Summer is winding down, and plants in the garden are starting to go to seed. Soon it will be time to collect and save seeds for next year’s garden. But why bother doing this when you can go and buy packets at the beginning of the season?
I like to save seeds because it is a traditional way of producing food. The saving and exchange of seeds is part of food cultures around the world. Collecting seeds from the plants in my garden makes me feel more like I am a part of the natural cycle of food production. I am participating in a method of food production that dates back to early humans.
There are other benefits to seed saving. It certainly is more economical, instead of spending money each year on new seeds.
There’s the genetic benefit, too! If you collect seeds from your largest and best plants, you will keep that genetic line going the next year. And you are increasing your food security by growing plants that you know will grow in your area and on your soil. You can choose seeds from plants that taste the best, ripen when you like, have a color you like, and have better resistance to disease, fungi, or pests in the micro-climate of your garden.
What is involved in seed saving?
Choose the plants you want to save seed from based on your personal criteria.
Collect the seeds at the correct time.
Clean the seeds and dry them.
Store the seeds.
There are many resources for learning about seed saving. I have used Suzanne Ashworth’s book, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, published in 2002. It’s an excellent resource.
Organizations like Seed Savers Exchange provide excellent information.
My attempt at watercolor seeds, following a Diane Antone YouTube video.
Have a great weekend.
Kathy (Nature Mamaw)