Why not Start a Seed Circle?
A Seed Circle is a simple idea: You get together a group of friends or neighbouring allotment holders, and each of you signs up to save seed of one sort of vegetable.
You’ll each get lots of seed when you save your own (far more than one person can use), so at the end of the year you can all swap with each other.
It’s a great way to start seed saving – you’ll all get several types of good seed for free, but each person only has to learn how to grow one sort. And you can help each other learn as you go.
We have prepared lots of information sheets you can print out and give away. We hope that by making it easy, and doing it as a group, people will be less inclined to drop out, and you're more likely to get good seed at the end.
All you have to do:
A Beginners Seed-Circle
We're starting with a small, simple seed circle of five people.
What you need:
It is really good if you organise a get-together occasionally, especially at harvest time, to all have a bit of an inspect of the process and the seed being saved , so you can all learn how to do it together. (hence the tea and biscuits)
Its best if people save seed from a vegetable that they really like, as they will be more fussy about the plants they save from. So if you have someone who is really passionate about carrots, then they're the person to grow carrot seed for your circle.
We're suggesting a few vegetables here that we know are easy to save seed from, and which make lots of seed. You can of course make up your own list too if you prefer.
Each person is to save seed from just one variety. This keeps it simple. To reduce work you need to do to stop things crossing, it can be best if you also only grow for eating that one variety that year.
In our sign-up form for the seed circle, we've actually put space for two vegetables for each person to do - the second one is optional, but seed-saving is such little work that its worth it. You get more seed if both work, and its less of a disaster if one goes wrong.
Suggested Vegetables to Save Seed From:
Sweet Pepper or chilli
Processing- ALL SEEDS
The person organising the seed-circle can do the drying if they like at their house, it is more efficient that way - only one person has to bake the rice, make little baggies etc.
Let us know how you're getting on!
We're really excited about the idea of seed-circles, and are rather pleased
Drop us an email with the name of your group, saying where you are and what you're saving seed of.
Moving on - wider circles
The benefit of saving seeds in a group really increases with larger groups.
In fact its far better than that because your seed will be good for three years,
By the third year, you'll all get 72 different packets of seed,
Now, the average request from us is only 15 packets.
Of course, this only works because this is all real, open-pollinated seed. You can't do this with hybrid seed.
Funny how the seed companies are so keen to sell you hybrid seed, isn't it?
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