Thursday, December 13, 2012


   Seed saving Warning !           Never vacuum seal stored seeds. They are alive even if they are dormant.  A vacuum seal can suffocate them. 
   You don't have to be a gardener to do this.  You can shop organic markets or the local farmer's market for fruits and veggies and save the seeds for barter or growing during hard times.
     Seed saving fruits:  Tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, lemons, limes, plums, strawberries and many more varieties of fruit and veg come under this category.  Allow fruits to remain on vine past the time when canning and preserving rules say it hits its prime.  You want the fruit to be ripe but well on the healthy side so, no rot!  Pick the pieces that are the best looking, the best of its variety.  Maybe you have a squash that is growing gangbusters and you want to save the finest one for seed saving. You are choosing the best, strongest, healthiest looking to give yourself the finest strongest fruit in the next generation for good crop output.
      Have plenty of white, cheap bulk paper towels or use the packing paper from the storage unit.  It is newsprint but has never had ink on it.  The fancy holiday kind of paper towels has dyes and you don’t want to poison your seeds.  Remove seeds from plants.  (Strawberry seeds are on the outside.)  Most of the others are on the inside!  Spread seeds out on a bed of paper towels several towels thick.  Tomatoes, cucumber, and the like have a lot of pulp around them.  Wipe off as much as you can.  Allow the seeds to air dry.  Pack seeds in a dark envelope.  I like school lunch bags.  Mark the envelope, or bag with date, type, variety and a brief description of the plant or the conditions under which it was planted.  There is no point in learning a lesson the hard way, twice.  Fold bag down to create an envelope.  Store seeds in a cool dark place for next season.
      Basically, that’s enough to get you started.  If you would like more information, I found this GREAT online source for seeds and tubers, etc.  this site offers an online 48 page manual available for download at $5.95 if you need a hard copy.
     While seed saving from your garden or organic grocer remember that in the mess of removing seeds from veg the waste that is left is not waste!  If you are hankering for a good stew or sauce or gravy, put the remains of the veg in a stock pot.  An example is seed saving of tomatoes.  Cut the tomato in half.  Remove the seeds from the center with a spoon.  Cut the flesh and skins into slices and place in pot.  Cover with water.  Turn on the heat.  Add basil and oregano.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till thickened.  You have spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce!
    I love a dual purpose item.  This is a dual result job.  Work must be done, but if you can get two goals accomplished with one sweat, then, YAAAY!  

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