The Urban Farm Releases New Guide on Saving non-GMO Seeds

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As part of a new app called Urban Farm Guides, Native Seed/SEARCH's Bill McDorman has created an extensive, step-by-step guide on how to save non-GMO seeds that will educate beginning urban farmers, gardeners and seasoned seed savers alike.

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“How incredible to realize that we can play a vital role in a process which has so profoundly shaped mankind over thousands of years.” Says urban farmer Greg Peterson has just released a new, informative guide that teaches urban farmers, of all levels, how to save their seeds. The new how-to guide, Basic Seed Saving, is an extensive guide that describes in detail how to save seeds from 18 different vegetables and 29 wildflowers, and is full of useful tips and tricks that are essential and informative for both aspiring seed savers and veterans with plenty of experience. This guidebook is now available through the new app Urban Farm Guides, available at the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Bill McDorman, author of the guide, is the executive director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, an indigenous seed conservation organization in Tucson, Arizona. He is an expert on saving seeds and has been teaching about seed saving as well as edible and medicinal plants for over 30 years.

His passion for the subject makes this guide an exciting read. McDorman writes that seed saving is, “a ritual as old as civilization, a ritual in many ways responsible for civilization…when a gardener plants his own open-pollinated seeds, he is passing on the ageless, priceless gift bestowed upon him.”

“How incredible to realize that we can play a vital role in a process which has so profoundly shaped mankind over thousands of years.” Says urban farmer Greg Peterson “Seed saving is essential if we are to mitigate the dramatic losses of agricultural biodiversity which has taken place during the past 100 years.”

Peterson continues “This is of great concern because in today’s society the majority of our food comes from only a small handful of plants. Additionally, the resilience of an ecosystem is largely determined by its diversity. Farmers and gardeners who save their seeds are fulfilling more than just a hobby—they are fostering diversity in a world starved of it.”

In Basic Seed Saving, McDorman stresses that “gardeners and farmers can play an important role in building our food diversity by learning to save their own seeds from varieties that perform best in their own mini-ecosystems. This will assure diversity in the same way diversity was promoted and protected naturally throughout the history of agriculture.”

This guide contains extensive information regarding the most important aspects of seed saving, including a variety of seeds to save and how to save them for beginning, intermediate, and advanced gardeners. It delves deeply into the world of seed saving, covering topics such as ecologically sensitive seed collecting, plant identification, tagging, timing, record keeping and the best methods for successful seed collection. All this in a simple how-to guide built for your iPhone or iPad.

Basic Seed Saving is one of many guides by The Urban Farm and is available for iPhone and iPad through the free app Urban Farm Guides, which can be downloaded from the App Store.

About Urban Farm Guides:
Growing one’s own food can seem like a challenging endeavor, but the Urban Farm Guides make it simple. These easy-to-read and inspiring sources help readers learn topics quickly and successfully put them into practice. Currently, in addition to Basic Seed Saving, described above, the app has the following three How-To Guides:

  •     My Ordinary, Extraordinary Yard comes free with the download of the app. This Guide shares the story of how Greg Peterson, transformed his own back and front yard into a thriving edible paradise and even touches on how he incorporated solar panels, greywater and rainwater into his landscape.
  •     Fowl Play: Your Guide to Keeping Chickens in the City, by Rachel Bess and explains in detail how to keep chickens in an urban yard and all the reasons why they make a great addition to any yard.
  •     Grow Wherever You Go is a tool to enable readers to discover where their garden “lives” be it a box of herbs on the countertop, a fire escape garden, or a complete edible landscape. This guide offers an additional source of inspiration for budding urban farmers through the personal stories of others who have maximized the potential of their own urban yards.

A variety of other fun and motivational Urban Farm How-To Guides are set to be released starting in January. Urban Farm Guides is now available for download in the App Store.

About Urban Farm is the home of a wide range of urban farming resources, education, tips and the 10,000 Urban Farms Project, which was created to discover a farm on every street. Founder Greg Peterson began gardening in Phoenix, Ariz. in 1975, discovered permaculture in 1991 and dubbed his personal residence in central Phoenix, The Urban Farm, in 2001. Peterson earned his Master’s in Urban an Environmental Planning from Arizona State University in 2006. His long history of environmental learning and growing food in the city contributes to the success of Peterson wrote and published The Urban Farm Simple Sustainability Series, sits on the board of Native Seed/SEARCH and teaches the class Sustainable Food and Farms at Arizona State University. To find out more, visit

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