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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chemically Treated Seed & sprayed fields

Okay, I know that you understand the dangers of pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides that are sprayed onto 98% of all fruit and vegetable crops.  But, did you know that the seed itself is frequently coated in chemicals?

I was in the midst of a marathon planting session recently and opened a large package of a special variety of winter squash seeds to find these disgusting shiny blue seeds (I placed untreated seeds next to them so you can see the difference):

This isn't the first time this has happened to me - many seed companies don't specify in their catalogs if the seed is treated or untreated.  I buy organic seed when possible to avoid this problem (organic seed is never treated), however organic is not available for all varieties.  So, now I'm stuck with this seed.  Which of course I did not plant!  I'll be contacting the company, hopefully I can get a credit on my next order (it was a large bulk package of seed)  - but no way is this going into the soil by my hands!

Now, let me tell you that I've been a regular visitor to our local feed store lately (he special orders my natural chicken feed & we ordered our baby chicks through him as well).  I've been seeing lots of commercial sweet & field corn seed lately.  It's all treated. Perhaps for better germination.

Speaking of chemicals in and on our food, I've been watching all the farmers nearby - our road was full of tractor traffic during May.  The farmers were busy in early May spraying chemicals on their fields - perhaps some sort of chemical fertilizer, or maybe a first round of weed killer?  Next they'll plant the chemically-coated, genetically-modified seed (it has to be genetically-modified so the weed killer won't kill it - did you know we all eat a lot of genetically modified foods here in America? GMO).  Then they will spray more chemicals - at least a couple more times through the season.

I understand that it's easier this way.  I do.  It just doesn't make much sense to me, as we know these chemicals cause cancer and other disease, in addition to being horrible for our environment...  And I won't do it myself.

Thanks for visiting the Wishful Acres farm blog, where I'm probably busy weeding - no chemicals here!

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