As Spring approaches, many of us start thinking about what we might want to grow in the coming months, what seeds we may want to get a head start on – you know, the ones we plant indoors near that sunny south facing window – the ones we nurture and love from the very beginning.
When it comes to buying seed, there are many choices. Some folks, myself included, may experience some confusion about seed terms. Until very recently, I wasn’t 100% sure of the difference between a hybrid, heirloom or GMO seed.
Here is an excerpt from the post, written by Eddie Snipes: A hybrid is NOT the same as a GMO. A hybrid is created when the pollen of one variety is used to pollinate the stamen of a different variety. While some varieties of heirlooms were derived by growers keeping only the seeds from their favorite plants, other heirlooms began as hybrids. Once a hybrid is stabilized, it is no longer considered a hybrid and in future generations, it will be considered an heirloom.
GMO is lab-created. Instead of selective breeding or cross pollinating, desired traits are engineered into the plant by artificial means. It is man-made introductions in the lab. GMO plants allow corporations to select specific traits and even turn off certain traits in the lab. Hybrids are no different than what happens in nature. Bees introduce pollen from one plant to the other. Creating a hybrid is being intentional about cross pollinations instead of hoping a bee will do it for you.