Throughout his travels across the country, author Bevin Cohen has collected many interesting and heartwarming stories about heirloom and heritage seeds as well as the people that keep them. From Our Seeds & Their Keepers gives voice to these sacred tales and is told in the words of the seed keepers themselves; a unique blend of history and philosophy. This book is a one of a kind collection of stories that is sure to inspire every gardener to take part in the ancient ritual of seed saving.
Gardening Under Lights is a highly-detailed, accessible guide for seed starters, plant collectors, houseplant fans, and anyone who wants to successfully garden indoors any time of the year. You’ll learn the basics of photosynthesis, the science of light, how to accurately measure how much light a plant needs, and details about the most up-to-date tools and gear available. Also included are tips and techniques for helping ornamental plants (like orchids, succulents, bonsai, and more) and edible plants (arugula, cannabis, oregano, tomatoes, and more) thrive indoors. Whether you are a vegetable gardener who wants to extend the growing season, a balcony gardener short on outdoor space, or a specialty plant collector, Gardening Under Lights is a must-have.
Daughter of Iowa farmers, Missouri homesteader and mother of five, Diane Ott Whealy never anticipated that one day she would become a leader in a grass-roots movement to preserve our agricultural biodiversity. The love for the land and the respect for heirloom seeds that Ott Whealy shared with her husband, Kent, led to their starting Seed Savers Exchange in 1975.
Seed Savers Exchange, the nation’s premier nonprofit seed-saving organization, began humbly as a simple exchange of seeds among passionate gardeners who sought to preserve the rich gardening heritage their ancestors had brought to this country. Seeds that Ott Whealy herself inherited from her paternal grandparents were the impetus for the formation of Seed Savers Exchange, whose membership has grown from a small coterie to more than 13,000. Its influence has been felt in gardens across America.
Ott Whealy’s down-to-earth narrative traces her fascinating journey from Oregon to Kansas to Missouri then back home to Iowa where, in 1986, Heritage Farm became the permanent home of Seed Savers Exchange. Her heartwarming story captures what is best in the American spirit: the ability to dream and, through hard work and perseverance, inspire others to contribute their efforts to a cause. Thus was created one of the nation’s most admired nonprofits in the field of genetic preservation.
Starting a garden can be a daunting task for any beginner. What to plant, when to plant, and how to plant can all be questions keeping you from taking the first step. The Mother Earth News Beginner’s Guide to Gardening helps answer all the unknowns.
In Saving Our Seeds, seed activist Bevin Cohen takes a deep dive into the how and why of the modern seed saving movement. A great how-to guide, leading the reader step-by-step through the process of saving their seeds from 43 different crops. From adzuki beans to wheat and everything in between. Seed savers of all levels will benefit from Bevin’s easy to follow explanations on important techniques such as hand pollination, isolation, vernalization and even basic flower structure.
Historically, seed companies were generally small, often family-run businesses. Because they were regionally based, they could focus on varieties well-suited to the local environment. A Pacific Northwest company, for example, would specialize in different cultivars than a company based in the Southeast. However, the absorption of these small, independent seed businesses into large multinationals – combined with the advancement of biotechnology, resulting in hybrids and genetically modified seeds – has led to a serious loss of genetic diversity. The public is now at the mercy of the corporations who control the seeds.
In the past few years, gardeners have realized the inherent danger in this situation. A growing movement is striving to preserve and expand our stock of heritage and heirloom varieties through seed saving and sharing opportunities. Seed Libraries is a practical guide to saving seeds through community programs, including:
Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply. By empowering communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest, Seed Libraries is the first step toward reclaiming our self-reliance … while enhancing food security and ensuring that the future of food is healthy, vibrant, tasty and nutritious.
With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, veteran horticulture teacher Miranda Smith provides a complete reference showing every step for cultivating new plants—whether from seed or cuttings or with techniques such as layering, grafting, and budding.
Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year’s garden. In this comprehensive book, Seed Savers Exchange, one of the foremost American authorities on the subject, and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time-honored tradition of saving the seed of more than seventy-five coveted vegetable and herb crops—from heirloom tomatoes and long-favored varieties of beans, lettuces, and cabbages to centuries-old varieties of peppers and grains.
With clear instructions, lush photographs, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on individual vegetable crops, this book not only teaches us how to go about conserving these important varieties for future generations and for planting out in next year’s garden, it also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of saving these genetically valuable varieties of vegetables that have evolved over the centuries through careful selection by farmers and home gardeners.
Through simple lessons and master classes on crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, this book ensures that these time-honored traditions can continue. Many of these vegetable varieties are treasured for traits that are singular to their strain, whether that is a resistance to disease, an ability to grow well in a region for which that crop is not typically well suited, resistance to early bolting, or simply because it is a great-tasting variety. In an age of genetically modified crops and hybrid seed, a growing appreciation for saving seeds of these time-tested, open-pollinated cultivars has found a new audience from home vegetable gardeners and cooks to restaurant chefs and local farmers.
Whether interested in simply saving seeds for home use or working to conserve rare varieties of beloved squashes and tomatoes, this book provides a deeper understanding of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds.