Seeds to Save?
we think about adding new seeds to our collections, we must have certain
priorities (or we will be buried in new seeds due to our insatiable
curiosity about all of them!) Here is a description of what we look
for in deciding which varieties to put in our catalog.
Not genetically altered: This
is our first priority, and there are no exceptions to this rule. We
are less adamant about our other priorities, but hope to satisfy most
One important criteria for seed selection is whether the seed is an
heirloom (generally defined as at least 50 years old). We know that
a story is delicious too, so if it comes with a history, we perk up
and take notice. "Tribal" and "pioneer" type seeds
are generally thought of as heirloom seeds. They have stood the test
of time and deserve to be carried into the future.
Northwest Adapted: A short season variety, able to handle cooler
weather with resistance to powdery mildew or late blight is ideal. We
will be avid to grow it the next season on our farm.
Availability: The fewer sources for a variety the more interested
in it we become. If a variety is being dropped by seed companies, we
consider it endangered, and often try to pick it up. These seeds may
not be selling well because they are out of fashion or have strange
names. We welcome these oddities with open arms (this may be obvious
trying to read the names in our catalog). For example, some of our favorite
varieties are Pisarecka Zlutoluske bean, Uzbekski cucumber, Yedi Kule
Cinsi lettuce and Kcoito quinoa.
and Nutrition: If a vegetable tastes great, we want to grow it so
we can eat it! Of course, everyone's tastes are a bit different, so
it's somewhat subjective, but if in a taste test we all say "Wow!
Let me try some more of that one!" It gets points and we will all
want to grow it again. Vegetables with high nutrition value attract
us too, (but we still want them to taste great).
Varieties: We are also looking for seeds that are unusual or forgotten.
This criteria pointed us toward our Andean tubers which have won us
all over. Most of our staff had never even heard of these before and
now we're hooked. Many of us grow them in our own gardens so we can
enjoy watching them grow and also get to east them! Under "forgotten
seeds" are the ones that used to be grown years ago that have become
"unfashionable", like rutabagas or mangels. These are tasty
and nutritious foods which deserve to be grown more so we are on the
lookout for them before they disappear.
are the basic criteria we are looking at when we add new seeds to our
collection. So many seeds are becoming endangered or lost, We are doing
research to find, grow out and offer the ones in the greatest danger.
Help us to preserve these treasures--grow them out and save the seed.