A warmer breeze is rustling through the trees these days, and although it is probably going to chill off again before heating up, we at the Wild Garden are taking some cues from USDA secretary Tom Vilsack and beginning to sow our seeds.
Citing the fast approaching growing season, among other factors, Vilsack recently announced the complete deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa, as well as the partial deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets. This marks the second time in less than a year that the USDA has ignored a court-ordered ban on the planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets. In fact, it has ignored and defied two separate court decisions; one banning the planting of Roundup Ready beet seed, and the other ordering the removal of said plants after the first court decision was side-stepped.
In issuing the two decisions to deregulate,Vilsack stated that he believes choice is important to the American farmer. Choice of what to grow, where to grow, and how to grow it. Apparently the choice to have seed free of genetic contamination is not a valid one, while the choice to buy one type of seed from one company is.
In direct defiance of this type of choice, we choose to plant all sorts of things! We have been hard at work sowing and thinning our first flats of various lettuce, radish, fennel, and spinach, with more to come in the next week.
If you wish to read more about the recent USDA decisions, here are a couple good links:
New York Times : “USDA Approves Genetically Modified Alfalfa”