Saving Your Organic Seed
I guess I'm just a worrywort, but I am very concerned with the direction the world's food supply is going. I enjoy growing as much of my own food as possible and I just read an excellent short article on saving your own seeds.
For those in Oregon, it is in the newest Oregon Tilth Magazine (free) which you can pick up at most whole food stores.
This person recommends beginning with tomatoe seeds. Slice the tomatoe, extract the seeds and eat the rest. Tomato seeds have a gelatinous coating that protects the seed while it is in the fruit. To remove the coating, simply get a shallow container, like the lid of a mayonnaise jar or a pie tin. Fill the container about half full of water. Drop the tomato seeds into the water. After 2 or 3 days, a milky white scum will form on the top of the water. Lift this off and put it in your compost. Drain off the water and look at the seeds. The coating will be gone from most of the seeds. Dry off the clean seeds by setting them on clean paper and let them dry in the air. For any seeds not clean, repeat the water process.
When the seeds are clean and dry, store them in a paper envelope out of the light in a cool, dry place. Be sure to label the envelope with the varieyt, source, and year!
In the spring, a week or two before planting time, take 10 seeds from your stash. Place them on a clean, damp piece of paper. Set them in light. Keep the paper moist. In a few days, they should begin to sprout. After a couple more days, count the seeds that have sprouted. This will give you a fair idea of trhe germination rate for those particular seeds. Then you'll know how many to plant to get the desired number of plants.
Contratulations! You have just successfully saved your own seed and carried it forward into anothe rseason. You're walking in the footsteps of countelss growers over countless years who have made agriculture practical and civilization possible!
Thank you for posting this. It is VERY important. I heard on the news the other day a history segment. Apparently the hoarding of seeds and not allowing farmers to keep their seed has been a sign of repressive governments for a long time. Many people in history fled those repressive governments to come to the USA so that they could farm freely and keep their seed. I just learned that!
now Monsanto is making terminator seed. It produces plants that do NOT produce seed. That way you HAVE to go to them to buy seed.
They're giving it away FREE to starving people in 3d world countries so it will cross polliinate with the local foodsources...wiping them out.
It's amazing how low people will stoop to make money.
That's "JERKS" in sign language!
I'm saving seed.... vacuum packing it.
Be aware that most of the seeds of produce that you buy in the grocery store are hybrids, and will not produce the same fruit/veggie that you bought. Sometimes you can get good results, other times, it's a nasty surprise.
Saving seeds is really a great thing to do because they really do want to control the food supply. Especially our government. We all know how they went over to Iraq to free the poor oppressed folk there, well as an additional help to these people we outlawed the saving of seed which has been practiced for millennia over there....and the populace are REQUIRED to purchase seed from our seed companies, ie.: Monsanto, thus enslaving these people to a corporate food source.
For those who don't grow anything, it's easy to do even in containers. But if you aren't up to it, at least buy a few seed packets of open pollinated, if not heirloom seeds. They are very inexpensive. You can put them in a container and store them in the freezer for years for just in case.
Here are a few guidelines to saving seed, the first being very comprehensive, the middle, an article, and the last, a resource for serious growers:
And here are places to buy organic heirloom seeds, there are many more to be found online:
And for tomato lovers...
Rowan...do you grow tomatoes? Have you ever tried black krim if so? OMG...I fell in love! Sweet, smoky, tangy...irresistible flavor.
No, I haven't tried that variety. This year I plan on growing tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, and kale but I"m not sure what else. I have limited space. I bought one of those boxes, and I may buy another. If my landlady will let me, I may put in some plants in the back yard too!
Suggestions are appreciated!
I have the boxes and I love them. I got mine from gardeners supply and they're a bit different cosmetically, but work essentially the same. They're great. You can plant 2 tomato plants in one..and...well, here is a list of the what they recommend growing in terms of how many plants per box.
I put a premium on growing greens since they're so essential. But you can grow baby greens for salads really easily in small shallow bowls, heh, or cat litter boxes are a great size for them... so in my earth boxes, I have indeterminate tomatoes that grow all through the season, summer squashes, peppers...I'll plant some garlic in each of the boxes as it wards off bugs, and I'll plant with the tomatoes a basil plant or two in the corners, during the summer I'll plant a couple lettuce plants (they have very shallow roots) in with the tomatoes and under their leaves to keep them cool enough to grow...I'll tuck the lettuce plants in wherever and whenever I can, they need very little room and don't really compete with the other plants roots as their roots are so shallow...I'll plant parsley in with the peppers, and maybe some mint with the squash...and add the lettuce or even spinach plants as well. But spinach doesn't do well in the summer outdoors, and so if you can find malabar spinach seeds, that's a pretty good alternative. Then towards fall I'll plant more kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, some other cool weather greens, etc. I also buy these kind of cheap pots and have a certain type of marigolds growing around the plants as well because the deter the bugs too. http://homeharvest.com/containergardenpotsplastic.htm I get the ones that are the 2nd picture displayed down...the standard cheap ones...and you can actually grow a tomato plant in the biggest one. You just have to water more often. The trick is to have your plants started and ready to transplant into one of the containers as room becomes available.
Anyhow, that's what I do...
I'm going to print off your posting so I can study it more.
I can't wait to start planting!
Right now everything here is frozen.
My family adopted a cat for Christmas because his owner was bouncing between his house, the hospital, a nursing home - back and forth. Now I have no clue how to cat-proof any sprouts I may choose to grow. They seem willing and able to get into anything. Any ideas?
I seem to have vaguely heard what you say about Iraq. Why would they want anything to do with us at all between that and other things I have seen and heard. What can I do to make a difference?
Rowan, I'm in NY and it's cold here too, but I'll start planting in a week or two. I'll start the seeds in peat pots:
Originally Posted by RowanC
http://homeharvest.com/seedstartingrootingmedium.htm (scroll down to pic)
And keep them in a relatively warm place with the soil kept damp and in about 10-14 days the seeds will sprout and then it's just a matter of keeping the soil moist and letting them have enough light to grow. You can set them by a window, or I just put them under regular lights...and in about 8 weeks or whenever it is warm enough to plant, you transplant the whole thing, pot and all. It makes it really easy because the plant doesn't get stressed out by taking it out of it's pot and the pot breaks down in the soil. The roots of the plant will shoot right through the peat pot, it's pretty cool actually.
Originally Posted by luckitri
I've no clue about the cats, I'm strictly a dog person...but maybe just put things around your sprouting apparatus?
As for Iraq, I don't know what any of us can do to make a difference. We are so far removed from the situation, and there is yet no consensus in the public to force a change in what is happening, so I think the best that I can do is remember to pray for those people and the whole situation. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.