By Colleen Vanderlinden
D. Landreth Seeds is America’s oldest seed company. It was founded in 1784 in Pennsylvania, and carries over 900 heirloom, non-GMO seed varieties.
And now, we’re in danger of losing this longstanding American institution.
The company will cease to exist at the end of this month if it does not raise money to cover bank notes that are now due. Thanks to a paperwork snafu, detailed on their Facebook page, the company now needs to come up with one million dollars in the next 30 days to cover their debt and stay in business.
Many of the plants and vegetable varieties we now grow in our gardens are there thanks to Landreth introducing them to this country. For example, Landreth introduced the tomato (then known as “love apple”) to home gardeners, and later went on to develop yellow tomatoes. Many of us grow ‘Bloomsdale’ spinach — this variety is also a Landreth introduction. And those colorful zinnias that adorn many of our yards? Brought to this country by Landreth after a trip to Mexico in 1798.
Why This Matters
Seed companies are becoming more and more consolidated, and, for the most part, consolidated under giant companies like Monsanto who would love nothing more than to completely control the seed market. As these conglomerates take over, they decide to only produce and sell the seed that they deem most profitable. This means that variety in our food supply is quickly dwindling.
If you love the flavor of heirloom vegetables, and like knowing that you aren’t growing GMOs in your garden, we need to keep these small, independently-owned seed houses in business.
Read the full post at TreeHugger