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Berea Seed Growers and Savers

Soaring food prices and shortages of some items reflect the fragility of the global food system as it is buffeted by climate change, water shortages and soil depletion, violence in key production areas, and supply chain problems. Food security for Berea will depend in part on the development of a resilient local food system.

Local food production in Berea currently depends on imported seeds, the supply of which is subject to many of the same problems as the food system. A secure and resilient local food system must have local sources of seeds. Seed saving by Berea households can increase “seed security” as well as:

  1. Reduce the leakage of money from the Berea economy.

  2. Support the breeding of locally adapted varieties best suited to Berea’s conditions.

  3. Contribute to an increase in the knowledge and skills of Berea gardeners.


The Berea Seed Growers and Savers Group consists of households that have each committed to growing for seed one variety of vegetable, herb or pollinator-friendly flower. The Berea Urban Farm provides the initial seed, a book on seed saving, and technical advice. The household agrees to:

  1. Follow guidelines for quality seed production including isolation to avoid cross-pollination and proper harvest and post-harvest seed handling.

  2. Document the growing and seed saving process with some notes and photos.

  3. Share what they learned about growing and saving their seed during a zoom or other meeting.

  4. Provide 1/2 of the seed harvest to the Berea Urban Farm to be germination tested, packaged and distributed through the BUF Tiny Seed Library.

  5. Participate in a seed swap among group members and others each fall.


For this year a goal of 10 households each growing one of the following “easy to save seeds from” crops:

Tomato, Pepper, Beans, Peas, Lettuce, Cilantro, Dill, Basil, Squash (isolation distance is large), Cucumber, Zinnia. Only open pollinated varieties can be selected.


To join, email with your name, phone, address; choice of crop; variety (or we will choose one for you).

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