My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Little Seed Saving

Sweet Magnolia pea seed
It was a grey drizzly morning this morning (although we didn't really get any rain) so I spent some time putting up seeds.

First up was a big bowl of dried pods from the Sweet Magnolia purple snap pea. These are really beautiful pea plants with purple flowers and pods.

Sweet Magnolia seeds
Even the seeds are pretty, shades of brown and green, sometimes speckled.

Got them jarred up and started on the mustards. There was a small amount of red mizuna mustard.
red mizuna seed heads

When I cut plants for their seeds I usually just stand them upside down inside a feed sack and let them sit in a warm dry room until they are completely dry. In the case of mustards the seed pods will pop open, dispersing the seeds. You can hear them popping sometimes. To make sure all the good pods have popped I just slap the seed heads against the side of the bag.

seed and chaff

The stems and seed heads go to the chickens and I pour the seeds and chaff out into a bowl. Most of that chaff on top is empty seed pods and easy to pick off a little at a time.

Then I'll swirl the seed around in the bowl and blow on it, which the chaff is lighter and most of it will blow off, leaving some pretty clean seed in the bottom.
Red Mizuna Mustard seed

After the mizuna I worked on the 3 bags of Giant Red Mustard seed heads, but didn't quite get finished yet.

The physical act of saving seeds is pretty easy. Just pick almost ripe seed heads and let them finish drying out. If they are in wet juicy pulp like melons or tomatoes, then I mash the pulp and let it ferment, then rinse and dry. The fermenting process helps kill seed born diseases and it eats the pulp, making it easy to get clean seed. Some plants do have special considerations however. Like corn. With corn you have to save seeds from 100 plants or more in each generation, so that you keep up enough genetic diversity for the plants to continue to be healthy.

Oliver or Oliva????

Back at mom's house I finished cleaning up an empty pen and moved some babies. One baby is an olive egger but I"m not positive yet if we have an Oliver or an Olivia.
mm boy or girl, that is the question

Then my sister refused to come out of her trailer because this spider was on the outside of the door. So I rescued it and put it over in the plants. I'll see if we can find out what kind it is, it's pretty interesting looking.

unknown spider

1 comment:

  1. That one came out of the black AM Crazyhorse and Olive. She was red and has muffs and beard.