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About Pip's Seeds
Seeds are one of the most amazing things. They are so clever. Inside every seed, from the tiniest broccoli seed to the pip of a Mango, is contained all the genetic information that it needs to grow into a healthy and fruitful plant. Not only that but it also holds enough of the essential nutrients and food that the seed needs to feed itself whilst it sprouts and starts its journey of growth. Amazing. And you know what? We also grew from a tiny seed ourselves! Seeds are a very humble and precious resource. This is why we take great care to send you seeds sourced from the most locally available, sustainable and quality suppliers.
Why Non Hybrid?
A hybrid seed is one that has been engineered to display certain characteristics such as big fruit or early flowering. Now this might sound beneficial at first but what many people don’t realise is that because hybrid seeds are a combination of two plants from the same genus but different species or sub species, the seeds from that resulting plant may be infertile. Its like when a donkey and a horse mate and you get a mule. The mule is unable to produce offspring. So what this means in terms of growing your own food is that when you buy hybrid seeds, although they may grow and bear fruit, you cannot save the seeds from that fruit and plant them again the next year. You are forced to keep buying the seeds from the shop again year after year.
Pip chooses non hybrid seeds to ensure that your seeds will continue to grow and bear fruit for as long as you continue to save them and plant them. Another reason we choose non hybrid seeds is because they have a much greater genetic diversity which makes the plants healthier, stronger and better able to withstand pests and diseases.
Why choose Heirloom?
When you go to the supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables there is usually only a few choices of varieties. For example there may be two different types of tomatoes available when in fact there are actually hundreds of different varieties of tomatoes that most of us have never heard of, let alone tasted. Yellow pear shaped ones, black Russians and beef steak just to name a few.
Heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables are those that have been cultivated, selected, saved and passed on over many, many generations. Most of these heritage varieties never make it to the supermarket because the commercial farmers prefer to use hybrid seeds and chemicals to get a crop which all looks identical, shiny and appetising but has very little nutritional value and taste. We are loosing the genetic diversity of food supply very quickly for this very reason.
Pip chooses to use heirloom varieties of seeds to help maintain the robustness and genetic diversity of our food supply and because they are simply more interesting. Why eat purple eggplants when you can have red ones?!
Why Non Treated?
Many seed suppliers treat their seeds with chemicals such as fungicides. Some of these chemicals, such as Captam are known to be carcinogenic or cancer causing. Not only this but these chemicals go into the soil when you plant the seed and can kill the microbes in the soil that are actually the plants (and the gardeners) best friend. These microbes digest the organic matter and nutrients in the soil and turn it into a form that the plant can absorb through its roots. Without them the plant cannot get the food from the soil and will become nutrient deficient.
This is why commercial farms use so many chemical fertilisers on their crops; because they have already killed the life in the soil with chemicals and so the plants cant absorb the nutrients that are naturally in the soil. It becomes a vicious cycle and no one wins out in the end. Least of all the earth or the consumer.
Soil microbes also help to hold the moisture in the soil by aerating it and creating channels for the water to sit in. When the soil life is dead, the soil wont hold water any more and so healthy soil is essential for any water wise garden. Plants grown from chemically treated seeds are also more susceptible to pests and diseases as they have been engineered to rely on more chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides in order to grow.
Pip chooses to use non treated seeds to ensure that harmful chemicals stay out of our food cycle and your soil remains healthy and alive in order to give your seeds the best chance at growing up healthy and strong.