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.
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.
Buying plants at the nursery is a fast and simple way to get a garden growing, so why bother starting your own plants from seed? Because growing your own plants from seed is more economical.
This e-handbook describes what a seed is, what you need to get started, environmental conditions, transplanting outdoors and frost protection. With a little extra work and care, you can have the flower garden you want at a fraction of the cost. 36 pages.
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The Organic Seed Grower is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. It is written for both home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmers who want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically.
Detailed profiles for each of the major vegetables provide users with practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting and processing seed for a wide range of common and specialty vegetable crops, from Asian greens to zucchini.
In addition, readers will find extensive and critical information on topics including: o The reproductive biology of crop plants o Annual vs. biennial seed crops o Isolation distances needed to ensure varietal purity o Maintaining adequate population size for genetic integrity o Seed crop climates o Seed-borne diseases o Seed cleaning basics o Seed storage for farmers o And more ...
This book can serve as a bridge to lead skilled gardeners, who are already saving their own seed, into the idea of growing seed commercially. And for diversified vegetable farmers who are growing a seed crop for sale for the first time, it will provide details on many of the tricks of the trade that are used by professional seed growers. This manual will help the budding seed farmer become more knowledgeable, efficient and effective in producing a commercially viable seed crop.
With the strong demand for certified organic produce, many regional seed companies are increasingly seeking out dedicated seed growers to ensure a reliable source of organically grown seeds for their farmer and gardener customers. This trend represents a great business opportunity for small-scale commercial growers who wish to raise and sell vegetable seeds as a profitable part of their diversified small-farm operation. Written by well-known plant breeder and organic seed expert John Navazio, The Organic Seed Grower is the most up-to-date and useful guide to best practices in this exciting and important field.
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.