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Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver Hardcover – July 6, 2011


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Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver + The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food + Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seed Savers Exchange; First Edition edition (July 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615457746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615457741
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diane Ott Whealy is the co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange and presently serves as Vice President of Education. For more than 35 years, Diane has been a national leader in the heirloom seed movement and a strong advocate for the protection of the earth's rare genetic food stocks. Founded in 1975 as a non-profit organization, Seed Savers Exchange has more than 13,000 members, made up of gardeners, orchardist, chefs and plant collectors, dedicated to the preservation and distribution of heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, grains, flowers and herbs. With thousands of varieties in its collection, Seed Savers is one of the largest non-governmental seed banks in the United States. In 1986 Diane helped to develop Heritage Farm, Seed Saver's scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah Iowa. Heritage Farm is a unique educational center designed to maintain and display collections of endangered food crops. Diane also founded the Flower and Herb Exchange where members offer over 2000 heirloom flowers and herbs for exchange each year. She is the author of Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver (2011).


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Julie Fischer on September 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By telling her adventurous story about the places where she lived, gardened, raised five children,and came to know fellow gardeners, many of them old timers,Diane Ott Whealy has done an important service to our country and to the world, and in a natural voice that makes this book charming not preachy. Because of her organic relationships, and the abundant goodwill of others, Diane and her husband Kent were encouraged to follow their conviction that genetic diversity must be preserved for all the people and not come into the exclusive control of the five seed corporations. This led to the founding of The Seed Savers Exchange in rural Decorah,Iowa, now an internationally recognized garden crop research, seed bank, and public education facility. As you read, you will feel as though Diane were your best friend, revealing to you her most memorable moments with the home-grown humor of an Iowa farm girl, who, no matter what the crisis, just does what needs to be done, even in the midst of a muddle when, on short notice, Martha Stewart herself decides to come calling! Her gentle acceptance, beyond all expectation, of her increasing responsibilities and roles in a growing family and a burgeoning movement kept me reading. Diane is a standard bearer for the quiet, grassroots, cultural revolution on which in part our survival as a species depends. This book will bring you hope.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By LJohnson on February 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're at all interested in heirloom veggies and, in particular, the birth of Seed Savers Exchange, the wonderful repository of heirloom seeds in Decorah, IA, this book is for you. I thought Ms. Ott Whealy did a commendable job of weaving the story of her marriage to Seed Savers' co-founder with the birth and growth of the Exchange. Her descriptions of the land (IA, MO, KS) and its people and all the individuals who have contributed to the success of the Exchange were especially well done. I liked this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandi Wallace on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Whealy's memoirs were written with graciousness, humbleness, and a dash of humor. Her style is down-to-earth, literally, as she chronicles the beginnings of her love of seed saving...and growing plants and children.
This is also the fascinating story of the Seed Savers Exchange and the great things that nonprofit organization achieves. Definitely check into their work and give them your support if possible.
I am a lifetime member and was sent this book free, BUT I was not asked for a review. I wanted to review this book because it is excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Down to Earth Reader on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after attending a little talk and slide show by Diane here in Kansas City. I was fascinated from cover to cover, BOTH by the story, but also by how well written it is. A personal story of a couple who were inspired and inspiring to others across the world, which now includes me!
The whole book tells of harmony and teamwork, mutual goals and unselfish lives. Absolutely stunned that their marriage didn't survive, my heart goes out to Diane. But there is no hint of it throughout the book until she writes that final chapter...written with the same unselfish grace that the rest of the book portrays. My eyes filled with tears, I can't imagine the loss after 33 years.
But so thankful for what the two of them accomplished in those years together. And the way things are going in our world, SSE was just in time! Can't wait to plant my SSE seeds in my new garden this year!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Yarborough on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Diane Ott Wealy wrote this biography. After marrying Kent Whealy, they became homesteaders.

Seed Savers Exchange began when the Whealy's understood that many old seeds were becoming unavailable. They were determined to do something about it. The story progresses from the first days of a dream, with seeds all over their house, through the story of finding the Moon and Stars Watermelon that had been believed to be extinct, to the more modern company that Seed Savers Exchange has become.

I was saddened that their marriage didn't survive as long as their dream of saving seeds.
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