“There are many brand name seeds, but we don’t need to use those seeds. The simple fact is that the highest quality seeds can be obtained from fields that are the least affected by fertilizers. Therefore, your continuous efforts in practicing Natural Agriculture will bring you the best quality and variety seeds.” ––Mokichi Okada
In Natural Agriculture we save and use seed from the farm.This practice is adopted for several reasons:
- to have a self-sustaining supply of seeds for planting
- to produce seeds that do not contain residual toxins
- to produce seeds that have the memory of the surrounding environmental conditions (seed epigenesis);
- to have seeds that are self selected for seed saving efforts that contribute to preserving the genetic diversity of seeds as well as the biodiversity of the local ecosystem.
Our ancestors crossed different varieties of native or wild species to produce crops and repeated mother plant selection for millennia to develop their desirable traits. Since they were grown under natural conditions, these plants mutated and evolved to adapt to local surroundings as shown by their complex characteristics. In conventional agriculture, traditional or heirloom seeds are becoming extinct because farmers prefer hybrid seeds to obtain specific characteristics such as higher yields, pest resistance qualities, and storage capacity. These seeds need to be purchased every year and have been bred for high input of chemicals to sustain their growth. Purchasing hybrid and terminator (plants that do not produce viable seeds) types of seeds is replacing the traditional practice of saving seeds on the farm.