Welcome Earth Day 2013

Today is Earth Day and a time we think about our beautiful earth and what we can do to help and maintain it.  Of course as gardeners and readers, the simple act of sowing seeds or planting is a benefit. Because I’m preparing a talk for our local museum about the gardening and seed production heritage of Western Oregon,  I’ve been giving some thought about “knowing our place”.  Know your place is usually a negative disciplinary phrase.  But let’s reassess this and do what we can to better know the place where we live and how it relates to the food production, beauty, preservation and history of our earth.  By knowing the tremendous value of seed crops here in the Willamette Valley I’m very afraid of canola seed being planted on or near fields where it can cross-pollinate or the dropped seeds will contaminate the soil for future crops. The better we know our place the more able we are to understand and speak out the occasional big issue that does appear. I will continue to express this concern along with hundreds of farmers and gardeners and hope it will make a difference. Know your place!   ~ Rose Marie
For suggestions on food gardening and Earth Day click on the image below and read this Huffington Post piece to which I happily contributed.

2 Responses

  1. I’ll have to plead ignorance, what’s wrong with canola seeds?

    • Canola seed is a low value seed which readily cross pollinates with the radish, mustard and other brassica seeds grown for food crops on valuable farmland here in Western Oregon. The pollen has an exceptionally wide drift and drops seed during harvesting which will lie dormant over a period of several years and just keep sprouting. What is grown now is seed that is sold and grown all around the world for food. The canola seed will be grown for biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel is being subsidized or it would not be a viable crop and has not panned out to be the great fuel solution initially hoped. Last I think the production of high value seed grown to to produce crops that feed people is more important than low value seed grown to produce fuel. Seed growers in Europe and Japan who have experienced the canola contamination problem have begged that this not happen here.
      Thank you for asking.

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