An interesting article appeared in the current issue of Allotment & Leisure Gardening concerning the loss of a lot of open pollenated seeds. These seeds were native to the UK and our unique climate and the seed could be saved every year. Seed production is being carried out over seas in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Today Brassica, sweetcorn, courgettes, cucumber, and spinach range the choice of open pollenated  varieties has been reduced to just a few varieties. Open pollenated  varieties have been  deliberately neglected ,making them inferior ,to pave the way for hybrids. Is it acceptable that seed companies hold excusive rights and access through patents and seed laws to such an important resource as the seed for our food.

There’s a lot more to this article I have just chosen one of the main issues. It does make you think about the loss of some of our varieties that evolved in  this some times frustrating climate of ours, take the Runner Bean open pollenated and except for frost stands up to every thing our climate throws at them.

What do you think?

7 Responses

  1. gibbon says:

    Hi’ Tony, I have suspected some thing like this for some time now, I have tryed to save tomato seeds and it is almost imposable to save the ones I grow, yet sweetpeas are so easy, for now anyway,and they have a very good strike rate, but some verites I can no longer get, it could be that they have dropted out of favour but they were very good tomatoes with very little truble, and things like moneymaker were going at the same time as the ones I grew ,they wetre the crosses like were cross,, it makes you think and what you have told us realy does fit in with the way things are going,

  2. dandlyon says:

    Hi Cliff thought this would catch your eye here’s a few open pollenated tomatoes
    Tomato Alicante Tomato outdoor girl Tomato red alert Tomato harbinger Tomato Gardeners delight available from Kings.

  3. gibbon says:

    thanks for that Tony, :good:

  4. roly says:

    I hold my hands up as I buy almost all f1 seeds and very little O/P seed maybe my belief is that because there F1s there bound to be better than the O/P varieties :whistle:

    and lets not forget there are many F1 varieties available to the grower someone once told me there’s no difference from F1s to O/P all be it that the F1s all produce at once rather than the O/P that produce at separate intervals :unsure:

    I did contact an organic nursery near me to find out about buying heritage seed but I had to join the place because of EU regulation before I could purchase any of the heritage seed so I just gave up and kept on using F1s that I have to say I have been pleased with over the years :good:

    I tend to buy new F1 varieties after about two years to see how they perform mainly flower seed but one has to agree they have come a long way in the development of different varieties and the improvement of some of the old ones that has given the grower quite a bit of scope although having said that the everyday grower does pay for this privilege as we know with the price of some F1 seed :yes:

    never the less it a good topic and well worth talking about know doubt we will all have our different views on this subject and agree to disagree :yes:

  5. dandlyon says:

    The big difference with f1 seed it is not suitable for saving your own seed, I think if some of the time and money spent on developing F1 seed had been spent on improving OP seeds we would see another side of the coin. I grow from F1 seed simply because there’s not always another option .Also its big business and these seed merchants do not want any gardeners with a bit of savvy saving their own seed.
    I think this article is looking to the future when its not economical to transport seed from
    one side of the world to another and our native O P seeds are extinct where do we go to obtain seed to grow such a vital commodity as food.? Definitely a food for thought excuse the pun :lol:

  6. SIMONDO says:

    If you want a wide range of old verities to keep them going then become a member of the “Heritage Seed Library”.
    They are based at Ryton Gardens ,Coventry.
    At least you can keep and revitalise what is not supported by the seed companies.
    Google ..Heritage Seed Library for more info as to how it works.

  7. roly says:

    That’s the people I contacted when I was interested in heritage varieties but I found it quite expensive to join Simon and using F1’seed was within my budget

    so as I said I gave it a miss but in all probability the F1 seed development is more inline to develop more for the commercial grower market rather than the garden fraternity but I take your point Tony on the question of O/P seed revival :good:

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