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 farmers who 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 the reproductive biology of crop plants, annual vs. biennial seed crops, isolation distances needed to ensure varietal purity, maintaining adequate population size for genetic integrity, seed crop climates, seed-borne diseases, seed cleaning basics, seed storage for farmers, 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. Paperback, 408 pp.
* Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association * American Horticultural Society Book Award
Dr. John Navazio is a veteran plant breeder, agroecologist, author, lecturer, and organic seed production specialist. Recently joining Johnny's Selected Seeds as plant breeding manager, he initially directed his focus on pepper and pumpkin breeding, as well as improvement and release of cold-hardy leafy winter vegetables, including spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and chicory. As a leading expert in commercial-scale organic seed production, his foundational field work has helped to enhance the genetic breadth in vegetable crops to improve their nutritional value, flavor, texture, nutrient-scavenging capability, weed competitiveness, disease resistance, and cold tolerance. Dr. Navazio has held faculty positions in Maine, Arizona, and Washington State, cofounded the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), and has developed participatory breeding projects with growers across North America to strengthen regional seed systems.