Seed Saving Resources
Saving seed from the plants and vegetables growing in your garden is one of the best ways to preserve plant biodiversity for your specific region!
What does this mean, and why is this important? Well when you grow plants in a certain environment (say, Downtown San Jose in an Urban Garden), over many seasons, and you save seed each season from the strongest, most robust plants you grew in that space and use that seed for next years crop, you are slowly creating a version of seed and plant that is more well adapted to grow in your specific environment than the original plant you grew.
This directly increases biodiversity: "the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem." Now, instead of having the exact same plant grow each year by continuously buying seed from the same company and growing it, you have created a variety of that plant that is just the tiniest bit different than the original, and adds a little bit of diversity to that plant species.
Then, when you share that plant's seed with friends, family, and neighbors that live in the same (or nearby) area, and they follow the same process of growing and saving seed, you all are helping to preserve and strengthen that plant's ability to grow in your larger region, which helps in maintaining food security and ensuring that we have a diverse variety of seed and plant species available to our community.
Beyond increasing biodiversity, seed saving and sharing is a great way to make gardening more accessible to community members that can't afford to purchase seed. You can also do this by sharing seed that you've saved with seed libraries in your area, like this one in Almaden and this one in Richmond.
Want to get started seed saving but aren't sure how? Take a look at the resources linked below to get started. Happy Seed Saving!
Seed Saving Resources
Well-rounded resources for beginner seed savers:
Seed Saving: Where to Start by Seed Savers Exchange (<--Start here!)
Seed Saving Instructions by Native Seeds Search
Seed Saving Learning Page by Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library (hover over the top right "Seed Saving" Menu for more great resources!)
Seed Saving Learning Page by Seed Savers Exchange
San Jose Public Library Guide to Seed Saving & Seed Libraries (great if you want to borrow and read books from the library on seed saving!)
Seed Collecting from Native Plants by North American Native Plant Society
Printable PDF Resources
Seed Saving Guide by the Organic Seed Alliance (comprehensive and incredibly informative)
Seed Saving Chart by Seed Savers Exchange (great printable chart to have on hand)