Seed Saving: Useful Tips for this Growing Season

| 4/15/2013 2:43:00 PM

Art DavidsonWhen my husband and I are in the heat of the growing season, we often find ourselves scrambling to keep up with the demands of plant maintenance and harvest of dozens of crops.  Regrettably, we must put other important aspects of growing on the back burner, such as seed saving. We actually love saving our own seeds but often times don't think about it until its crunch time, when we are hard pressed to find a few moments to spare. Fortunately, we feel a little more prepared since having attended a Seed Saving Workshop hosted by the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension St. Louis. We feel more prepared with receiving this knowledge at the beginning of our growing season this year.

 The Seed Saving Workshop was presented by Art Davidson, a knowledgeable and outgoing representative of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  He started his lecture with a simple question, " Why heirloom?” He followed that question with a simple yet powerful answer, "Seeds are something worth saving, worth protecting" He mentioned numerous times throughout the talk, "you can't eat gold". This really struck a chord with me.  Ultimately, food, water, shelter and love are our most valuable resources and should be treated as gold. Art talked a lot about the variables involved in seed saving: He mentioned that isolation chambers are necessary for preserving heritage in many plants and gave step by step instructions on how to build your own affordable isolation chambers using wooden frames and or PVC pipes and floating row covers weighted down with sand bags.  He mentioned that it takes 6-20 plants as well as a swarm of bumble bees or mason bees in order to ensure good pollination.

He presented several creative ways to save seed, whether you are just saving seeds for your own backyard garden or putting up seeds for the future.

Here is a video on saving seeds via the fermentation process.

Additionally, there is an excellent how-to article in the Baker Creek Catalog online.

Arts recommendations on seed saving:

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