A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Saving Seed

At OrganicLea, we try to save as many of our own seeds as we can. Seedsaving is the ancient art of producing your own seeds, which allows you to do far more than to save on the expense of buying seeds in. If you save your own seed, you become a seed breeder. Someone who adapts seed to his/her own environmental conditions. Doing it well means that you can create plants that are perfectly suited to your site and your taste. It also means that you can save your favourite varieties from going extinct, a danger facing many open-pollinated seeds. Seedsaving can add fascinating elements of science, experimentation, independence and true food sovereignty to your growing efforts! If you would like to know more about how to save your own seed, the farmers’ cooperative Longo Maï and the European Civic Forum have created a great set of DVDs to help you, some of which you can watch on their website: www.seedfilm.org.

“From Seed to Seed”, a set of 4 DVDs

“This new DVD set really is the ultimate practical guide to seedsaving. The filming is really clear and easy to understand, and supplemented with beautifully drawn animations.” (Real Seed Catalogue)

Will my tomato seeds degenerate if I save them every year? How can I ensure that my pumpkin seeds are pure? What does cross-pollination mean? Where do I find the seeds on my spinach plants? You will find answers to these and countless other questions in « From Seed to Seed ». This set of 4 DVDs is an educational tool that can be used by professional or amateur gardeners who wish to learn how to produce their own vegetable seeds.

From cabbages to peppers, carrots to eggplants, 32 films describe the cycle of different vegetables from seed to seed, the biology of their flowers, how to extract, clean, sort, dry and store your seeds… Eight other films make up an « ABC » explaining certain theoretical and practical aspects of seed production, such as botanical classification, selection, isolation techniques or the manual pollination of pumpkins and zucchini.

Many gardeners do not dare to produce their own seeds due to a lack of self-confidence or know-how and rely on seeds sold on a market increasingly dominated by big companies. This practical and visual manual describes in very clear images and animations how to embark on this adventure.

Producing your own seeds is a crucial step towards gaining food autonomy. It is also a contribution towards maintaining the vast heritage of heirloom varieties developed over countless generations that are fast disappearing. The only way to guarantee their survival is to cultivate them in our gardens and learn how to multiply them. At the same time this is a practical form of resistance against the increasing monopoly of multinational seed companies that privatise life and reduce the biodiversity in our gardens and plates.

“From Seed to Seed” is an ideal tool for individual gardeners, but also for schools, training programmes or seed swaps. Producing your seeds and enjoying the vegetables that grow from them is above all an infinite source of pleasure, sharing and satisfaction.

4 DVDs with 40 short films, choice of English/French/German soundtracks (Total : 436 minutes) Price : 50 € / £38 (not including postage)

Orders of DVDs and further information, including two films, can be found at www.seedfilm.org

Contact : info@seedfilm.org

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