Friday, September 21, 2012

Seed saving in the home garden

Last Saturday we hosted our annual workshop on Seed Saving.  We had Bob Wildfong, executive director of Seeds of Diversity (Canada's seed saving non-profit) here again to lead his excellent information-packed workshop.  He discussed the best seeds for home gardeners to save (beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, greens) as these don't cross pollinate and will grow true to the parent plant.  Plants like squashes and zucchinis will cross pollinate and thus produce fruit that is unpredictable.  Participants learned about pollination, how to properly save seeds (e.g. letting seeds dry on the vine for plants such as beans; putting tomato seeds into a jar and letting the pulp rot off, then washing and drying the seeds to be saved), and how to carefully store seeds for maximum longevity.  The key is a cool, dry location - so in a glass jar in the fridge, or in paper envelopes also sealed in a glass jar in the fridge or cool cupboard.  Seeds of Diversity offers members access to a huge array of unique and heirloom seeds through a mail-order seed exchange directory, as well as opportunities to participate in specific seed saving projects such as the heirloom garlic project we took part in last year. 

What's being saved from our garden this year - various heirloom tomatoes (Mennonite Orange, Cherokee Purple being the favourites), lemon cukes, 3 kinds of kale, chard, various lettuces, arugula, several kinds of beans, basil, some annual flowers, and many herbs.  Photos below: scarlet runner beans, red orach (wild mountain spinach), tulsi/sacred basil, lettuce, calendula, lemon cucumbers, tomatillos, dill, echinacea, oregano, fennel, sunflowers, hops.


  1. I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation.
    Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.
    heirloom seeds

  2. Hi, I am trying to identify a plant here in the west coast. Can you tell me what plant is in your photo here?: