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Store Bought Food and Seeds

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Acorn Squash Seeds from a Grocery

One question I get a lot of is where I source my seeds each year at Mezzacello. People are also curious about whether or not I use store bought food and seeds. The answer is yes, and no.

GMO and Shipping Modifications

To be honest, I have tried using store bought food to derive seeds. But I have also found that they are not as productive as curated seeds from seed selling companies. There are a variety of reasons for this.

The first and most obvious one is that there is little incentive for fruit and vegetable providers to optimize produce for replanting. In some cases vegetables might be GMO to NOT be replicable from seed. In other cases they may be GMO (not a bad thing) to ripen faster or have thicker skins or less seeds to make shipping and shelf life longer and more stable.

Whatever the case may be, I have found that seeds derived from drying your own store bought food seeds are substantially less productive than seeds that have been curated. The exception to this rule is almost universally peppers and squashes; those tend to do well.

My Hypothesis

I think in the case of peppers or squash , it is because the seed is so integrated into the produce and that makes it safe. Nonetheless each time I grow this type of produce from reclaimed seeds, they do well. The green peppers I grow were from peppers I bought in 2017 are still going strong.

These peppers, the acorn and butternut squash are the same. great seeds and very productive. Maybe I just got lucky. But they produce year after year.

I have also had a lot of luck replanting leeks and green onions. I just stick those roots down in the ground and they always regrow. It’s almost always a one for one payoff, but it is fresh veg from waste.

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