SCIENCES

Saving Seeds: A Home Gardener’s Guide to Preserving Plant Biodiversity

Harbour. Aug. 2020. 96p. ISBN 9781550179002. pap. $14.95. GARDENING
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Saving seeds is a political act as much as an agricultural practice or aesthetic experience, and for home gardeners this can be a powerful expression of values and ways to be closer to the land and agricultural traditions. Jason (Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds) makes this case from his perspective of 40 years of organic gardening and seed saving on a British Columbian island. His approach to the science and politics is rather one-sided, and his arguments on those points may not be convincing for those more familiar with the actual complexity of said issues. His love for the experience of watching plants over the years and careful propagation of diverse species is compelling. Saving seeds provides a window to the past through maintaining heritage plants. Local seed exchanges can forge close connections in communities. The techniques for gathering seeds and issues to watch out for are useful guidelines, though with no charts or photographs. Procedures or timing for each plant type is not always clear.
VERDICT Useful for the beginning seed saver, but experienced gardeners will be looking for a broader overview of techniques.

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