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Digital Subscriptions > Kitchen Garden Magazine > 259 - April 2019 > KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

Open-pollinated seeds are an integral part of our evolution

With so much seed choice available, Julie Moore gives eight reasons for growing open-pollinated varieties

Its that time of year again when the seed catalogues start to arrive. With a profusion of choices available, picking your seeds can be a daunting task.

You will need to consider your plot size and local conditions, and the foods you and your family like will influence your decisions. Another choice you 11 have to make is whether to grow open-pollinated or FI hybrid seeds.

F1 hybrids are the first generation result of planned crosses between specially selected parents. This planned parentage results in a single generation seed with very specific characteristics, such as: bolt resistant, fast maturity, disease resistant, productivity, fruit size or colour. Only the breeder of the FI hybrid variety knows exactly which two parent plants are needed to produce the seed and thus becomes the exclusive source of that variety. The seed companies protect their interests by patenting their FI hybrids and breeding varieties which, in effect, puts them firmly in possession of the most crucial element of our food supply, the seed, by privately owning those “sow once” genetically homogeneous seeds and controlling their availability. If you want to grow a particular FI hybrid, you have no other source and are forced to buy from that specific seed company.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: A Joy of Summer Veg expert Rob Smith has some top tips for success with courgettes every time Brilliant Brassicas! Former head gardener Sue Stickland explores our changing attitudes to brassicas and the many exciting new varieties available Flights of Fancy Gardener and nature enthusiast Ben Vanheems encourages us all to make room for butterflies on our plots And much more!