Thursday, December 4, 2008
Seed Saving thoughts
Each day that passes, I find myself thinking more and more about my food safety and the availability of what I need to feed myself and my family. Yesterday, once again I spent 2 hours reviewing the seeds I've saved. A few days ago, I realized I didn't have enough plants producing fresh food in my containers to provide a decent bounty for my table. I started some seedlings. Of course the cucumbers sprouted in 2 days like they always do, the seeds are pretty fresh. The Romas I've been planting are from 2005, the container tomatoes are from 2004 and the peppers are from 2006. Guess I should save fresh.
These little babies pictured here are from 1999! Basil is pretty easy to grow and I've had the same plants going for at least 4 years now. I store my seeds in plastic ziploc bags in coffee cans in the kitchen cabinet. It's obviously working out well because there they are, sprouted in just 6 days. Somewhere along the way, several years ago, I read in a book that when you save seeds, the key to the viability and longevity of the seed is air, moisture and light. Eliminate them and your seeds are good for a long time. I'm not going to suggest that you save and seeds for 10 years like I did, fresh is the better choice for any planting. I guess I haven't allowed my basil to go to seed all these years! Time for some fresh basil seed, guess I can sacrifice one plant.
Seed saving isn't difficult, you simply need to allow a couple fruits or veges on a plant to hit full maturity. You want the amount of good seeds inside to be at the maximum. I simply collect the seeds, wash them in luke warm water if they have plant matter on them, dry them on a paper towel and store them with no air, moisture or sunlight. Good insurance for the future of government controlled food supplies and GMO seeds.