Qualities derived from hybridization can be obtained with the use of non-hybrid seeds and complementary Natural Agriculture cultural practices. Seed saving will replace the need to buy commercial seeds and will produce more viable seeds appropriate to the specific location and needs of the farmer. Beginning farmers should select seeds based on the local environmental conditions and the needs of the consumers. More experienced farmers will expand their seed selection to introduce new crops and multiple varieties of the same crop species. Over time, the quality of the seeds and plants will improve and adapt to the local conditions providing qualities naturally similar to those provided by hybrid seeds.
For the beginning farmer, seeds for planting will come from two sources:
- purchased seeds
- on-farm saved seeds.
Over time, the farmer should have a completely self-sufficient seed stock from on-farm sources.
The types of seeds used by Natural Agriculture farmers typically changes over time. Farmers transitioning to Natural Agriculture practices will need to obtain seeds from other Natural Agriculture producers, local farmers, or purchase untreated non-hybrid varieties and begin the process of on-farm seed saving from these purchased seeds. Using open-pollinated seeds, seeds grown in the local area, or seeds obtained from other farmers using low-input or organic methods will provide the best seed stock. When obtaining seeds from a local farmer, check the breeding history of the seeds to determine if they come from plants grown with prohibited materials or chemicals. Locally grown seeds will have the advantage of being adapted to the local conditions.