Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association
American Horticultural Society Book Award
"With The Organic Seed Grower, well-respected plant breeder and seed expert Dr. John Navazio has written the definitive book on organic vegetable seed production. Encyclopedic, yet well written and approachable, this seminal work deserves a place in every grower's library. From the organic farmer seeking a comprehensive reference, to the family farmer who wants to learn how to guarantee access to a favorite variety, to the progressive seed saver committed to success - all will find this book an indispensable guide and Navazio a trusted partner in organic seed improvement." - Jim Gerritsen, president, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA)
The Organic Seed Grower is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. It is written for both serious home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmerswho want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically.
Detailed profiles for each of the major vegetables provide users with practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting, and processing seed for a wide range of common and specialty vegetable crops, from Asian greens to zucchini.
In addition, readers will find extensive and critical information on topics including:
o The reproductive biology of crop plants o Annual vs. biennial seed crops o Isolation distances needed to ensure varietal purity o Maintaining adequate population size for genetic integrity o Seed crop climates o Seed-borne diseases o Seed cleaning basics o Seed storage for farmers o and more . . .
This book can serve as a bridge to lead skilled gardeners, who are already saving their own seed, into the idea of growing seed commercially. And for diversified vegetable farmers who are growing a seed crop for sale for the first time, it will provide details on many of the tricks of the trade that are used by professional seed growers. This manual will help the budding seed farmer to become more knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in producing a commercially viable seed crop.
With the strong demand for certified organic produce, many regional seed companies are increasingly seeking out dedicated seed growers to ensure a reliable source of organically grown seeds for their farmer and gardener customers. This trend represents a great business opportunity for small-scale commercial growers who wish to raise and sell vegetable seeds as a profitable part of their diversified small-farm operation. Written by well-known plant breeder and organic seed expert John Navazio, The Organic Seed Grower is the most up-to-date and useful guide to best practices in this exciting and important field.
John Navazio is both the Senior Scientist for the Organic Seed Alliance and a Plant Breeding and Seed Specialist for Washington State University Extension. He trains farmers, university students, and others in organic seed production and on the fundamentals of on-farm plant breeding. His own breeding work has resulted in a number of new vegetable varieties with improved quality, flavor, and texture, as well as a greater ability to scavenge nutrients, compete with weeds, and resist heat and drought. John develops participatory breeding projects with farmers across North America to improve crop germplasm for regional seed independence.
"The Organic Seed Grower is a comprehensive guide to producing quality organic seeds on a homestead, small farm, or just in your own garden. While home gardeners who want to save their own organic seeds will get a ton out of this book, those who are considering seed growing as a business model will be well-served as well. Seed growers will learn the necessary steps involved in producing a commercial organic seed crop, and the book provides details on many of the standard methods used by professional seed producers. The book includes detailed growing and seed-saving instructions for all of the major vegetable crops." - www.organicgardening.about.com
"Where has this book been all my life?"
"This is an amazing book. While it's primary purpose is to be a textbook and guide for those seeking to produce organic vegetable seed, it is so much more.
The book is broken down by crop family, with specific advice for each family and for each crop. By far the best part of this book is the emphasis on selection for crop improvement. He give major explanations for the different sorts of selection each crop should go through and the PROPER TIMING within the plants life cycle for each selection step that will maximize the effectiveness of the selection. The book also gives specific advise on how to avoid accidentally selecting for poor characteristics and which traits of each crop species are hardest to maintain and thus the most important to select for. That is incredible information that's NEVER been in print before to my knowledge, at least never before all in one place.
In a sense this is the ultimate seed saving manual as well, for the true seed producer must select in order to maintain any variety true to its original character. This book is incredibly information-dense while remaining friendly and accessible to any reader. John Navazio's career as a plant breeder in the commercial seed industry has given him a wealth of knowledge regarding vegetable seed production and he shares an amazing amount of that in this book. But he is also clearly a gifted writer and communicator because the book is engaging and fun to read despite the density and depth of the content.
Any organic farmer who has a thought to producing some of their own seed should own this book. It will teach you things about your crops you never knew. This book is also vastly superior to any seed saving manual currently in print, so serious seed saving gardeners should think about owning a copy as well.
I cannot say enough good things about this book, it is a masterpiece."
By Oxenmantim, Amazon reviewer