Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener
Reclaim the joy and independence that comes from saving your own seeds
For the first time in 30+ years, I'm finally ready to take gardening to a whole new level. Independence, here I come, James Ulager by my side.
- MaryJane Butters, farmer, author, and editor of MaryJanesFarm magazine
A comprehensive guide to learn how to begin seed saving or take it to the next level.
- Judy Newman, administrator, Seeds of Diversity
MANY HOME GARDENERS refuse to eat a grocery store tomato, but routinely buy commercial seeds, sometimes from thousands of miles away. And while seed saving can appear mysterious and intimidating, even home gardeners with limited time and space can experience the joy and independence it brings, freeing them from industry and the annual commercial seed order.
Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener explores how seed saving is both easier than we think and essential for vibrant, independent, and bountiful gardens. Coverage includes:
- Why seed saving belongs in the home garden
- Principles of vegetative and sexual reproduction
- Easy inbreeding plants, including legumes, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers
- Plants with a few more challenges, including squash, spinach, onions, and parsley
- Brief discussion of more difficult crops, including corn, carrots, and cabbage.
Written by a home seed saver for the home seed saver, Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener is a comprehensive guide for those who want to reclaim our seed heritage, highlighting the importance of saving seeds for you, your neighbors, and most importantly, subsequent generations.
Stands out as accessible and de-mystifying [and] brings it down to the basics.... [As] Ulager says: go ahead and take back our ownership of the seed.
- Will Bonsall, director, Scatterseed Project
Jim Ulager is a home gardener and seed saver who has traveled, studied, and spoken on seed saving for the small-scale gardener. Jim produces fruit, vegetables, tree products, chicken, pork, grain, and seeds on his 4-acre Vermont homestead with his wife and three children.
Part I: Seed Saving Belongs in the Home Garden
A. Where Have All the Seed-Savers Gone?
B. How This Book is Different
C. How to Read This Book
D. Why Should We Save Seed
Part II: Saving Seed: What We Need to Know About Our Plants in Order to Save Seed — General Principles
A. How Exciting Do You Like It? Vegetative vs. Sexual Propagation
B. You Look So Much Like Your Mother! Is My Plant a Hybrid or Open-Pollinated?
C. How Plants Do It, Part I: Plant Sexual Anatomy
D. How Plants Do It, Part II: How Do They Get Together?
E. How Deep is Your Gene Pool? Inbreeding vs. Outbreeding
F. Promiscuity vs. Prudence. How to Improve the Odds You Will Get the Result You Are Looking For (or Something Better!)
Part III: If It's Your First Time: Easy Inbreeding Plants with Perfect Flowers
A. Peas and Beans
Part IV: Plants with Moving Parts
A. The Squash Family
C. Easy(er) Biennials
Part V: Not as Hard as They Look — Biennials and Obligate Outbreeders
B. Carrots and Parsnip
C. The Cabbage Family
Part VI: What Have We Missed?
Part VIII: Strategies for Success
A. Curing Seed, Seed Storage, and Longevity
B. Biennials and Winter Storage
C. Threshing and Winnowing
D. Space-Saving Strategies
E. A Drying House
Part VII: Final Recommendations: Try It!
About the Author
About New Society Publishers