Seed saving

Over the past year or so I’ve been more and more interested in where the seeds for the vegetables, and next year flowers, that I want to grow actually come from. And it really isn’t easy to answer questions like where was this grown, how was it grown and will it actually produce anything if I grow it on my wind-swept allotment plot.

Horse chestnut seeds - 21st November 2010

The answer to this is something that I have been developing and refining for a while now, last year I tried to only buy seeds from The Real Seed Company and if I couldn’t then I made sure I found a non-F1 varieties, in fact I think I found The Real Seed Company when searching for a non-F1 variety of sweetcorn so my thoughts and actions about the subject have criss-crossed a little.

My reasons for stopping using F1 varieties was something a long the lines of by growing F1 varieties I wouldn’t be able to save my own seeds and have them grow ‘true’ again, my reasons for buying seeds from The Real Seed Company was that I would be able to save my own seed, with a little work, and had a postcode for where the seeds were grown.

Bobby (french) beans; hopefully the start of next years crop - 19th of November 2010

 I failed to do that ‘little work’ this year and so had set myself up to buy next years seed again. That is until I went to a Seed Saving talk given by Jude and Michel who set up The Seed Savers Network 25 years ago, The Seed Savers Network coordinates a network of seed saving groups across Australia and now works in 20 other countries across the world as well. 

I very stupidly didn’t take any notes like I had planned to but the most important message that I took from the meeting is to just go for it. Seed saving is something that the majority of people no longer feel they have the knowledge or skills to do in this country and that also seems to be spreading now to third world countries too. 

So I am going to stop making excuses as to why I can’t and just go ahead and do something. I have a few beans left at the allotment that were missed and so now hopefully have seeds big enough to grow from next year, I have my lovely squash that I grew this year, a courgette that turned into a marrow that i picked before the first hard frost hit and some squash seeds saved from squash ‘bought’ at the last LETS meeting and there are pages and pages of information and seed packet templates on Google.

And the answer to my excuse about not doing the ‘little work’ so as these seeds grow true again next year; well we all like to try growing new things and so long as it tastes good what does it matter if they are not the same as last year. I may even end up with my very own local variety in a few years time.

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One response to “Seed saving

  1. Pingback: Garlic – a project for 2011 | A Life Less Simple

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