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Farmers in the past pretty much always saved and re-grew their own seeds, as well as sharing and swapping them with their neighbors. (There are now some legal challenges to doing this, but many legislatures are dropping these, see below.)

Saving your own seed

Seed libraries

  • A well-thought piece on the legality of Seed Libraries. The authors conclude that since the library and its users are donating their seeds, there are no transactions and no illegalities. But they also caution that they're not giving legal advice, and that those wishing to create such a library should seek competent counsel.
  • Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is at the Richmond, California Public Library. They lend seed to growers new and old, asking them to bring back some of the seed from their crop.
  • Norway's Arctic Seed Vault reaches the one-million mark.

Other seed sources

Of course, there are a multitude of seed houses available; here are some that have worked well.

  • The Seed Savers Exchange is probably the premier US group for preserving and exchanging heirloom seeds, primarily of vegetables, but also herbs and flowers. Their catalog is free, and anyone can order from their website; members receive a discount, as well as the knowledge that they are joining in an important effort.
  • Johnny's Selected Seeds
  • Territorial Seeds
  • Restoration Seeds.com is Chuck Barr's permaculture farm and organic, open-pollinated seed house. They're close, in Ashland, and sell, among others, many types of herb seeds. (Barr wrote Culturequake, one of the important books on the impending global crisis.)

Legalities (forthcoming)

Klamath Sustainable Communities
1221 Main Street, Klamath Falls OR 97601
(541) 363-7316, (541) 884-9942

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