The week between solstice and the New Year, I stare at seed catalogs, gardeners' pornography.
The sun set a tad later yesterday than it did the day before--while this has been going on for a couple of weeks now, last evening was the first time I felt it in my bones. Time to order seeds.
(Yes, I know I can gather my own seeds, and I do--I have thousands of seeds scattered all over tarnation tucked in baggies, many with indecipherable code. Stamp collectors buy stamps they'll never lick, anglers buy lures they never cast, I save seeds I'll never plant.)
A seed is about promise, a tiny being put together by another, not without cost. Each seed has some stored energy, a few sleepy enzymes ready to be activated, and a tiny embryo.
Within this tiny, living plant rests strings of nucleic acids, with instructions for how to create living mass from air, from water. Mostly from thin air.
There is wilderness in a seed--reminders of the edge of life that we depend on yet cannot control.
Monsanto is the world's largest seed seller. Monsanto can (and does) manipulate the world's food supply. Monsanto is a publicly owned American company. As such, its primary duty is to maximize profit. If you want to read hard-core plant pornography, go visit Monsanto.
In the meantime, I'll continue to use Pinetree Garden Seeds for my seeds, one of many small privately owned companies that exist to sell seeds. I'm sure they make money, too, but I'm also sure that they won't sue me if I save some seeds next year.
Plants will be making seeds long after Monsanto crumbles. On a late December day, when the world outside waits patiently for life-giving sunlight to return, it's good to remember what matters, and dream of Carouby de Maussane pea flowers dancing in an early June breeze.
7 months ago