As Wendy and I were feeding organic veggie food to our plants last week, we noticed that one fruit on our full-sized White Eggplant had turned a bright yellow. We didn’t know if it was a disease or a mutation. After doing some research it appears to be the plant’s defense mechanism in regard to too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We found a second yellow eggplant yesterday.
This can happen primarily because the leaves aren’t doing their job of shading the eggplant fruit. It could be due to a pest infestation, with insects eating holes in the leaves, letting through more sunlight. It could be due to not enough nitrogen in the soil, due to overwatering, too much rain, or a very hungry plant, causing yellow leaves which do not block enough of the strong UV.
Although we did have some pest damage, it was not enough to harm the eggplant under typical conditions.
Knowing that Eggplants thrive and get bigger during the vegetative stage in the cooler Spring weather, our plants did not get that opportunity to grow big due to the quick, intense warm up that we experienced in late May through mid-July in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area (plant growing Area 7B). This stunted the growth of our eggplants and other vegetables in our garden that have a thriving vegetative stage in the cool weather.
Because the vegetative growth was stunted, we should have assumed that the fruit growth would be stunted too. Since the ones that turned yellow are no where near full size. So we are now going to assume that these will be ready to pick where then a just bigger than the size of my fist, which is pretty small for a full-sized eggplant variety. As noted in our YouTube Organic Garden Updates, you’ll see the small size of the eggplants and cucumbers which grew much differently than during the last two years. In fact, the only lettuce to grow from our pallet garden were at a place where less sunshine occurred, because of the much lower temperature of the soil and air.
What I’ve read is that these yellow eggplants will taste no different than a white or purple eggplant. The question is, if these plants are getting enough shade from the leaves, how is UV still penetrating. I think I have an answer.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched a 3hr video of the Shasta County Town Council, having a meeting with the public who requested it, regarding Chemtrails over Shasta County. During this presentation, an expert talked about the current UV radiation. In the past, prior to Chemtrails covering some of our skies, normal UV, called UVA, is what 95% of the UV radiation that hits earth is made from. The other 5% is from UVB, which is more harmful to humans and life in general. It’s most likely the radiation that causes skin cancer. There is a 3rd type of solar radiation called UVC. None of the UVC is supposed to get through and is blocked by our Ozone Layer.
Recently, new measurements have been taken and this expert blames Chemtrails as well as holes in the Ozone Layer. Dane Wigington from Geoengineering.org, whose site disappeared from the internet recently, stated that 70% of the solar radiation now coming to Earth is 70% UVB and UVC, thereby causing the drought in California. He claims that sulfur that’s being sprayed to help block the stronger sunshine is actually causing a bigger hole in the Ozone Layer.
Since our Eggplant have plenty of shade from their leaves, the only thing we can think at this point is that the other, more penetrating types of UV (UVB and UVC) have been causing this sunburn on our plants. So what should we do?
We are thinking about getting a shade for this area of the garden to block some of the sun without blocking it totally. There are several different shade types and colors depending on how much sun needs to be blocked. I think we will start with one of the white shades and perhaps go to something tan if they are still getting too much strong sun.
Once they are yellow, even if they are small, you can go ahead and harvest them. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with cooking large eggplant, it’s best to slice them and immerse them in a bath of water and salt for several hours. You’ll notice the water turns almost a black color. After removing from the water, dry them well and using them immediately for cooking. This will make your eggplants taste much less bitter. For the thin Ichiban and Fingerling varieties of eggplant, since they are thin and slender, they are sweet when picked and do not need to be soaked to remove bitterness.
Have we stimulated any of you to plant Organic Gardens this year? If so, tell us how you’re making out!
Last week, Wendy and I experienced a very weird phenomenon. It was right around sunset on July 2nd and we were in the midst of a “Chemtrail-Generated Severe Late Afternoon/Early Evening Thunderstorm”.
It was getting dark out but all of a sudden the sky got brighter and it turned a shade of light brown, almost like there was a sepia-colored filter on the sky – and it happened in the blink of an eye. One minute it was getting dark, the next it was like a sepia light switch was turned on and it got considerably brighter outside. Luckily, Wendy caught it on video…
If you would like to learn more about Chemtrails, here are a couple of great movies…
The first question people ask us about our Organic Garden is how to make sure that it is organic from the “get-go”. We tell them that Rule #1 is no synthetic chemicals. Hopefully, you haven’t used chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides like Roundup on the area of your lawn within about a 20′ radius from where you’ll be planting. If you have used chemicals on or around the future spot of your new garden patch, there are a couple of things you can do.
First of all, stop using the chemicals immediately! It takes about a full year for residential chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to degrade and disappear from your lawn. If you’ve purchased a farm where chemicals were used, it can take up to three years for the commercially-applied chemicals to disappear from your soil.
For the home organic gardener who doesn’t want to wait a full year to start their organic garden, you may want to consider creating an Organic Raised Bed Garden. In fact, some people prefer raised bed gardening for a variety of reasons.
Wendy and I considered creating raised beds, but with all of the extra soil that we would need, raised bed gardening was cost prohibitive for us. Since our expertise only extends to traditional In-Ground and Container Gardening, we can’t be of much assistance. However, after doing some research today while writing this article, to help start you off, I’ve picked two great pieces for you to read from, “Organic Gardening”.
Raised Bed Gardening: An instructional beginner’s how-to guide, covering Organic, Raised Bed Gardening.
Five Raised Beds: This article illustrates how to construct several different types of Organic Raised Beds.
Photo from article linked above, by Paterick Montero.
ORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENTS
Starting with your soil amendments, you will need to make sure that they come from a clean, sustainable source. Not only your soil amendments, but your fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides as well.
The very best way to build up your soil nutritionally, is with organic compost which you can make yourself from yard/food waste, non-GMO containing but preferably organic manure or composted soil, using fresh cut grass clippings (only from lawns that do not utilize chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides) or you can purchase what you need prepackaged, at the local home center or nursery. Many communities have composting centers where you can get as much compost as you want, for free. However, if you’re going to keep it organic, you’ll need to consider what may be inside of that community compost pile.
Each year, we add about one inch of a 50/50 mixture of Organic Manure/Humus, which costs a little over $5.00 for a 1.5cuft bag. We have discovered that some of our plants have a hard time of rooting deeply, due to the thick “clay” layer that’s under our dark black topsoil. However, we’ve been adding not only the organic manure/humus over the past three years, but for the past two years, we’ve been adding in about 2″ to 3″ of Organic Garden Soil.
The Soil and/or Compost that you purchase is usually clumpy. Best to break it up a little before mixing it into your garden patch.
As noted above, for the past two years, in addition to the manure/compost mixture added in order to soften up the clay and feed the soil, we added a few inches of organic garden soil, which also runs a little over $5.00 for a 1.5cuft bag. If you don’t have a roto-tiller, digging deeply using only a shovel takes more effort than one thinks. Instead of using a shovel, consider getting yourself a Cultivating Fork.
We bought one last summer and it really cuts the work in half if you’re hand tilling. It’s especially helpful when trying to break up the clay and mixing in the compost, manure and/or soil. Don’t confuse a Cultivating Fork with a Pitch Fork. A Cultivating Fork’s tines are much thicker and shorter, in fact, the handle of the Cultivating Fork is shorter as well.
Here is a final shot of our 2013 Side Garden after tilling, adding of soil amendments and adding the transplants. This was prior to the installation of the Rabbit Fence; our first line of protection against furry critters.
After transplanting/sprouting is complete, it’s time to mulch. The main reason that we use mulch, is for weed control. The secondary reason is to help keep the soil moist. When we created our first Organic Garden in the Summer of 2012, we used grass clippings exclusively for mulch, however we continued to get more weeds than expected.
What we found out is that the grass clipping method only works well if you continue to mulch with grass clippings. You must do this over the entire season, as grass clippings degrade pretty quickly. Weeding the first year was very time-intensive for Wendy, so we had to find a better way.
During the Winter months, Wendy and I spend a lot of time researching sustainable gardening practices. What we learned about prior to our Spring planting in 2013, was the “Newspaper and Straw” method of mulching.
We have also learned that some people prefer grass clippings over newspaper in place of the straw, but you’ll need to keep replacing with fresh grass clippings. Dry grass clippings over newspaper will blow away, leaving the newspaper to dry out and possibly blow away as well. With the heat we’ve had so far during late Spring/early Summer, those clippings dry out quickly. It was too much additional work each week for us, so we immediately went back to using straw, which you don’t have to replace during the season.
Note that, in one case, grass is preferable to straw. Gardeners who find that they have an issue with snails in their garden, may find that putting down straw will attract even more snails. In this case they prefer to use grass or sometimes a fine hardwood mulch. As Wendy and I find straw to be the method-of-choice for our purposes, if you do have a snail problem, you may want to find an organic solution to remediate, so that you can use straw as well, as we are having great success with it this season in regard to weed control and water retention!
If you have a small yard like ours, it’s not easy keeping up with all the grass clippings that need to be replaced. We have an option to ask neighbors who don’t use chemical lawn treatments, along with dangerous pesticides/herbicides like Roundup, for their grass clippings, however it is just too time consuming for us.
Once all of your transplants are in, or once your seedlings start sprouting; it’s time for mulching. You can get a bail of Straw from your local livestock feed store, nursery or at most local Home Centers. Straw costs between $8.00 and $9.00 per bail in our area, probably cheaper near a farming community. The bails are very compacted, so you’ll have more Straw than you think! The first season we bought two bails and had to return one.
We are on to our second bail of straw of the season. You can store this year to year, however, it’s best to break open the bail in order to dry it out first, then wrap tightly in plastic.
Make sure you buy “Straw” and not “Hay”! Why? Because Hay has seeds and adds the nutritional value to livestock feed. Straw has the seeds removed and it has no nutritional value for livestock.
This is how I remember which to use – Hay is what livestock eat and Straw is what they poop on.
First, we lay sheets of newspaper on the ground, about six sheets thick, from a few inches away from the main stalk of the transplant like we did, to about one foot away from the main stalk if you plan to fertilize mid-season. Next we saturate the newspaper with water. Then we add about 2″ to 3″ of Straw over the Newspaper. Finally, spraying plenty of water on the Straw, which helps to start compacting the straw so that nothing blows away.
Now many of you may be asking if you have to remove the Newspaper/Straw in order to feed your plants during the season. If you leave that 12″ circle around your transplants as noted above, you’ll be able to gently scratch up the surface a little before adding dry or liquid fertilizer to the exposed soil. Once you’ve been adding Organic Compost/Manure and/or Composted Garden Soil for a few years, it’s most likely you’ll never have to do mid-season fertilizing going forward.
Because compost takes years to release it’s nutrition, after three years of adding the soil amendments, most organic gardens will have all the nutrition a plant may need for the entire growing season (except in cases of mid-season Nitrogen deficiency)!
When our 2014 Side Garden was planted on May 7th and 8th; the transplants ranged from 4″ to 12″ tall. This photo was taken at the beginning of July, approximately 7 weeks after transplants went into the ground. The thick straw layer made a big difference in growth!
Other than the color differences you may see regarding new growth versus mature leaves and stems, if the “green” in your established leaves and stems start turning a lighter shade of green or yellow-green, it may mean that your plant is lacking Nitrogen. Large plants like Tomatoes and Squashes can easily deplete the Nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen is abbreviated using the letter “N”; the letter designation of this element is taken from the Periodic Table of Elements you learned about in your Chemistry class. Nitrogen is also the first number you see in the “N-P-K” (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) designation on your fertilizer box, bottle or bag.
Nitrogen is what gets your plants going as they sprout and they help keep it “green”. Although I will be writing an article on replacing nutrients in the future, the only type of product that we use for adding Nitrogen, is a fertilizer made from fish, called “Fish Emulsion”. You’ll use about 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, then use the correct amount for each particular plant.
Note that another reason for yellowing leaves may be over-watering. Before adding Nitrogen to your soil, stick your finger in the ground. Is the soil wet and a bit soggy just under the surface? If that’s the case, you are over-watering. Once your transplants are established, you’ll only need to water your garden about once per week. If you get a good, soaking rain that week, you will not need to water at all! So make sure to check for over-watering before adding a Nitrogen-only fertilizer to your soil.
PREPPING IN THE FALL MAKES LESS WORK IN THE SPRING
What we’ve learned, but have not been able to do the last two years due to circumstances beyond our control, was to split up the Spring soil amendment work by preparing the soil in the Fall. We’re going to try again this year, by setting a mid-October deadline, even if the plants are still growing fruit.
After pulling out your spent garden plants at the end of the season, mix in your organic compost, mulch and/or garden soil, as you would in the Spring. Then, cover the garden plot with black landscape plastic, held down by landscaping spikes or staples. This way, the soil has all winter to mix in and start distributing nutrients. The black plastic will help keep the ground underneath it a little warmer, thereby speeding up the compost breakdown/nutrition creation process.
This means that by the time Spring rolls around, all you’ll need to do is remove the plastic (clean off, dry out and save for next year), use the cultivating fork to loosen the soil and your other garden tools for smoothing out the soil, making rows, etc. At that point, all you will need to do is to plant your seeds and transplanting your several week-old seedlings! Since most of the work in your veggie garden will happen in the Spring, doing this procedure in the Fall, really helps make the Spring planting season much less tedious.
Some people prefer to put down a “Cover Crop”, usually grains, grasses or legumes, similar to what some sustainable farmers do. For example, you can plant organic Alfalfa, immediately after removing your end-of-season plants. Some will till this cover crop directly into the ground in the Spring and the Alfalfa will compost and release it’s nutrients into the soil. The cover crop will help deter weeds as well. If legumes are used, they will help build up Nitrogen in the soil for your Spring planting.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Even though we’ve been using just about the same soil amendment process year to year, Wendy and I both crave as much gardening knowledge as we can get our hands on. We love to experiment, so we try different growing techniques, different types of plant species or heirloom hybrids, and different types of organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, until we get to a point where we believe we’ve perfected our soil and until we find the perfect types of vegetables and fruits to grow in our garden plots.
Keeping within this mindset and in order to help get you started on your organic gardening path, I came across a great article this week, published in 2008, by “Mother Earth News“, which stimulated me to write this article for you. It’s a must read for the Beginner Organic Gardener, as well as experienced gardeners who want to start utilizing sustainable, organic practices. The piece discusses feeding your soil in detail, along with a good comparative list of fertilizers/soil amendments based on price and type. Let’s make this your first homework assignment on your path to growing your Organic future. Pat yourself on the back for making this decision to grow organically, you rock!
In the weeks to follow, we will be publishing more articles on feeding your garden, keeping it safe and chemical-free by utilizing organic practices for eliminating garden pests, getting control over your weeds and what to do for specific disease infestations, as well as above-ground gardening methods that we’re experimenting with this year. We’ll teach you how to build and grow food in a vertical pallet, as well as using “Air-Pruning” for container gardening. We will also discuss new vegetables, herb varieties and edible flowers that we’ve added to our garden this year!
Do you talk to strangers? You must, either online or in a store, at work or through friends. We all interact with strangers, sometimes even daily. What are other people’s reactions to what you say, whether it be about the weather, politics, work, society, etcetera? Does it depend on the place, situation or online area (social media) in which these thoughts were exchanged?
Perhaps, but what gives strangers the right to be rude? Do people become rude and aggressive when they don’t know what to say and you have stumped them? Do they get upset that they don’t understand what you are saying and take it out on you? Do they have preconceived notions as to what your concept is about and won’t listen to your thoughts? Do they feel as though you are telling them how to eat, live, and breath? Do they feel because they will never meet you that they can talk to you any which way they want?
I get these types of reactions from people all of the time, it’s rare to get someone engaged in conversation with what I like to speak about. Not too many people are well versed in the many subjects that Greg and I are interested in, which includes a lot of world politics attached to those subjects. These controversial subjects make some people really uncomfortable! What makes people react in such ways?
It is because in my case, if you are talking about GMOs, people can take that as you are saying that they are poisoning both their bodies and their family’s bodies. They get defensive because they feel as though you are attacking them, no matter how nice you say it. If you are talking about vaccines, same thing, people get defensive because you are basically saying that they are hurting themselves and their children. Who wants to admit you are hurting yourself and your family? No one!
So we have to understand that people can react to you in any which way they choose, but it always comes down to “What hurt them deep down inside, by you saying what you said?” We are a reflection of each other and as soon as we realize that the better off we will be. For instance, you are a mirror for me If I don’t like how you are behaving, it is because it is a trait within myself that I don’t like. Plain and simple! Or is it?
The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs. So… relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth…. If we look honestly at our relationships, we can see so much about how we have created them.
-Shakti Gawain teacher, author (b1948)
Can someone feel empowered and say whatever they want to another whether or not it hurts them, lets say on Facebook, because they are a friend of a friend and will never meet you in real life? Does this give them the right to speak to you in such a way that emits aggressive behavior? No, it does not. However, do they even know why they are upset at what you just said? If we looked at our behaviors and asked ourselves “Why is this person making me so upset by what they are saying?” or “What is it in regards to what they are saying that triggered emotional anger?”, it is something within ourselves that we do not like. No one likes looking in the mirror only to notice a flaw in your being!
For instance, I was talking about GMOs on a picture of Oreo’s that was posted on Facebook. The person posting the picture does not eat GMOs, so I knew that this was to evoke a conversation on her Facebook wall and I dove in gently to the person who commented, saying that they would eat them everyday. I said:
I think that was gentle enough. Even when they said they did in fact know about GMOs, I said:
“Awesome. Wasn’t sure if you were aware of the hidden ingredients in Oreos though. The Sugar, Canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, Soy lecithin and Chocolate are all GMO. That is almost all of the ingredients.
Original Oreo cookies contain enriched flour, sugar, high oleic canola and/or palm and/or canola and/or soybean oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate.”
So she said: “So I tell you I know, yet you insist on telling me anyway. You’re one of those people who tell people what’s in hot dogs even tho they know what’s in them. So again, I know. Ill have a few extra Oreos tonight:)”
I was categorized into a group of people that help other people eat better, imagine that? Apparently they did not want my help, but I just find these types of reactions completely rude because I do not know how much they know about GMOs and their hidden ingredients. So she assumed I knew what she knows as far as GMOs go. Not everyone knows everything about them and my job is to educate people on them, but every once in a while I get this kind of reaction to subjects I talk about, especially GMOs.
So I ended the conversation by saying: “Just trying to help and wasn’t sure if you were aware of everything that GMOs are in or what the hidden ingredients are. Sorry for helping out a fellow human. I will make sure to never help out another human again. See how ridiculous that sounds? Just as ridiculous as you having an Oreo cookie just to throw it in my face about GMOs.”
So this person would rather hurt themselves then embrace the information I gave them. Perhaps it was too fast to just jump in and talk about GMOs, but I thought I was being as nice as possible without judgement, plus it was on one of my GMO Free PA Volunteers Facebook wall. She wanted to create a conversation, I suppose, but those types of conversations, I am noticing, never end well and people end up walking away angrier then the moment they walked into the conversation. I stopped commenting right after my second comment, it wasn’t worth talking to someone who is going to come at me with rage. Nothing good comes out of rage!
However, to analyze why this happened and how this persons’ reaction came about, is very simple. She thinks either I am judging her without even knowing that I don’t judge, just observe, or she thinks that I am shoving it down her throat, which I also didn’t do, I first gave her a link and when she knew about GMOs, my thought is that she may not know about hidden ingredients, so I wanted to show her to help her, but it wasn’t received that way. So either way, I will not be able to rationalize with this type of person and unfortunately I will walk away, even though I know that they eventually will be harmed by the toxic chemicals in the foods they are eating. To me it’s sad that they know about them and yet refuse to help themselves eat better. It’s like knowing you have a source for clean water and not taking any and yet you need it to survive.
Whenever we react to someone else’s comments and we react with negativity, aggression, pompousness and anger: it’s because we don’t like what we see in the mirror!
Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times. Some people are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
-Sydney J. Harris
Perhaps you are talking to someone who is a racist, they say something out of line in regards to the person behind you being of color, you get upset and outraged. Could this be because at one time you were a racist and feel bad you behaved like that? Could it be that you experienced racism in your own household growing up? Could it be because you were teased as a child for having frizzy hair and were called names relating you to African Americans?
There is a reason it offended you and it is usually because we experienced these feelings growing up or in adulthood and didn’t like how it felt. In the end, it is always because of our own emotional baggage that we get upset at situations or others.
Another example is if someone says “Everyone should eat healthier” and someone replies “Who are you to tell me what to do?”. Could it be that they reacted this way because growing up they were told what to do without having any choice? Could it be that they were always eating healthy food and they were never allowed to have junk food? Could it be that they have low self esteem from authority figures constantly telling them how to be, live life, and do things?
Any of these could be the answer, but it always comes back to you and why you reacted the way you reacted based on your own life experiences with others.
Take a look at yourself every once in a while and ask yourself, really ask yourself why you are reacting to something, the way you are reacting to it. You might be surprised that it has nothing to do with the other person, but it has everything to do with you!
“It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect to you your image; the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.”
― C. JoyBell C.
As most of my network of friends and acquaintances know, I am not a proponent of cross-species genetic engineering, due to the lack of long-term safety studies (90 days or longer), which include at least testing 2 to 3 generations of progeny. This way, you can isolate any side effects including tumors, allergens, etc., found in the current generation, as well as to see if there is an inherent transferable defect, which may ultimately pose a threat to humans, animals, or the environment.
Cross-species genetic engineering is when they take a gene from one species like a frog and place it in another species like a Florida Orange. In this example it was done, in order to stop a bacterial infection in the oranges called “greening”. I personally don’t think this type of engineering is good for the environment, humans or any animal who might eat them.
If oranges were supposed to pick up certain traits of this frog, it would be able to happen in nature. (Read: Genetically Modified Oranges With A Side Of Frog Genes) Personally, I’ve never seen a orange hopping around and making “ribbit” noises have you? Could anything ever make me Pro-GMO?
Would I reconsider cross-species genetic engineering if adequate, long-term safety testing was done? As much as I don’t think it’s a good thing, I would have to look at it on a case by case basis. However, I still don’t think it’s fair that farmers have to buy new seeds each year. It’s never been that way in the history of agriculture. Farmers have always been able to save their seeds. Perhaps it wouldn’t bother me as much if the GMO seeds weren’t infertile after one generation which forces you to buy anew.
Jerry Rosman, a pig farmer and seed dealer since 1974, started using GMO feed in 1997. Everything was fine until the 2000 “vintage” feed came out and that’s when he chose a GMO variety from a different company – Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready/BT Corn. That’s when he started noticing infertility in 80% of his pigs. Within 12 months of using this feed, this farmer went bankrupt.
These types of “side effects” would not have happened without adequate, long-term, safety testing. Most, if not all safety studies, sponsored or run by the chemical seeds companies, only do safety testing for a period of 30 to 60 days. Many disease states will not be seen in animal testing unless you test for 90 days or longer. If you’d like to hear more about the case of Jerry Rosman, you can see more in the video below.
In the High Times article quoted below, Vancouver-based research company, MediJean, is currently attempting to create individual, hybrid strains of cannabis, that are targeted to a specific disease state or states.
“According to reports, MediJean is currently experimenting with about 224 marijuana strains in an attempt to breed a selection of high-potency varieties, which can then be used to treat a broad range of debilitating ailments, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.”
However in this case of MediJean’s efforts, I approve of genetic engineering. Why? As long as the genetic engineering is done without toxic, mutagenic, chemical means, genetic engineering used in the same species, in my opinion, speeds up evolution. Why in this case do I think speeding up evolution is a good thing? It can take several generations of plant hybridization/cross-pollination, to obtain the final result(s) that you’re looking for.
Using cannabis as an example, you’re looking at 12 to 16 weeks of development, including pollen exchange, then replanting those seeds and then “hope” it moves you closer to your goal. Using traditional means of trial and error cross-pollination, it would take years.
Using traditional cross breeding, you take the pollen from one variety then rub it on the other, then wait to see if you get the result you want. Now what if you had a plant with purple leaves that worked for MS and one that had green leaves that also worked for MS, but just a little better. When we cross-pollinate, we find that we brought the MS-helping trait over, but we also brought the purple color too and let’s say we didn’t want the purple color because it brought over undesired traits. We would then have to do something to breed that purple color out by only breeding together plants with the least amount of purple color. This may take generations until we get that shade of green we wanted in the first place.
Using genetic engineering for the purpose of hybridization, we can take only the gene(s) that aid in MS symptoms and not the genes for the purple color. In fact, they can take genes from several different varieties and try to splice them into one potent MS-specific variety. So in the case of speeding up evolution using gene splicing as a way of hybridization, this will bring cures to market much more quickly and at less expense.
Using genetic engineering in the way I defined above, you can be verified that the plant you end up with, carries the genetic traits of several breeds, that are custom-tailored for one specific illness to a range of illnesses. There are so many people in the world that would benefit from this miracle plant if the genetic engineering is done in a heart-based, compassionate manner, and not one created for mega-profits – like we see in the agri-biotech businesses.
Let us know your thoughts on genetic engineering by commenting below.