10 November, 2019

Some Suggested Reading for Seed Saving People

Against The Grain, James Scott, © 2017 Yale University Press, Tossing most of our understanding of man's initial impulse to move from hunter/gathererSome Su to living in communities that farmed, Scott takes the whole explanation for why humans made the shift and calls our current hypotheses mostly fictional! Not a seed book or seed guide, but a discussion about the beginning of civilization.

A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers © 2010 Organic Seed Alliance Publication, available at seedaliance.org/ publications/guide/seed-saving-guide-gardeners-farmers This is a free guide of about 35 pages. For free, it is the best deal on this page. It covers everything you need for saving seeds and it does so without fuss or mess. This is excellent for any seed saver; I have a copy at hand on my desk that has seen its fair share of use. (I downloaded it, put it on a memory stick, took it to my copy center, they printed the whole thing out for a few bucks and I bought a cover for it. The cover has pockets and I've added single pages to that I have found over the years. It, and Deppe's book, make up the most used portion of my library.)

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving, 2nd Edition, Carol Deppe, © 2000 Chelsea Green Publishing This is my go to resource when I have questions about seed saving. Deppe's first half is all about plant breeding and a lot of it is over my head, but the second half of the book is simple, direct and precious. This is my favorite resource about seed saving. And there's all that breeding information in the front if you ever get the call to start breeding your own varieties!

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, Janisse Ray, © 2012, Chelsea Green Publishing Janisse Ray is a writer with enough awards you'd think she'd give other, less-talented, writers a chance to win a prize or two, but in this offering, she presents a number of essays aimed at seeds and our understanding of them and how they affect our lives, our culture and our future on the planet. Of all the books here, this is the most charming and therefore easy to read, but she really does give instruction on saving seeds as well as everything else! If you can't imagine yourself reading anything about seeds, start here.

The Story of Corn, Betsy Fussell, © 2014, University of New Mexico Press This is a magnificent collection of our understanding of corn, from many different angles. Fussell has a masterpiece of a book, I have read it cover to cover twice and I'm planning to reread it again this year. This is a powerful piece of reading (as are most on this page), but I have special place in my heart for this book.

Where Our Food Comes From, Gary Paul Nabhan, © 2009, Shearwater Books, Gary Paul Nabhan has written a wonderful book describing the work of one of the world's most visionay seed scientist, Nicolay Vavilov and his efforts to end famine in our world. This book, while not about the act of seed saving, introduces the necessity of saving seeds cut against the background of the nascent Soviet Union's violent lurching towards a sustainable country. Surely as exciting as any who-done-it you've ever read and it really happened!

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