Getting new seeds is always a challenge. You can order them from a catalog, you can save your own seed or you can swap seeds with others.
There are mountains upon mountains of different catalog companies, some that I frequent include High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seeds, and I recently ordered the D. Landreth catalog, which is being put out as a fundraiser to help pay off some debts. Some catalogs are printed on newspaper, whereas others are printed on glossy pages reminiscent of a coffee table book. One of these “coffee table books” is the Baker Seed Co catalog. The pictures are amazing and the pages are so smooth and soft on the hands.
Saving your own seed will help to “breed” your own lines that are suitable for your specific microclimate. Saving the seed from the hardiest, the earliest maturing, or the most flavorful will help you get exactly what you want. Just remember, if you plant a hybrid, that the child generations will not be the same as the original. Open pollinated seeds will offer the most true to previous generation seeds.There are many online articles and printed books to explain the art of saving seed, so I will not go into depth here, but will in individual articles in the future.
Then there is the option of seed swapping. There are small scale operations, neighbors sharing with neighbors, friends with friends. The Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle holds one each year (this is the flyer from 2011). Then there is also the Seed Savers Exchange. They are a non-profit that is dedicated to saving open pollinated and heirloom seeds. You can become a member of their organization for $40 per year and get four publications of the quarterly offerings by members around the country and world.
So, if you are looking to expand your gardening choices, think of one the above ways to breathe new life into your seed selection. Do you have any novel ways of saving and sharing new seeds?