will not shy away from these issues or water down our concerns about the importance of open pollinated, chemically untreated seeds. This is why I started Westwind Seeds and this is why we are “a growing business” in 2018.
The effect of this genetic manipulation calls into question the very nature of seeds. These living entities, seeds breathe and grow into the most amazing plants that supply us with food and nourishment. Growing your own food is an alternative. You control what soil amendments you wish to use, you control the type of seeds you select and you control your own food supply.
Chemically Untreated Seeds
We require that all our growers supply us with only chemically untreated seeds. Chemically untreated seeds are not treated with any chemicals after harvest. Fungicides and insecticides are often used to treat post harvest seeds as a way to “insure” that seeds will withstand storage and the stresses of planting. Many seed companies are now offering pelletized seeds that are treated with microdoses of systemic insecticides. The ideas is to protect the seeds from damage before it sprouts. There is no need to use fungicides or insecticides on seeds if the seeds are properly prepared, stored and planted carefully.
We feature a collection of the finest vegetable, flower and herb seeds. Almost 200 varieties of open pollinated and heirloom seeds. Westwind seeds are open pollinated and chemically untreated. The finest seeds for the home gardener
Do I have to have a license to sell or label seed in Arizona?
Yes, you must have a license to either sell or label seed in Arizona.
It is the law. Arizona and the Federal government both have laws outlining and regulating the way seed is to be sold in the state. The definitions and protocols are quite specific as to what is to be done, how it is to be done, and when it is to be done.
The answer to this is two-fold:
It is consumer protection. Anyone that goes into an establishment to buy seed needs to know that the seed in that package is what the labeler claims it is and that it will perform at a certain level. As a regulator it is our job to sample seed has it comes into the state and as it appears on the store shelves to make sure the public is getting what they are paying for.For more information, call (602) 542-0986.
Why do I have to have my seed tested?
Arizona produces many seed crops that are grown for planting and exported globally. These seed crops can be damaged by a number of pests and diseases that are monitored and inspected for by the Plant Services Division. Their presence alone can be enough to disqualify a seed crop for export, or limit a product’s marketability.
Will the State Agricultural Lab test my seed for me?
Safeguarding Arizona’s seed production industry is accomplished through regulating commodities that are imported to Arizona that could harbor a dangerous plant pest and could potentially have a detrimental effect on the seed industry. Inspections and surveys for plant pests and diseases that could damage plant health and the marketability of a seed crop focus on a number of issues, like noxious weeds, insect pests and a variety of diseases. Some seed products that have been genetically modified must be approved by USDA-APHIS before being imported or exported. More information can be found the USDA-APHIS website. The Arizona Crop Improvement Association assists the Division in certifying seed products for export.
Seed Crops Arizona produces many seed crops that are grown for planting and exported globally. These seed crops can be damaged by a number of pests and diseases that are monitored and inspected