Monthly Archives: February 2011

Are Burpee Seeds non-GMO?

Are Burpee Seeds non-GMO?

I always wondered if Burpee Seeds are non-GMO because they do sell organic seeds.  So I sent an email to the company and I was happy to get the reply copied below.  Then I asked if they were going to sign the Safe Seed Pledge and they replied that they are studying it.  The message below is from Rita in the Customer Service Department at Burpee.

Burpee.com - Earth Day HP ImageNONE of the varieties offered by Burpee either from very large or very small seed suppliers are GMO (genetically modified or altered) or modified chemically in any way. All of our seeds are sold untreated, so the gardener can choose to plant untreated, or use chemical or organic treatment or supplements as they see fit. Burpee is committed to providing the best “natural” seed portfolio in the industry to our Home Garden customers, and stand behind what we sell.

Rita
Customer Service

W. Atlee Burpee & Company

Click on the Burpee graphic above to browse the Burpee Catalog as you plan your garden for this summer and to take advantage of whatever special sale they are having!  Read more about buying non-GMO seeds.

Making Mud Pies and Playing in the Dirt

Little Tikes Mudpie KitchenBack to making mud pies and playing in the dirt!  (See previous post for the health benefits.)  Just to get you started, Little Tikes sells the Little Tikes Mudpie Kitchen which is currently unavailable.

One review suggested just get pitchers, bowls, pots and spoons from the thrift store and let the kids make mud pies with these.  The thing that is so nice about the Little Tikes toy is that there is a reservoir to hold water and a faucet that you can pump for water. See below for an alternative idea to this since this is unavailable.

My husband came up with an alternative to the water reservoir and faucet that is also very appealing.  Take a 2 1/2 gallon spring water container and set it up on a child’s picnic table or a small table.  Show them how to pull out the dispenser and push it in.  Cut a hole in the top so you can refill it with the hose and voila you have instant water for the mudpies!

So while you are gardening, your kids can be enjoying playing in the dirt and making mudpies.  It is healthy for them and then they are more prepared to plant and dig in the dirt with you planting a vegetable or flower garden.  Both of you will benefit from the bacteria in the soil, see Soil Bacteria Can Increase Serotonin Levels.

Kids Gardening? That’s What We Want

Kids Gardening That's What We WantIf we get kids gardening that is going to help our green future.  Kids are our hope for the future.  If kids enjoy gardening then they will be sensitized to protecting our Earth.  And hopefully they will grow up and be adult gardeners!

But there is more to it than that!  I have already posted about how there is a bacteria in the soil that increases serontonin levels.  Researchers have come up with a “hygiene hypothesis”.  Studies are showing that dirt is healthy for children.  It helps their immuWhy Dirt is Good for Youne systems develop in a healthy way.  Mary Roebush, a microbiology and immunology instructor talks about how babies pick up everything and put it in their mouths to explore their environments.  She says in her new book Why Dirt Is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends:  “Not only does this allow for “practice” of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”   For more discussion see Babies Know:  A Little Dirt is Good For You in the New York Times.

So I propose that we start our kids gardening early by making mud pies and playing in the dirt while we are gardening.  It is healthy for them and gets them used to any “yuck factor” if they are feeling that way.

They can also help plant seeds.  Squash and cucumber seeds sprout in a dramatic way that will impress them.  Get them involved with saving kitchen scraps and throwing them in the compost bin or feeding them to the worms.  Lots of kids love worms but some are grossed out.  Just give them time.  My very girly girl granddaughters, ages 3 & 6, recently asked me to take them to feed the worms our cucumber peelings.  That certainly surprised me when they previously hated the worms!

See my next post for more about making mudpies and playing in the dirt!