by Ashley Knight
A garden is a great way to provide your family with healthy food. Growing a garden full of your favorite seasonal eats creates a sense of accomplishment when you hold your first deliciously ripe vegetable or fruit in your hand. If you love to get down and dirty and plant, weed, and harvest why not take it one step further by saving your seeds.
Seed saving is a great way to get ready for the next season. It is fun, easy, and will even save you money. Better yet you will have a sense of accomplishment when you are able to save the seeds from the amazing, juicy, delicious heirloom tomato you planted and will then enjoy more the following year. Here are some seed saving tips to try out:
Tomatoes – slice the tomato in quarters. Scrape out the gel containing the seeds and put in a mesh strainer. Rinse as much gel off as you can, spread out on a paper towel or plate to dry. Once they are completely dry place in an envelope, label and voilà!
Bell Peppers or hot peppers – Simply cut open and scrape seeds out, let them dry before placing in envelope.
Corn – When harvesting leave one ear on the stalk until husk is brown. Take ear off of the stalk, remove the husk. Set aside to dry for 2-3 weeks to make sure it has dried. Break Kernels (making sure they are completely dry, they should be hard not able to be pierced by fingernail) off and put in envelope or jar and label.
Radishes – if you want to save radish seeds, sow radishes in spring and leave one or two that you will not harvest, these you let grow and eventually they will flower. After they flower they will form seed pods which look like short fat green beans. When the seed pods turn brown, collect them and bring them inside and collect the seeds from the pods. Working at a table is best for this project, put seeds aside, place in envelope and label.
Now that you have some idea on how to save seeds why not give it a try?! It is exciting to not only grow your food but save the seeds from that food. It is a great way to always enjoy the things you love to plant most. Saving you money and its one less errand to run too!
During our Healthy Homesteader’s course, you’ll learn more than just how to save your seeds. In a 32-week course dedicated to helping you live a more sustainable lifestyle, you’ll cover everything from cast iron pans to canned vegetables and everything in between. To find out when the next session of this course will be starting up, please visit http://www.terawarner.com/university/healthy-homesteader for more information!