ABQ-BERNCO Seed Library

Seed Saving Resources

Seed Saving Resources

A few downloadable resources on Seed Saving:

Seed Saving Links

Seed Savers Exchange's Vegetable Planting and Seed Saving

Seed Savers Exchange's Webinar Series

Native Seeds/ SEARCH's Seed Saving Instructions

Seed Saving Basics

Seed Saving Basics

Seed saving is an ancient and important skill. It allows us to develop stronger seeds that are better adapted to our high desert climate, increase seed diversity, and play a vital role in local food production. 

New to Seed Saving? Start with seeds that are labeled "easy." These seeds will have a green star on the label. These seeds are easier to save for beginners and produce plants like the ones you planted.

  • beans, lettuce, peas, peppers, tomatoes

Seeds that require an intermediate level of difficulty have a yellow star on the label.

  • Corn, cucumber, muskmelons, radishes, pumpkin, spinach, squash

The most challenging seeds have a red star on the label.

  • Beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, kale, leeks, onion, radicchio, turnips

See our book recommendations for more tips. Once you start saving seeds, you will likely not need to save seeds from each crop you grow each year. One plant can yield hundreds of seeds to save and share if harvested and stored properly.

Book Gallery

The Seed Garden

Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year's garden. Brings 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.

Saving Vegetable Seeds

This guide covers everything you need to know to successfully save seeds from 20 popular garden vegetables, including beans, carrots, peas, peppers, and tomatoes. Learn how each plant is pollinated, where to store your collected seeds through the winter, and how to test their replanting viability in the spring. Now you can grow the delicious varieties you love year after year.

The Manual of Seed Saving

Growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs from seed has many benefits for both the gardener and the planet. Why save seeds when you can buy them so cheap? Not only does seed saving allow you to grow a diverse, organic array of fruits and vegetables, it also offers an opportunity to work closely with nature and be even more hands-on with the food you grow, cook, and eat. The Manual of Seed Saving features information on how to maximize seed quality and yield for crop plants like asparagus, carrots, corn, rhubarb, spinach, squash, and tomatoes. Plant profiles include critical information on pollination, isolation distances, cultivation, harvest, storage, and pests and diseases.

Seedswap

An illustrated introduction to saving seeds--how to harvest seeds from your own garden, set up a seed library to share with your community, and grow plants from your own seed stash. With a directory of plants and easy-to-follow instructions, this is the perfect book for first-time gardeners. In an exciting introduction to the global seed-swapping movement, passionate seed activist Josie Jeffery explores why we should care about our plant heritage and, most importantly, explains how to do it. The work of seed activist individuals and groups is highlighted with inspirational tips and tales, and there is insight into the practices of major seed companies and how this has affected seed diversity, as well as how "seed breeding" affects the future of plants. The work of seed collections and seed banks is explored, and advice is given on how to collect, clean, store, preserve, and raise seeds. The second part of the book contains an extensive plant directory, which is full of advice on how to grow plants from "seed to seed."

Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste

The Brown Goose, the White Case Knife, Ora's Speckled Bean, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter -- these are just a few of the heirloom fruits and vegetables you'll encounter in Bill Best's remarkable history of seed saving and the people who preserve both unique flavors and the Appalachian culture associated with them. As one of the people at the forefront of seed saving and trading for over fifty years, Best has helped preserve numerous varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, squashes, and other fruits and vegetables, along with the family stories and experiences that are a fundamental part of this world. While corporate agriculture privileges a few flavorless but hardy varieties of daily vegetables, seed savers have worked tirelessly to preserve genetic diversity and the flavors rooted in the Southern Appalachian Mountains -- referred to by plant scientists as one of the vegetative wonders of the world. Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce readers to the cultural traditions as the remarkable people who have used grafting practices and hand-by-hand trading to keep alive varieties that would otherwise have been lost.

Seeing Seeds

What is inside a seed? How does it all work? Why do some seeds, pods, and fruits have such strange shapes? The answers to these and many more questions can be found in the pages of Seeing Seeds. Stunning photographs illuminating essays open up a world of beauty and fascinating information that will forever change the way you look at these small miracles of nature.

Gardening with Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds living antiques handed down from one generation to the next, a rich inheritance of flavor and beauty from long ago and, often, far away. They are sometimes better adapted to pests and harsh conditions than many modern varieties and often simply smell or taste better. In these beautifully illustrated pages, Lynn Coulter describes fifty treasured heirloom species, from Frenchman's Darling, a flowering herb whose seeds were pocketed by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in 1798, to Snow White beets, an old Dutch favorite that will not stain the cook's fingers red. Most of the plants included here will grow all across the United States; a few are best suited for warmer climates. The text is sprinkled throughout with practical advice from heirloom gardeners and lists sources for finding the seeds of many old varieties.

Plants from Pits

What do avocados, apples, mangos and tomatoes have in common? The answer is that they can all be grown at home, for free, from pips that you would otherwise throw into the recycling bin. Plants from Pips shows you how to grow a range of fruit and vegetables, indoors and out, with minimum equipment and experience. This complete guide covers everything from the science of how plants grow to how to deal with pests and other problems. Find out what to grow, what to grow it in and when and where to grow it for the best results.

Books 1

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