Our society has come to a place where we have bought the lie that if the food chain collapsed, there will be little to no hope to redeem it when it happens. When. “They – the food corporation” have been pushing global commercial farming and exports for decades while actively tackling all those who dare to farm with environmental integrity, and the stewarding the preservation of the small, independent enterprise. Remember the years Monsanto sued farmers for their own ‘escaped’ seed crops that pollinated the crops of neighbouring farmers?
One farmer wants you to take the power back into your hands and onto your porches, back yards, balconies, and community plots; and by every human means possible. Lets face it, we haven’t been able to trust the food system for a long time; not even the seeds! Unless we become savvy about our sources and purchases. Yes – right down to the soil.
Seeds of Imbolc has been operating for over 15 years. Kat Granger started out as an accountant working in Wellington County. After the birth of her son, she and her family moved out on to a farm. It was during this time in her very young child’s life that she became aware of food quality, or rather, lack of food quality in the commodified system. While working in Electrolysis, she set out to learn to grow food organically, learned Biodynamic practice and became a Master Gardener.
So what is Biodynamic, and how does it differ from organic or permaculture? They are all different sects of the same agricultural rite. If they all came from a church, one can relate biodynamics as the orthodox approach to the lunar and planetary orbital relationship to the earth and knowing how to extract its maximum output for the benefit to the ecosystem and earth. The sun is the centre of the planetary orbit, but the earth is the centre of the life-giving forces. All planets, their moons and stars have an interconnected relationship in manifesting and maintaining life forces to keep the earth alive. This has been scientifically proven over the 100+ years of research and implementation. Demeter is a certification granted to Biodynamic growers.
Organic is a method applied to farming. As a means to grow commercially without the help of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This method implements the use of producing one’s own compost and soil amendments as well, fighting off and preventing pest and disease infestation with companion planting and other mechanical means such as row covers.
Permaculture is the application of man-made tiered farm and “forest” for food production and closed or complete ecosystem. This includes allowing the local wildlife to flourish. The growing area closest to the homestead will resemble a more structured vegetable plot while the land that gravitates towards the boundaries of the properties will look more forested, but with an abundance of integrated orchards and berries among wild foods and nut bearing trees. This helps to maintain soil structure and integrity so that you don’t have to spend as much time amending the soil season after season.
These three disciplines work to save and nurture the soil, and close the ecological life cycle. There is no better or best, there is just three distinguished disciplines working toward the same goal – preservation of life on earth. These days, many of these growing methods have become labels for horticultural cliquishness. Please if any of you think otherwise, please comment or send me a message with a great reference.
Today, Kat grows fruits, vegetable, and cut flowers seeds that are sold online. “I offer Open Pollinated vegetable and flower seeds. I also offer cut flowers in season. My seeds are all open pollinatied which means you can save your own seeds from them all. Not necessarily old heirlooms, but all o.p”. Seeds of Imbolc seeds are free from GMO and patenting.
If you’re lucky to live near Fergus, ON, you will be able to purchase her seedlings online and pick up from her farm. Her annual May Long Weekend Plant Sales are worth the trek. This year, Kat has stepped back from pre-orders, but you can join her mailing list to keep up! She is also is BIG on educating people on how to take back their sovereignty through growing your own food and how to defend yourself from the social hierarchy associated or projected by the industry of commercial horticulture.
“The seed is a life entity; And our current crisis has unveiled the massive disconnect between people and food”.
Kat emphasizes our own responsibility to protect the sovereignty of the seeds that sustain us; supporting high quality LOCALLY grown open pollinated seeds (not from other countries, as regionality contributes to overall plant success). Healthy seeds are the parents of all future generations of our seed. They must remain strong and free. Hybrid seed will not remain true when seed saving.
“If we don’t support those protecting our seeds they will be gone like so many varieties have already have disappeared.”
We need to take back our dependency from grocery chains – now groceries aren’t evil – in fact, the humble farmer will always benefit from selling at the market; but lets be serious: what has ever validated a need for an enormous depot crammed with every unnecessary “necessity” of modern life?
Her argument for supporting local farmers, I don’t have to sell to you: By supporting local production, we support local economies and take it from global giants who’s means to their own success is to squeeze the small guys. This includes the buyers – US. In the end, God aways wins when we stand to take what has been given to us in our nature.
What are her 5 biggest tips for successful growing?
- The bigger the seed, the easier they grow; the smaller the seed the more care they need in the starting process.
- Perennials can be a bit tricky – but that’s the challenge, and a good one!
- Vegetables grow in an array of colours! Like carrots, beets, tomatoes, so be open to trying them all!
- Invest in a growing apparatus, like seed trays, heating mats and lights. You will be glad to have them as you keep growing.
- Stock your bookshelves with great resources for growing your vegetables and flowers. (pssst. I wrote an earlier post my go-to basic list)
- My personal tip: Kat is wonderfully detailed in her descriptions of her seeds, so when you order from her, make sure to print off the description page; there is only so much room on the packet. The more information you have, the better the grow!
How to Contact Kat: Check her website regularly; she will update her seed catalogue as we get closer to spring. Though her product is not certified with a the organic stamp, she produces as organically as nature intended. I can attest to her 100% viability. I have never been disappointed by her product, and this will be my 4th year ordering her seeds.
The food system in place is such that our dependance on it is enormous. In an event of a closed boarder, should we ever become land-locked, our current commercialized system will support our first world country for three (3) days. This is statistically true. Without a year-round national food system of local produce and environmental stewardship, yes, we could be in trouble.
If you are finally deciding, to plant an edible garden, or continue your garden ritual, growing and preserving your own vegetables, we growers and horticulturalists bid you welcome to the quietest battlefield on earth.