Sow True Seed is an open-pollinated/non-hybrid vegetable, herb and flower seed company specializing in heirloom, certified organic, and traditional Southern Appalachia varieties. Created in Asheville, NC in 2009, Sow True Seed seeks to promote and foster community sustainability by helping to preserve our shared botanical heritage and seed a new era of sustainable culture and ecological wisdom.
Our company’s success is rooted in our ability to offer true seed. That Is, 100% open-pollinated/non-hybrid, seeds that remains true to their characteristics when saved and replanted the following year. This is the millennia-old way that humans have passed heirloom seeds for regionally appropriate food from generation to generation. However, sourcing and growing certain open-pollinated seeds, free from GM cross-pollination, is getting more difficult. For example, of our currently offered seed, corn is our most difficult to source with confidence, as the proliferation of GE corn has expanded so rapidly (and the safe isolation distance for this wind pollinated plant is as much as 5 miles or more) that it is becoming extremely difficult in most areas and impossible in others to save true corn seed. This is why Sow True Seed has joined the efforts of communities across America by launching a petition for the Carolinas seeking a GMO-Free WNC (Western North Carolina). Click HERE to sign our petition. http://sowtrueseed.com/gmo-free-wnc/
No one knows the exact threat the consumption of GE crops poses to our health or to nature because our government does not require long-term health testing for the genetically modified crops it is approving at an alarming rate. There may or may not be health risks posed by the consumption of transgenic crops (plants crossed with genetic material from animals) — and while there are some alarming small studies, we want to know for sure. We want to know the long-term health risks of corn crossed with human or chicken genes, or soy and sugarcane crossed with cows. And more to the point, we want the freedom to grow true seed safely, offering corn (and all of our other seeds) with confidence that it is natural seed, uncontaminated by genetic experiments. For this, we believe we must have areas guaranteed safe from genetically engineered plants. At the alarming spread rate of GE crops, it could be impossible for us to offer 100% safe, natural seed in a matter of years.
Southern Appalachia and Western North Carolina is one of the most biologically diverse temperate regions in the world. The transfer of genetic material between bioengineered crops and wild species is a threat to our region’s botanical diversity and the natural balance of our biological systems. We joined the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit because of the deep belief and fear that the rapid spread of GMOs will destroy our business and cripple the production of organic and conventional gardeners, market growers, and farmers who can no longer get or even save true seed and who can be held responsible for unintentional cross-pollination by an enormously large and wealthy company with the ability to sue farmers and growers at will for the “crime” of being downwind of GE crops. This scourge is destroying organic farming, which by definition cannot be considered organic if contaminated by cross-pollination from GE crops. Sadly, organic rapeseed for canola oil is already nearly extinct in North America for this reason.
Carol Koury, Founder/President of Sow True Seed
The rich agricultural heritage of Western North Carolina, and America at large, is clearly threatened. By saving true seed, we save ourselves ― not only our company, but our food sovereignty and our health — for generations to come.