The veggie garden is packed in for the season. We have worked hard all summer and now we are enjoying the last of our delicious vegetables. We are also busy saving seeds.
Seed saving involves selecting suitable plants from which to save seed, harvesting seeds at the right time and storing them properly over the winter. Each type of plant may have a different method of saving its seeds, so its worthwhile to investigate how to harvest and store properly before you begin the work.
For example, saving tomato seeds involves putting the seeds in shallow water and letting them form a mold. Once the mold has formed, rinse and dry, then store in a dark, dry space.
However, most seeds just need us to wait until they are dry, then stuff them in an envelope until next year. My dining room table is currently full of coffee filters spread with drying seeds or seed heads.
But when the blooms are spent and the fruits are long gone, all I can see are opportunities.
Opportunities for Connection:
Seeds can be shared with others. I can go to a seed swap (aka Seedy Saturdays/Sundays) in the early spring and make a new friend or build a connection with another grower. I can connect with people by way of seed exchange. I can trade my seeds for something new. I can build a community with like-minded folks.
Opportunities for Saving Money:
I’m cheap and prices just keep getting higher. I hate overspending if there is a way around it. Saving your seeds to save your wallet!
Opportunities for Abundance:
If a particular plant grew really well in our garden this year, then chances are I will want more for the subsequent growing year. Saving seeds allows me to propagate more plants than I can comfortably afford if I chose to buy from a garden centre. I have almost 2 acres of treed property, so if a perennial grows well, I tend to keep planting again and again all over our property.
Opportunities for Excitement:
I get excited about plants, veggies, and flowers. If I can share that excitement with someone, even better! Sharing seeds allows me to share the love of growing things, the intense pleasure of eating what you grow and the divine beauty of home-grown flowers. If I have a unique type of flower, like deep red or black hollyhocks, I'll happily share those seeds with anyone else who wants to enjoy them but can’t find them locally or easily. Some friends of mine had zero interest in growing flowers until I introduced them to black hollyhocks. When asked what changed their mind, they told me “(the black hollyhocks) seemed so metal.”
Opportunities for Healthy Snacking:
Some seeds can be roasted and eaten! Think pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Like nuts, seeds contain protein, healthy fats (higher proportion of polyunsaturated fats) and fibre. minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron and zinc), vitamins B1, B2, B3 and vitamin E. They are also a valuable source of fiber. Fiber aids digestion. There are a variety of ways to roast/toast seeds and a multitude of flavour combinations to suit anyone. Try black pepper and lime, or taco seasoning. For a healthier snack, simply to limit or omit the salt and stick to healthy cooking oils (such as coconut or avocado oil).
Opportunities for Activism
Seed bombs have been in existence since ancient Japan, known as “Tsuchi Dango” or “earth dumplings”. It was in New York in the 1970’s that they were used as a form of activism and rebellion.
By throwing seed bombs at vacant lots, green-thumbed community members aimed to transform the decaying urban landscape around them.
Seed bombs have enjoyed a resurgence via influencers on TikTok.
Several of these guerrilla gardening creators have stated they are engaging in a righteous act of civil disobedience by launching these horticultural grenades.
DIY SEED BOMB
You can wet some red clay powder, mix it with compost, mix the seeds in, which should be native to the region and non-invasive, and roll it into little balls and let them dry out. Once dried, you simply huck them into a vacant lot.
Interested in contributing to the Missing Witches Zine? Check out our submissions info and get in touch!
Lisa Pedersen is a garden witch living in South Frontenac, Ontario. She grows veggies and flowers as sustainably as possible on her 2 acre property. She has free range laying hens. She forages and loves to teach folks how. If you have any questions, she’d do her best to answer.