October 6, 2008

Playing with Seeds

We've been harvesting seeds, saving seeds, planting seeds, and sprouting seeds. This first picture shows the bean seeds from the hyacinth bean vine that I keep talking about. The purple pod becomes the dried out pod and that's when the seeds are ready to come out and be used for next year's planting. I've recently come across directions for making your own seed packets, similar to the ones in this link. I'm planning on making some packets for these seeds and maybe put a picture of the vine on the packet. I think they'll make great gifts.

DH has been doing a more complicated kind of seed saving. One of the tomato plants that we grew this year is a cross of two heirlooms - a Brandywine and an Amish Paste tomato. It was our favorite. DH went through the long process of extracting, fermenting, and then drying the seeds in order to save some for us and for several other people. Check out Seed Savers Exchange for lots of good information on this practice. How can you not be amazed at creation when you look at these homely seeds drying on a paper plate and realize that they have the potential to become pounds and pounds of tomatoes in a number of gardens next summer? It's amazing!

Now for true confessions, we never did do any fall planting for second crops. The planets just never aligned for that venture and it's probably for the best since we're just as happy to be getting the garden tilled and put to bed. However, in a gesture of consolation, DH did plant these herb seeds for me so that we can try to grow them indoors this winter. Here we have cilantro, parsley, and basil since those are the ones we use constantly. I've had variable luck doing this so we'll see. Don't you love this vintage tray?! It's part of a set my mom gave us as a housewarming gift a couple of years ago. Thanks again Mom!

Lastly - my renewed interest in sprouting seeds in the jar set-up. It's an easy way to have fresh veggies in the winter. I picked up this lid in a health food store as well as the sprouting seeds, which are radish seeds meant for sprouting. The lid fits on a wide-mouthed canning jar. I started this easy process on Saturday afternoon and most of the seeds have already started sprouting. You can sprout lots of different seeds, but you have to be sure they haven't been treated with chemicals for planting purposes. Mumm's is a company that sells supplies and seeds for this purpose and there are some interesting articles there about organics and GM foods (genetically modified), which are scary! Different varieties of sprouts have their own distinct flavor and these radish sprouts will be a little spicy - great in a salad, on a sandwich, on top of a burrito...

Well, this is all then.

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