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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Seeds are Essential to Human Survival

Farmers may only be approximately 1% of the population, but eaters are nearly 100% of the population. If you go into a grocery store, you will find that most of the food items either started from a seed or ate something that started from a seed, I suppose at the most basic level we all start as seeds. Seeds can be natural, existing in nature and creation or they can be fabricated in laboratories. The seeds that are fabricated are often times genetically modified (GMO), which means that genes are spliced and inserted, constructing genetic combinations that would not naturally be found in nature and creation. Many of us question these fabricated seeds and food that is produced from them. We question these laboratory fabrications so much, that we go to great lengths, to buy food that we know to be natural, grown from seeds in creation, these foods are labeled “Organic” and at this moment, that “Organic” label is the only way to know if your food was grown from natural seeds.

Here at Michael Fields, we recognize that there is a need for seeds that are non-GMO and are suitable for organic farms. Organic seeds need to be strong, resilient, and produce plants able to yield in weedy environments – after all, weeds have seeds too and organic farms do not use synthetic herbicides. We also recognize that organic farmers have needs. One need that we are responding to, with the help of our partners at USDA-ARS, is the need for non-commodity corn that can reject GMO pollen. We are using classical breeding methods to develop varieties for organic growers with gametophytic incompatibility which eliminates GMO cross-pollination. How do we do this you may ask? Using something found in nature and in creation, of course – popcorn! Using classical breeding methods, popcorn has some alleles of interest, to help us develop varieties with gametophytic incompatibility, which reject GMO pollen. Wow!

Stay tuned for more updates!