The seed bank seeks to save and redistribute seeds that have a proven track record in organic gardens in our local area. We rely on donations from home gardeners on the Sunshine Coast. While we encourage our fellow gardeners to experiment with seed saved from many different sources, we offer the following guidelines for seed to be donated to the seed bank for re-distribution:
- The seed should have been saved from plants that you have grown in your own garden using organic methods. Members of the seed savers group can provide advice on how to save different kinds of seeds. There are also several manuals available; some of which can be obtained from the seed bank.
- To be sure that your seed will ‘breed true’ and produce a good harvest for the next gardener who takes your seed from the seed bank, it should have been tested over more than one generation. This can be achieved several ways:
- Save seed from a successful crop and try planting it again. If your next harvest is also good, save some seeds from this second harvest. Seeds from this crop would be welcome in the seed bank.
- If you have a successful harvest from seed bought from the seed bank, please save seed from this crop and donate some of it back to the seed bank to keep it in circulation.
- If a local friend gives you seed that they have saved themselves, and you in turn produce a good harvest, seeds from your crop would be suitable for the seed bank.
- If you are using seeds from crops grown from commercial seeds, check the packet carefully to make sure that the seeds are not F1 hybrids. If they are hybrids, while you may have had a great harvest, seed from those plants is unlikely to produce the same quality of plant/harvest in the next generation. Do not save seed from hybrids. If the commercial seed is not a hybrid, grow a second crop from any seed you have saved from the first crop. If this second crop is still good, this seed is suitable for the seed bank.
- If you purchase seedlings from which you then save seed, or if you save seed from fruit or vegetables bought at a market or supermarket, you cannot be sure the seeds will breed true. Follow the steps outlined in point 3 above, before offering that seed to the seed bank.