To grow most of the food we’ll need for the next year, we’ll need seeds. If not for this study, I wouldn’t be buying all of these seeds. I’ve saved about half of these seed varieties from previous years of gardening, but my tomatoes and squash lines have been interbreeding and losing vigor.
As you can see from the following chart, I’ve got a big variety to grow this year. I tend to grow 150–200 percent of the plants I think I’ll need because I’m not successful with every plant. By having a buffer in each crop as well as overall, I am creating a diverse “stock” portfolio, similar to the strategy of the Inca and other groups in the Andes, as well as indigenous growers across the pre- and nonindustrial world.
Plus, seeds are relatively cheap, and if I grow too much of something — beyond what I can store — we have plenty of neighbors who will take some fresh vegetables.
A big thank you to the folks at Johnny’s Seeds for helping us get our order together. In full disclosure, we did receive a discount from Johnny’s to help support this project. We only partner with organizations or companies that we’d recommend to visitors before that partnership was built.