January 30th: Day 18 – Saving Seeds

Knowing that there are different type of seeds and understanding the distinction between them can be fascinating. There are three types of seeds:

  1. F1 Hybrid:  harvested from plants whose reproduction has been controlled by selective hand pollination (often sterile)
  2. Genetically Modified: you have probably heard of this seed before, they are created by inserting a gene from another plant or animal into a host organism and altering the offspring’s genetic makeup to produce a desired trait – so all our produce can look similar and desirable.
  3. Open-Pollinated Heirloom:  these are cultivators that have been passed down through generations. The genes passed on in heirloom seeds give life to our future. Unless the 100 million backyard gardens and organic farmers keep these seeds alive, they will disappear altogether.

For those who have their own garden or share a community garden, you might already know this information. To save seeds, you take seeds from heirloom produce.

– Remove the seeds, scraped crushed or mashed. Be aware that some seeds need to go through a fermentation process.

– Wash the seeds in a bowl of water (poor quality seeds float – remove those) then wash through a strainer.

– Dry the seeds for days, stirring several times a day (something that won’t stick i.e. not paper cloth or non-rigid plastic) –never dry them in the oven or direct sun.

– Place your seeds in a dry, dark place in a paper envelope, clearly labeled to enjoy next seasons harvest!

What an awesome way to reduce, reuse and recycle. For more information on saving seeds, check out True Food by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer, and Wendy Gordon

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