Seeds of Diversity
Visit our website Forward to a friend Join us Donate View this newsletter in your browser

Back to March 2019 Newsletter

Seeking Member Seed Growers for 2019 Community Seed Growouts

Featuring new farmer-selected varieties from the Canadian Seed Library

Want to protect food crop biodiversity? One thing we can do is preserve old varieties. Another is to breed new ones. While heirlooms preserve genetics, breeding applies genetics to develop new varieties that meet new needs and thrive in new growing conditions.

Many new varieties are restricted by property rights such as Plant Breeders Rights (PBR), Plant Variety Protection (PVP), and patents that offer royalties to commercial breeders but prevent seed saving, replanting, or sharing by farmers and gardeners. An alternative is to support breeders who share plant germplasm and make it accessible to all.

We've chosen five new vegetables developed by breeders and farmers committed to sharing and selecting the characteristics that really make these varieties shine. We're inviting our members to grow these varieties, give feedback, save the seeds, and SHARE them in an effort to discover & promote what just might become the new heirlooms for tomorrow's gardens.


What's required of growers?

  • Due to limited seed availability, our Community Grow-Outs are only open to Seeds of Diversity members this year. Join us at

  • Choose 1 or 2 varieties from the list

  • Grow a minimum population at a minimum isolation distance

    Tomatoes: 20 plants @ 50 feet from other varieties

    Beans/peas : 40 plants @ 20 feet from other varieties

    Lettuce : 20 plants @ 25 feet from other varieties

  • Record your observations

  • Save and clean seeds

  • Send a sample back to us

  • Keep the rest to grow & SHARE


Click here to register using our Google Form

We'll follow up by email with more detailed instructions and observation forms.


Questions? Contact our Seed Library Coordinator:

Check out the Canadian Seed Library:

Learn about the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) :


The Varieties We Have Available

Red Swan bush bean - A stringless snap bean with 4-6” rose-purple pods which are flat, like a Romano bean. When cooked, pods turn bright green with a rich, hearty flavour. Red Swan is a result of crossing a purple snap bean with a pinto bean. The beans can be eaten fresh or dry. Blossoms are bi-color pink and white. 55DTM.  Breeder Robert Lobitz was a one of kind bean breeder, collector, and developer from Minnesota. Using many landraces and heirloom varieties he bred 96 varieties over the course of his life (1941-2006). *Beans & pic below from Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm

Jester Lettuce – A joint endeavour between Gathering Together Farm and breeder Frank Morton, who writes “OK--this is it. This is my favorite lettuce of all time. Not quite perfect yet, but this triple cross between Reine d’ Glaces, Merlot, and Flashy Troutback has most of what I love in lettuce. Crisp as ice, glossy, juicy as an apple, perfectly proportioned for a plate or a sandwich, flashy red spackles on semi-savoyed leaves with crazy-crisped margins like a Jester's attire. Slow bolting in any season, this crispleaf type can be harvested at the open head stage, or later as a semi-tight pink-hearted blanched head.” 45DTM.  *OSSI variety


Restoration Romaine lettuce – large, hardy disease free with a signature spoon-shaped leaf. Upright growth habit, good heat and drought tolerance, thin ribs and a slightly open head allowing for better air circulation, reduced pests and optimal individual leaf texture. Ideal for organic field conditions and cultivation. Bred by Chuck Burr of Restoration Seed for reliability, minimized leaf damage and a crunchy sweet flavour. *OSSI variety


Hubert’s Pink tomato – Originally bred by the late Hubert Zipperlin at Camphill Kimberton Hills in PA who liked the flavour and colour of pink Brandywine, but not the size of the fruit. He crossed Brandywine with a smaller tomato and selected for medium size and flavour. The fruit is medium, with the distinctive pink of Brandywine, indeterminate growth habit,  and good production. Our stock comes to us via Cory Eichman who has been selecting for disease resistance, size and shape since 1997. Regular leaf. Indet. 80 DTM.


Meeting Place Organic Farm snow pea – Farmer Fran McQuail of Meeting Place Organic Farm in Lucknow has been growing and saving the seed of this white-flowered snow pea since the mid 1990s. It produces heavy yields of crunchy, small-podded peas on tall vines which need support. This seed is the result of on-farm selection under organic growing conditions. Pick regularly to extend the harvest. 60 DTM.


Back to March 2019 Newsletter

Not yet a member?

An annual membership to Seeds of Diversity includes a subscription to our magazine and our annual seed directory.

We depend on donations to do our work.

Thank you for your support!

Stay in Touch!

facebook    twitter