Seeds of Diversity
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Celebrate 40 Years of Saving Seeds!

Forty years ago, a small group of organic vegetable growers realized that their favourite seed varieties were disappearing from seed catalogues. They formed a seed-saving group to make sure they could keep growing those tried-and-true vegetables and fruit, and over the years thousands of gardeners followed their lead and became seed savers too!

The earliest years of Seeds of Diversity are hard to imagine today. Volunteers across the country kept in touch by mail, phone, and sometimes fax. They had no Seedy Saturdays or seed libraries to engage new seed savers, and there were very few resources for gardeners to learn the simplest of techniques for growing good seeds.

But there were some aspects back then that we'd easily recognize today. One of the first things Seeds of Diversity's founders did was to create a national seed exchange so gardeners could share their saved seeds. The first edition only had about 100 seed offers (check out what our Member Seed Exchange looks like in 2024!) but it made a big impact connecting seed savers from coast to coast. They also published the first edition of How to Save Your Own Seeds, the handbook that we still sell (in its 6th edition now, published in three languages, over 10,000 copies sold).

Most importantly, the values that powered Seeds of Diversity 40 years ago are identical to those today: regular gardeners can take control of their own food production by keeping control of our seed diversity and heritage. 

That's why we still promote hands-on projects for gardeners to diversify, multiply, and improve the quality of seeds in communities across Canada. Thanks to all the volunteers and leaders who've kept that movement going for four decades, and thanks to you for being part of it now. Glad to have you with us!


Community Seed Grow-Outs 2024

We want your help saving seeds and increasing how broadly they are shared across the country. While our Canadian Seed Library does a good job of seed conservation, the goal is not just to keep endangered seed alive but to get it into as many gardens as possible. We’ve chosen some Canadian-adapted beans and tomatoes: your job will be to grow them, take observations, save LOTS of seed, and share it - with us and with others.  

We’re concerned about the quickly changing growing conditions that all gardeners are experiencing, and we know you are too. Adapting to a changing climate is a big deal, but you can help in a small way by growing a selected bean or tomato variety and helping us all learn how it grows where you are.

New to saving seeds? That’s OK! You’re welcome to take part. The bean project is particularly beginner-friendly. We will send you seeds and provide instructions throughout the season. Just make sure you have the time and garden space to follow through.


Check Out Your 2024 Member Seed Exchange

It's a whole new year, and the gardening season starts with seed catalogues. Canadians are fortunate to have nearly 100 garden seed companies to choose from, but one of the most interesting ways to find new seeds is to discover what home-grown seed savers have to offer.

Our Member Seed Exchange is Canada's largest seed exchange, where members offer nearly 3000 different kinds of seeds from their own gardens. Vegetables, flowers, herbs, grains, fruit, and some plants you've never heard of. If you're looking for diversity, this is where you will find it.


Create Your Own New Potato Varieties!

If you've ever wanted to grow a plant that literally nobody else grows, or has ever grown, what could be more fun than to breed new varieties of vegetables and flowers? I'm going to show you how to create new varieties of potatoes, from potato seeds. Not seed potatoes, actual seeds. If that sounds strange, you aren't alone. Most gardeners have never seen actual potato seeds, and if they've seen potato fruit they probably didn't know what they were looking at.

Potato fruit? Yes potatoes have fruit.


In this issue

Community Seed Grow-Outs 2024

Check Out Your 2024 Member Seed Exchange

Create Your Own New Potato Varieties!

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