Farmer Book Club: The Garden Seed Inventory

The Garden Seed Inventory by Seed Savers Exchange is this week’s entry for the #farmerbookclub

It’s got the perfect name for Seed Inventory month at the Farmer Spreadsheet Academy.

Now technically, this month we’re exploring how you can take stock of your own seed inventory.

This book is not about how to do that.

This book is an actual seed inventory of all the open pollinated seeds that were available from all the US and Canadian seed catalogues in 2004. This was the 6th edition since 1984.

The book is a list of crops and for each crop there is a list of the varieties that were available from which companies. There is a short description for each variety. There is also a chart to show how the availability of varieties for that crop changed over the 6 editions.

This was one of my go-to books when I was building the early collection of OP varieties for Tourne-Sol. Varieties that we could save on-farm for our own use and later for our seed company.

When I go through this book now, I still appreciate having a consolidated printed list of all these varieties but what I also see is all the small seed companies I knew that are no longer in operation. It’s a little bittersweet.

(On the flip side, it’s exciting how many great seed companies started since 2004 and are not in this book.)

This is not a book recommendation for market gardeners to replace their current reliable seed sources. There’s always a risk when you try new varieties and change things too quickly.

This is a resource for market growers who are looking to see the scope of what might be possible for a specific crop and get some ideas to run trials for new additions to their farm.

It is for market growers who are looking for OP varieties that they can save and select on farm. One of the ways to maintain a diversity of available seed varieties is for market growers to add seed saving to their farms.

So as I was saying, this book isn’t about how to set up your own seed inventory. But there might be some varieties from this book that you want to track down and add to your own seed inventory.


My next free online workshop is on Thursday December 16 at 2pm Eastern …


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