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SEEDS OF DIVERSITY: Selected References for Information about Heritage Varieties

by Garrett Pittenger


For those who want to know where to find more information about heritage varieties, here is an annotated list of books, articles, organizations and book sources.

Ashworth, Suzanne: Seed to Seed. (Seed Savers Exchange, Inc., Decorah, Iowa, 1991) Extensive illustrated reference on saving your own vegetable seeds.

Burr, Fearing: Field and Garden Vegetables of America. (The American Botanist Booksellers, Chillicothe, Illinois, 1988) Reprint of the 1865 Boston edition of this important reference to North American varieties, first published in 1863 (see address below under Sources).

Jabbs, Carolyn: The Heirloom Gardener. (Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, California, 1984) An excellent overall review of the situation regarding heirloom and endangered varieties. Unfortunately, now out of print.

Nabhan, Gary Paul: Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation. (North Point Press, San Francisco, California, 1989)

National Geographic Magazine. "Our Vegetable Travellers" in Vol. XCVI #2, August, 1949 & "How Fruit Came to America" in Vol. C, #3, September, 1951. Excellent introduction to the origins of vegetable and fruit varieties.

Seeds of Diversity Canada (Heritage Seed Program) How to Save Your Own Vegetable Seeds. (Uxbridge, Ontario, 1992) Write to: Seeds of Diversity Canada, Box 36, Station Q, Toronto Ontario M4T 2L7. $8 postpaid. Saving your own seeds, illustrated, of special relevance to Canadian gardeners and farmers. French translation of text available.

Vellvé, Renée: Saving the Seed, Genetic Diversity and European Agriculture. (Earthscan Publications Limited, London, England, 1992) Of special relevance to the situation of endangered varieties in the European context.

Vilmorin-Andrieux, M.M.: The Vegetable Garden. (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California) Excellent descriptions of the varieties and gardening techniques of the late 19th Century in this reprint of the 1885 classic. Relevant to today.

Whealey, Kent: Garden Seed Inventory, an Inventory of Seed Catalogues Listing All Non-Hybrid Vegetable Seeds Still Available in the United States and Canada. (Seed Saver Publications, Decorah, Iowa, 1992) Updated regularly through new editions. A good guide to where to find seeds that are still offered commercially.


Seed Saving Organizations

In Canada:

Seeds of Diversity Canada, Box 36, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario M4T 2L7. Membership is $25 annually ($20 fixed income) and includes the Seeds of Diversity Magazine three times a year and the annual seed listing. Charitable donations are welcome. Receipts for tax purposes are issued for amounts of $10 and over. The SODC charitable organization registration number is 1038389-56.

In the U.S.:

Seed Savers Exchange, 3026 North Winn Road, Decorah, Iowa 52101 U.S.A. Send $1 (U.S.) for the SSE illustrated information brochure on membership and available publications.



Sources of Old Garden Books

The American Botanist Booksellers, 1103 West Truit Avenue, Chillicothe, Illinois 61523 U.S.A. Free catalog. Old books on gardening and agricultural subjects as well as reprints of classics.

Pomona Book Exchange, Box 51, Rockton, Ontario L0R 1X0. Free catalog. Old, out-of-print and hard to find books on gardening and nature, many classics.




Copyright © 1996. Garrett Pittenger

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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