Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saving Seed

From the country...

Green Zebra tomato seeds

Black Turtle beans

Smilyan Beans- originally from Bulgaria (smuggled in mind you..heh heh)

Purple Orach seeds (a really pretty purple salad green- that comes up in the greenhouse every year).

Sugar pie pumpkin seeds
Last season was our first foray into seed saving. There are always volunteer seeds that pop up in cold frames and greenhouses but this is the first year that we prepared dried out and packaged some seeds for spring planting. It is a pretty basic procedure really, one that I should have started long ago but by the time the season is through there are always some tasks that are left behind. Sometimes though, a saved seed from your own farm can be superior to one that is brought in from somewhere else.

Take the tomato seed for instance, I purchased the plant from a local seedling sale a couple of years ago and planted it directly into our hoop house. Unharvested tomatoes dropped onto the soil, some of those seeds survived the winter and came up the following year as seedlings. It is my belief that the more a seed grows in your soil, under your particular growing conditions, the better adapted they are. I can't grow a tomato to save myself but these Green Zebra tomatoes grow beautifully.

So next time you have a bumper crop of something try saving the seed. Oh! and to save a seed true- you have to start with an open pollinated non hybridized seed to begin with. There is lots of information out there for seed saving and some really great publications on how to do so. I urge you to do a little research on the seed you intend to keep.

Click here for a link to Seeds of Diversity Canada (our national seed exchange and the magazine is an altogether great read) and below is their write up. There may also be some Seedy Saturdays/Sundays coming up in the next while in your area- which is a great way to find seed that is locally grown, so keep on the look- out. These events are a great way to support small seed companies as well.

About Seeds of Diversity

Seeds of Diversity is a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the conservation, documentation and use of public-domain, non-hybrid plants of Canadian significance. Our 1400 members from coast to coast are gardeners, farmers, teachers, scientists, agricultural historians, researchers and seed vendors. Together we grow, propagate and distribute over 2900 varieties of vegetables, fruit, grains, flowers and herbs. We are a living gene bank.
Formerly known as the Heritage Seed Program, a project of the Canadian Organic Growers since 1984, Seeds of Diversity Canada is now an independent charitable corporation operated by a volunteer board of directors. Our work is funded mainly by membership fees and private donations.
Members receive our 40-page magazine Seeds of Diversity twice a year, plus our annual Member Seed Directory which allows members to obtain samples of over 2900 varieties of seeds and plants offered by other members in exchange for return postage.

Happy planning!

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