There they are – seeds and seed pods on all kinds of plants in your garden. Plants that didn’t make the harvest, got ahead of you or bolted in the hot weather. Before you start to clear your garden, why not grab those seeds! With all the places to get seeds these days lets talk about why you would want to save them.
One reason to save seeds from your own garden is the cost effective aspect of doing it. Seeds you save from your own plants are free. Your garden planting next year will be free of charge! Who doesn’t love free? For some that is reason enough.
Reason two for saving your own seeds is about being more self-sufficient. Saving your own seeds allows you to develop your ability to feed you and your family healthy, delicious food without being as dependent on retail or commerce.
Reason number three for saving seeds is being a self-proclaimed scientist for your family and creating a custom food source. Do you love purple tomatoes (yes, there really are purple tomatoes)? Think of how hard those seeds or plants were to find, not to mention the expense. Saving seeds allows you to plant and grow the veggies you and your family enjoy most. Sometimes the particular seeds or plants you want most are not available at planting time. How wonderful to have the seeds you want saved, cleaned, dried and stored ready to plant in the spring without a search or cost. Imagine your very own custom grocery store, right in your garden.
Reason number four for the seed saving argument is you become the person who decides the quality of the food you eat. You are able to choose and plant only organic or heritage seeds. This ensures you have the food you know has not been altered in any way. Every year you will collect your seeds continuing not just your choice of quality but also the longevity of that particular plant.
Reason number five, my favorite reason is….drumroll please – IT’S FUN and super EASY. Children also love to collect seeds so get your whole family involved. Be prepared for the family’s favorite foods to become named after the person who collects the seeds the previous year. If little Penelope collects the pea seeds, why not encourage help in the garden next spring by saying, “Let’s plant Penelope’s peas!”. Another bonus is if you have extra seeds you can trade them for a seed you don’t have, creating a more diverse garden.
All of these are good reasons for saving seeds. Saving seeds also creates a sense of pride, independence, self sustainability and sovereignty over your family’s food source, so grab a few of those seeds for next year’s garden.
For the next five weeks, we will be sharing a “how-to” guide on seed saving. Check next week’s Healthy Roots section for instructions on how to collect seeds from common vegetable plants.