HANCOCK - The annual "Need for Seed" program provides organic heirloom seeds to those families who would otherwise be unable to afford the locally grown seed packets. Organic Heirloom Plants sponsors the program every year, resulting in hundreds of local families receiving the sustainable, organic seeds to plant in their home or community gardens.
"The 'Need for Seed' program is what we do to help the local community," said Wendy Wiegert, horticulturist and owner of Organic Heirloom Plants in Hancock.
Organic Heirloom Plants will be providing the Western UP Food Hub with locally grown seeds, which will then be distributed to families in need. Organic heirloom seeds differ from other seeds in that they are not only 100 percent organic but also that the packets contain pure seed that is acclimated to the harsh climate.
"That's why so many gardeners have a hard time," Wiegert said. "They are purchasing seeds and plants from outside the area that just don't do well here. Buying local seeds promote sustainability because the totally organic seeds are sustainable. Buying local supports the entire community, instead of buying at a big company, because every bit goes back into the community."
Interested supporters can buy organic heirloom seed packets by visiting organicheirloomplants.com and clicking on the Non-GMO Seed link. The profits from the sale of these packets will go to the "Need for Seed" program. All seed is grown locally by volunteer seed growers.
"We really need people to log onto the website to purchase the seed packets," Wiegert said. "You purchase a pack of organic heirloom seeds for yourself and the profits are donated to the program."
The Western UP Food Hub is hosting a presentation entitled "The Value of Local Food" from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Ken Meter, an economist who writes about the benefits of local food production, will be leading the program which will take place in room 112 in the R. L. Smith Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics building at Michigan Technological University. Admission is free to the public.