If you want to save your own garden seeds, be sure to check out the open-pollinated heirloom seeds from two of the leading heirloom seed companies, Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (To save seeds, be sure you’re growing open-pollinated varieties rather than hybrids, which usually don’t grow true to type from the seeds they produce.)
Both Seed Savers and Baker Creek offer astonishing selections. And if you’d like to learn more about these two companies, Baker Creek founders Jere and Emilee Gettle have just published The Heirloom Life Gardener, a book about their approach to “gardening based on necessity and economy.” Seed Savers co-founder Diane Ott Whealy outlines the history of this 37-year-old nonprofit in her new book, Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver. Becoming a member of the Seed Savers Exchange will help the organization preserve and improve America’s heirloom plant varieties. It will also allow you to connect with hundreds of other gardeners and obtain rare heirloom seeds from more than 13,000 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and more.
Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on Google+.