The Seed Savers' Handbook

By in
The Seed Savers' Handbook

The Seed Savers’ Handbook

by Michel and Jude Fanton

Preface by Bill Mollison

Originally published in 1993 by The Seed Savers’ Network

Paperback  |  176 pages  |  ISBN: 0646102265

Book Overview by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Michel and Jude Fanton are the founders of Australia’s Seed Savers’ Network and share a wealth of practical information in this detailed handbook.  With a focus on protecting our global food heritage, this is a complete reference for growing, preparing, and conserving productive food plants in our Australian homes. 

Suitable for both beginners and experienced seed-savers, this guide includes details about seed collecting, growth cycles, propagation, and cultivation of 117 vegetables, culinary herbs, and edible flowers.  The traditional kitchen and medicinal uses of these plants are also highlighted.

With permaculture, biodiversity, organics, and companion planting as the underlying principles, this handbook is divided into 3 parts.

Part One:  The Issues

  • The Seed Savers’ Network
  • Background to Biodiversity

Part Two: The Practicalities

  • What Seeds to Save
  • Purity and Production
  • Selecting and Collecting
  • After the Seed Harvest
  • Planting and Planning
  • A Special Family – Cucurbits

Part Three: The Plants

  • Simplicity Rating
  • 171 Plants Listed Alphabetically including descriptions and full details for cultivation, propagation, and usage. Plants included are as diverse as amaranth, celeriac, chilacayote, and rosella, along with common favourites such as beans, carrots, pumpkin, and tomatoes.


  • Pollination Table
  • List of Plants by Family
  • Index to Alternative Names
  • Glossary
  • Reference Materials

I believe this book to be essential for all caring farmers, gardeners, cooks, and parents, and I trust that it will speed our return to good nutrition and a healthy society.  

– Bill Mollison