Book Review: Seed to Seed

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Seed to Seed by Barbara Ashworth is probably the best reference work available for the seed saver. This is a book that I regularly reference for any information that I need with regards to seed saving, pollination habits and minimum stand sizes to ensure that always provides the best seed to you, our clients.

If you are in any way serious about heirloom or open pollinated seeds, this is the book to buy. Jam packed full of information (somewhat technical but still very readable) that will allow you to confidently save your own seed from year to year. It is filled with handy advice on isolating plants, making day cages and hand pollination of every vegetable variety on the market.

This book would suit any vegetable gardener that has the remotest interest in being able to keep individual vegetable strains pure, and has been written specifically for the heirloom and open pollinated seed saver. I have spoken to many seed savers locally and internationally and this is the book that they always reference when looking for information pertinent to a crop that they are working with.

Probably the best information that we as South Africans can use is in understanding how the various plants are pollinated and what steps can be taken in preventing cross pollination of similar vegetable groups. Modern South African vegetable gardeners have almost lost the art of seed saving and this book would be your first natural step in re-learning lost techniques.

The book is primarily aimed at the US market and growing conditions, however that is only a small portion of the information available. The balance of the information covers over 160 different vegetables and Seed to Seed is a reference work second to none and well deserves its place on your gardening shelf.

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