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SOS: Save Our Seeds

What you can do to protect your favorite seed varieties.

To help protect your favorite varieties from going the way of the dodo, you can, of course, save their seed all by yourself or with a group of friends. More valuable all around is becoming a member of Seed Savers Exchange, a huge group of people who are all devoted seed savers. Since 1975, members of the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange have passed about one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. Members get access to “twice as many vegetable varieties as are available from all of the mail-order seed catalogs in both the U.S. and Canada.” The phone-book-size Seed Savers Yearbook for 2009 boasted 13,263 unique varieties, all of which can be purchased for a modest price. When you become a seed saver, you can ensure the continuance of a variety by offering it to other gardeners through the Seed Savers Exchange. By sharing the seed, varieties that are no longer commercially viable can be preserved all over the country—indeed, all over the world.

Read why some seeds are in danger of disappearing