Professional Seed Organizations

Professional seed trade organizations may not be of interest to the average gardener, but they arose because of home gardeners. For example, the American Seed Trade Association was formed to protect American seedsmen against "fraudulant and unjust claims for damages," to fight for lower postage, and serve as a way for them to network. While most of these seed organizations don't have much information for the home gardener they may be of interest to you if you're researching seeds. Also, a couple of them have grants or scholarships if you're a student interested in the field. These website are NOT included in the Seed Snatcher search engine

If there's a seed trade association you think I should list leave a message in the comments or contact me.


Seed Banks Around the World

Seed bank are ways people are protecting the genetic diversity. Some are small personal projects from hobby gardeners, others are run by plant societies and some are large scientific seed banks. The largest of the seed banks will not be accessible to the public, but the smaller ones are usually member driven. There is a separate list of seed societies, seed savers and seed exchanges. While there is some overlap between these two I think there is good reason to create separate listings. Below is a list of seed banks from around the world that you can find online. These are all listed in the Seed Snatcher search engine.

Australian Begonia Society Seed Bank (AU)
Cherokee Nation Heirloom Seed Project (US)
Seed of Success (US)

If you have a suggestion for a seed bank that I should add please leave it in the comments or contact me


Seed Societies, Seed Savers and Seed Exchanges

If you're looking for interesting or heirloom seeds to grow, bank or give as gifts seed companies aren't the only place to "shop" for seeds. There are plenty of seed societies, seed saving groups and places to exchange seeds. Here's a listing of non-commercial seed societies, seed savers and seed exchanges from around the world. There is a separate listing for seed banks from around the world. While there may some overlap between the goals of these groups with the seed banks, I think they deserve separate listings. You find all of these seed societies, seed savers and seed exchanges in the Seed Snatcher search engine.

If there's a seed organization, group or seed exchange group that you think I should add please leave a message in the comments or contact me. In particular I'm interested in listing regional groups and groups outside of North America.


The Seedy Side of Plants

I was updating the Seed Snatcher search engine last night when I remembered NATURE'S The Seedy Side of Plants on the website. If you have an interesting in starting plants from seed for your garden, or saving seeds from your garden you have to watch The Seedy Side of Plants. It is an incredible documentary about seeds that covers a lot of information. You will be a better gardener, seed saver and seed starter if you get to know seeds. Unfortunately, the whole video isn't available on the PBS website, but you can see a short video on flying seeds and seed dispersal. Check your local listings for when this documentary airs in your area, or see if your library has a copy of the DVD. I can't recommend The Seedy Side of Plants enough.


Pavlovsk Seed Bank Saved, 'Sunflower Seeds' Closed

Two updates on seed-based projects that took social media by storm. 

The Guardian is reporting that Russia has rethought their plan to break up the Pavlovsk seed bank. If you don't know about the Pavlovsk seed bank you can familiarize yourself with its amazing history here. It seems more like an agricultural experiment station, but everyone and their mother describes it as a seed bank. Perhaps the seed bank label helps people understand what it is easier. 

Just days after it opened at London's Tate Modern the installation, 'Sunflower Seeds,' by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has been shut down. Visitors are only being allowed to see it from a distance. It seems the crowds, who were encouraged to interact with the seeds, were creating a "greater than expected level" of ceramic dust. There were fears that being exposed to the dust could be cause health problems. Too bad, I was planning a trip to snatch one of the 100 million hand-crafted porcelian sunflower seeds. :)

Update 11/13/10: Artist Ai Weiwei is under house arrest read about it here

SimplySalad Lettuce Seed Pellets

Is there anything easier than growing lettuce from seed? Doesn't seem like it, right? In the mail today I received a sample of what the Ball Horticulture Company hopes will make growing salads even simpler for home gardeners. SimplySalad™ is a mixture of loose-leaf lettuce and greens bred to be compliment each other and look attractive in your containers.

SimplySalad-Lettuce-Seed-Pellets, Ball-Hort

Here is what the front of the SimplySalad™ sample looks like. The lettuce seeds are in the pellets in the clear vial in the upper-left had corner. The instructions say you can sow 3-4 multi-pellets in a 10" container, and 4-5 mult-pellets in 12" or larger containers.


Here's the back of the SimplySalad™ sample pack.

The SimplySalad™ was developed by PanAmerican Seed, a breeding subsidiary of the Ball Horticultural Company. The lettuce seed pellets are currently available through mail-order seed catalog companies like W. Atlee Burpee, Harris Seed, Territorial Seed Co., and others. Home gardeners who do not buy vegetable seeds through seed catalogs will find them in garden centers across America in 2011.

Looking for information on starting lettuce seeds? Do a search of the Seed Snatcher search engine.


Seed Library's Preview of New Art Packs

Hudson Valley Seed Library art packs, heirloom seeds, where to buy seeds in New YorkThe Hudson Valley Seed Library is expanding their offering of Art Packs in time for the holiday season. This year the seed sellers will offer sixteen new designs. A peek at the top flaps of the new 16 seed packs is available on their blog. The new packs will be available starting in November 2010. Also, in November there will be a gallery show of the original artwork used to create the packs at the Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC.

On October 6, 2010 The New York Times published this great article on the Hudson Valley Seed Library.