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Chelsea Green Blog

Seed Saving and Plant Breeding

Many people are re-discovering the profound yet simple joys of growing fresh food that just a few years ago they had no choice but to purchase with hard-earned currency from a supermarket.

To take the next step in liberating your garden from corporate control, consider saving your own seeds and developing your own vegetable varieties. These three books will take you from novice-level all the way to expert.

These and other gardening books are on sale for 25% off until the end of the day.

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe

“Breeding is an expression of individuality, for your tastes and needs.”

Entertaining and scientific, this book gives a gardener or farmer all the tools she needs to save seeds and develop new varieties of favorite crops–on any scale from a few pea plants to an entire winter’s worth of squash. We are proud to be publishing a new book by Carol, available this October, called The Resilient Gardener.

 
Seed to Seed Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth

This book contains a lot of general information about seed-saving, but what distinguishes it is an extensive list of vegetable varieties, grouped by family, and their characteristics, as well as specific information about the seeds of each.

 
Garden Seed Inventory Garden Seed Inventory, 6th Edition by Seed Savers Exchange

Described as a “catalog of catalogs”, this book tracks the availability of non-hybrid seeds in the US and Canada. This is essential for those looking to save their own seeds, since only non-hybrid seeds will produce predictable offspring. Seed Savers Exchange works to preserve unique seeds for the future.


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More

Pass the Walnut Syrup?

Everyone knows and loves maple syrup, and in some states (like Chelsea Green’s home state of Vermont), it’s big business. However, it’s a widespread myth that maples are the only trees that can be tapped to produce sap, according to Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest. Sap can also be collected […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More
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