I have always been fascinated by seeds. There's something magical about simply planting a handful, watching them grow, and being able to feed yourself with what they produce. The thought that you can grow that same handful of seeds, save the seeds from the resulting plants, replant them, repeat, and eventually have enough seeds to feed the world is just amazing.
The reasons for saving seeds are numerous: sustainability, saving money, developing varieties perfectly suited to your area or even individual garden, and keeping that historical link to our ancestors, to name just a few. But the most important reason is so we don't eventually lose the ability to do so.
Heirloom vegetable varieties are dying off at an alarming rate, and big agri-businesses are buying up seed companies that produce many of our most popular hybrid varieties (80% of all hybrids are owned by them as of this writing). So you can see that saving seeds is as vitally important in this day and age as it was in our grandparents' day. In order for us to keep control of our food supply, we must save seeds.
Judging from the turnout for my class yesterday, a lot of people agree with me. I talked to over fifty people about saving vegetable seeds, explaining the hows and whys. I told them about the differences between hybrids, open pollinateds, heirlooms, and GMOs. I gave them resources to obtain good varieties for saving, and explained the best way to preserve them once saved.
I had a blast! And hope to give this class again in the future.