We are so thankful to the Bellingham Community Food Co-op for providing Backyard Beans & Grains with another small Farm Fund grant in 2014, which paid for the cost of doing GMO testing on all our corn varieties for the Non-GMO Corn Preservation Project. This kind of testing is important to ensure that what we are working so hard to preserve hasn't been contaminated somewhere along the road ahead of us receiving the seed. And yet, the testing is very expensive.
AND....The tests all came back negative! Yippee!!
So, we have Non-GMO seed of four varieties that we hand-pollinated last year, and we will be growing a few additional varieties this year as well. All of that seed is available through this website at the regular packet price ($3/packet). But if you want to be really awesome and try your hand at being a Non-GMO Corn Seed Steward for the Pacific Northwest, please let us know. Seed Stewards will be reimbursed for the cost of their seed at the end of the season if they have been successful in isolating or hand-pollinating their seed, have a population of at least 200 plants, and can donate an equivalent amount of seed back to the community seed supply. This way we will have fresh seed for everyone year after year.
We can provide instruction on hand pollination or other growing tips if needed as well.
If you are local, please come to the Non-GMO Corn Preservation Project information session at the Cordata Co-op on thursday, April 24th at 6:30pm.
And if you the type of person that enjoys stewarding seed, keep your ears open in the near future as we create the Salish Seed Co-op here in Whatcom County. We envision a combination Seed Library and Seed Processing Equipment Co-op, with tools like bike and electric-powered bean and grain threshers, seed cleaning machines, and screens.
It just gets more and more exciting by the day.
Krista is a life-long resident of Whatcom County, Washington State. She has been gardening and farming in the area for over 15 years.