What’s Going to Seed In Your Garden Right Now?
Here are just a few things going to seed in the Treasure Valley, Zone 6b/7a:
You can harvest the seeds, and even let some drop where they are for more of the same crop right where they’ve been growing.
Here are some basics from our Seed Saving Zine that can help you save seeds that adapting to your microclimate season by season!
Dry Seed Processing
For seeds that are dry, inside a pod or a flower head (flowers, lettuces, peas, beans, broccoli, beets, carrots, greens, herbs, etc.)
1. Harvest Wait until the seed pods have formed and dried out completely (turned brown and brittle) to harvest them. Collect dry seed pods/flower heads into a paper bag, pillowcase, or other breathable bag for storage until you’re ready to clean your seeds. Be careful—brittle seed pods can shatter and spill all your seeds!
2. Thresh Separate the seed from the pod. Can be done by flailing, beating, stomping on it, rubbing it between your hands, etc. Experiment with different methods for different crops.
3. Winnow and Screen Separate chaff and other debris from the seed. Winnowing is an art specific to each type of seed you’re growing, and it takes time to perfect your tools and technique. You can use a screen like a strainer with small holes to let seeds fall through and large chaff stay on top, or vice versa, to get rid of small chaff while the seeds stay in the screen.
Be sure to store your seed in air-tight containers, and label them. This can include glass jars, or envelopes in Tupperware. Ideally you have a space that’s cool and dark. The general recommendation is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If that’s not available, aim for 55-60 degrees.
Why should we save seeds?
We see saving seeds as one of the most vital, sexy, and exciting things human beings can do with their time. Seeds have the power to replicate themselves indefinitely, to adapt to their place as the climate changes, to conserve and feed pollinator species, to topple vicious corporate monarchies and create a culture of delicious abundance in place of the artificial scarcity our monetary system imposes on us from the top down.
The above link is for our print edition. Click here to download our Free PDF.
See Also: The Gardener's Guide to Seed Literacy and Seed Advocacy