This past Friday evening, I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by Bill McDorman, the Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, AZ. Native Seeds/SEARCH is a non-profit conservation company that is a leader in seed conservation. They maintain a regional seed bank and are experts in the heirloom seed movement.
His lecture focused on the need to save seeds. This is an easy practice you can adopt in your garden. Here are some simple tips:
- Let seeds mature before harvesting. For most crops, that means to allow the plant to go to seed after it has finished producing. The plant will blossom and then grow seed pods. Let these pods dry out on the stem before picking.
- Remove all plant material, stems and flesh of seeds and allow them to dry thoroughly.
- If seed is wet when harvested (squash, melons, tomatoes), spread the seeds on a clearn dish towel and allow them to dry. Do not use paper towels as the seeds may stick.
- Store seed below 80 degrees in an airtight container. Choose a container that will not retain moisture (i.e. glass jar, paper envelopes).
- Replant the following year and share with friends!
Check out their beautiful new seed catalog:
For more information on this wonderful company and to order their seed catalog, visit their website at www.nativeseeds.org/.