Thursday, August 26, 2010

Save the Seeds!

Some people can't throw away jars, some can't throw away margarine tubs... but me, I can't bear to throw away seeds. Everything from avocado pits to squash seeds. Even if they don't grow, like most of the lemon and apple seeds, I still save them and try. A smart thing for a backyard farmer to do is allow some of their fruits to stay on the vine overtime specifically for seed collection. Really, you get so many seeds from one fruit that you don't need to sacrifice anything more than that. You get more seeds from one bell pepper than a handful of seed packets.

Oh, and check this out... last sunday we broke into a butternut squash and found that the seeds had already sprouted inside the squash! Unfortunately there were few salvageable seeds, but the chickens absolutely loved their meal of butternut sprouts. This most likely happened because we left the squash on the counter for two weeks. In the Winter and Spring we did this all the time with no problem, but the warmer temperatures in summer obviously encouraged some growth! I would suggest storing your squash in the fridge if you aren't planning to eat it right away and if your house temperature rises above 70F degrees. Oh, and don't bother eating a squash that has sprouted seeds, the flavor won't be optimal.
If you are planning to save seeds this harvest season, here's a recycling idea. Use empty spice containers as seed storage shakers.  This prevents seed spills and fumbling with paper envelopes. You can sprinkle a small amount in your hand at a time and the avoid spilling the entire contents if the bottle is dropped.

If you started your crop with a seed packet, save the information on the packet by cutting and adhering it to the shaker bottle. You'll thank yourself later for that. A smaller spice bottle would work better for a tiny amount of seeds, but I plan to continue to fill this one. Be sure to keep in mind the size and amount of seeds you will be collecting when you choose your container. Keep all the seeds you can because you can always give away your surplus. Decorate or print off some cute envelopes and give them away as gifts for Christmas.  Or make some paper pulp, mix in some seeds, and create compostable, grow-ready cards.


  1. Hopped over here from the Blog Frog and absolutely love your blog.. great articles, I'll be back...
    Have a great weekend! ~

  2. Thank you! You are welcome here anytime! :)