The Organic Seed Grower
A Farmer's Guide to Vegetable Seed Production
"There is nothing more important right now than growing and saving seeds; that most essential aspect of life. While we may have all done this once upon a time, we have mostly lost these skills to private industry or urbanization. Until now. John Navazio reveals all the techniques and tricks, some simple and some complex, that he's learned only after decades of careful observation and practice. Incredible photos help tell the story of life that seeds represent. The Organic Seed Grower is what we need to take back community control of seeds from those who have taken it from us."
—Tom Stearns, president, High Mowing Organic Seeds
Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association
American Horticultural Society Book Award
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 serious 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:
• The reproductive biology of crop plants • Annual vs. biennial seed crops • Isolation distances needed to ensure varietal purity • Maintaining adequate population size for genetic integrity • Seed crop climates • Seed-borne diseases • Seed cleaning basics • Seed storage for farmers • 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 to 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.