I am committed to growing only open-pollinated varieties of vegetables – not F1 hybrids. A major reason is so that I can save seed each year and develop locally-adapted ‘landraces’. There are other important reasons for this decision – take a look at Open Pollinated Seeds and the Real Seed Catalogue for further information. Open-pollinated seeds can also be obtained from the Heritage Seed Library.
Unfortunately, the freedom to save, trade, and even grow seed from open-pollinated varieties is increasingly under threat from UK and EU legislation, thanks no-doubt to extensive lobbying from the the industrial/chemical/GM agriculture sector. Despite (perhaps because of) these pressures, seed-swaps and seed-groups have been sprouting up all over the place, often organised by local Transition Groups; the biggest local swap is held annually in Totnes. The Landworkers’ Alliance has also been instrumental in setting up a South West Seed Savers’ Coop.