Seedtime All Over
In the matter of saving seed, I did have good home training, but I ignored it. The back porch and utility room of my parents' house always offered at least a dozen bits of newspaper, paper towel, used envelopes, small glass jars, and bare cabinet top sporting dried or drying seeds. Most were varieties of cherished heirloom green beans and squash, along with the seeds of any excellent tomatoes or melons from the most recent harvest. Add in peach pits, persimmon seeds, and the occasional seeds of exotic fruit (avocado, of course, and mango, apricot, Bing cherries, and more) that found their way to the head of the valley in beautiful Wayne County. My Private Gardener, aka Favorite Guy, started saving seeds from our urban garden this year. I felt at home on our back porch, seeing a few piles of squash and bean seeds here and there. I bought him a book, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, by Suzanne Ashworth, to help us learn from text what I might have learned from paying attention (tuition free), but didn't.
"Bean seeds will maintain 50% germination for four years when stored in cool, dry, dark conditions...." (page 136).
Mother and Dad also ordered new garden seeds every year, always looking for interesting foods we had never tried. Kohlrabi stands out in my memory as one of the great successful new veggies. It's time now for all of us who didn't save enough seed last year to be dreaming seed-based garden dreams for 2009.
Places to start looking (and please add more by commenting on this post or by sending me email):
Gardening on a windowsill, or less, in a city apartment
Vertical gardening supplies for the home gardener (and undoubtedly savvy Savoring Kentucky readers can invent ways to garden vertically without spending a fortune first on the garden framework)
If you want more help, locate your Cooperative Extension office. You may have to tell your browser to allow pop-up windows in order to get all the information about offices near you.
Photo Credit: DaydreamsGirl: Thank You!