Native Seed/Search in Tucson would be the most local seed bank that I know of, and it's fantastic. There are a lot of us that save seed though. Starting in July, Rachel's Tiny Farm (my house) will be offering seed packets for $2 of heirlooms that have been successful here in Phoenix and saved properly with 10% of $ going to Native Seed/Search. (I'm doing it to support NS/S and to help pay for my heirloom addiction! ;) )If you're interested in seed saving, Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth is a great and comprehensive book on proper techniques, if you don't already have it.
Rachel, I am interested in your collection as well. Will you be starting transplants again? Do you have a tomato you prefer that will can well? That is one of my goals, to plant enough tomatoes to can, hopefully a year's worth.
I will definitely be doing lots of transplants this year. I've cleared an even bigger area so hopefully I will have a few hundred available this year. I can my tomatoes in the form of salsa and sauce, so I haven't focused on just a straight canning tomato, though that sounds like a great project for spring! What varieties have you tried already? I'll post a catalog list as soon as I finalize it in a week or two. This first year, I'll probably only have about a dozen varieties or so, just the things that have been top performers for me.
I have only canned tomatoes with my mother-inlaw. She is in Idaho and we picked up tomatoes in Bringham City Utah on the drive up-and I have no idea what kind they were, other than BIG. So she just cans them whole with a bit of salt in a water bath.
I do have a pretty good amount of tomatoes now, they are mostly "lemon boys" with a few "celebrity" which are hybrids I believe.They do not taste like there is a lot of acid in them so I would need to add lemon and vinegar to can...I think. But only enough for a few quart jars at best. These two varieties seem best as eating fresh, but maybe I will try making a sauce and see how that goes.
Do you have a Roma tomato you like? Those are canning types for sure.
Dang Doreen, I wish I'd see this sooner. I would very interested in this. I was very inspired by Bill's talk at the Living Green Conference. Please let me know if another field trip will be planned. I'd be interested in learning more and eventually teaching a basic seed-saving class.