Seed Saving with Diane from Bristol Seed Swap

Diane says: “I am one of the organisers of Bristol Seed Swap and want to get as many people as possible reskilled in
the saving of seeds. I grow on an allotment, and that presents a number of challenges in trying to keep
varieties breed true to type, as dozens of other people grow a huge number of variants of each crop –
some of them F1 Hybrids.”

Diane’s workshop covers:
Why seed save? – preservation of our cultural heritage and keeping control of the food supply, breeding
your own varieties or strains suited to your land.
Easy peasy ones: some veg and wild flowers need nothing more than careful choice of plants and then
good processing of the seeds to get ever better plants.
Second level ones: that need some human intervention to keep the breeding true. Pitfalls and
difficulties of some more awkward crops and some ways to get round this on an allotment or garden
Personal project: breeding an open pollinated version of Crimson Crush, a F1 hybrid that is blight
resistant and tastes good. I’m on the F3 generation of seeds now, aiming to produce a stable version
that can be shared and swapped by home growers, and used as a starting point for creating further
blight resistant varieties. I plan to bring F3 seeds and some F3 plants in the hope other growers will
adopt one or two and join me in this.

Diane will bring practical examples to make it interactive and will open it out to discussing the possible ways of solving problems, answer questions etc as people’s level of knowledge and interests dictate.