After you plant and your garden is growing, you may see the need to change things up the next year, so having a plan helps remember where you've placed your plants in the current season and where you may want to move them the next. I would show you mine, but I've already scribbled all over it with changes for next year! Here is a great post from On Just a Couple Acres complete with a garden sketch.
Sustainable Seed Company
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seeds of Change
(cucumbers in the morning dew)
The reason for organic seeds is they have not been treated with chemicals, and they come from plants which have not been treated. Typically, if you want to produce what is considered an organic seed from a plant which is not organic (treated with pesticides or fertilizer) then you must plant and seed each year for three years. So, by the fourth generation of the original plant, you will have an organic plant/seeds.
The term "GMO", which means genetically modified organism, is basically altered seeds which produce scientifically modified plants and foods. Yes, farmers have cross-bred through pollination and grafting for generations, but they usually crossed one plant with another....the same TYPE of plant with another. My FIL says he used to take a strong branch from a weaker tree and graft it to a stronger tree that may have a weaker branch. All to create a stronger, healthier tree. Not a problem. However, seeds that have been genetically modified, their DNA has been changed and crossed with plants and bacteria that are not at all in their same plant type. Creating a genetic disaster which can and could be harmful to our health. Why mess with perfection, the way God created it? If you want more in-depth information (I'm not a great sciency person) you can find it here.
Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been open-pollinated, relying on the wind and/or insects to aid in pollination. Heirloom seeds are easy to grow and seeds are easy to harvest in order to store for next year. The opposite of heirloom seeds are hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds have been hand pollinated and cross pollinated from one type to another in order to get a more specific type of plant. Kind of like a dog breeder would breed dogs to generate a specific type of dog or breed, if you will. It doesn't always turn out for the best. Many times the seeds from a hybrid plant cannot be saved and stored to be planted the next season as the seeds can be sterile.
I posted last week about my seed storage and filing system, which is also where I file my garden sketch. You can click here to see it.