Seed saving is an adventure in science, thrift, preparedness training, and culinary arts ~ all rolled into one. It’s a step in the direction to living more simply and responsibly. It is easy to teach your children when they are young and thus pass on a heritage of sustainable skills for the next generation.
Why Practice Seed Saving
1.) You save money… you may never have to buy the seed of certain plants again.
2.) You are following God’s natural plan for growing things on the earth: seed, germination, growth, fruit bearing, and back again to the seed.
3.) You are prepared and proactive to care for your families needs under all eventualities. That means teaching this to the next generation.
4.) You want quality produce ~no chemicals, no GMOs, full of nutrients from rich soils, and it tastes great.
Start With Your Favorite Variety
Vivian Romaine, is hands down the best Romaine I have ever grown. It is very easy to germinate (3-4 days!!!) and grows fast. It’s sweet and is slow to go to seed (bolt). Consistently pretty, the heads have sturdy, but tender, crunchy leaves, and it seems not to be affected by pests or disease.
“This is one Caesar all of Rome would have loved!” ~that’s what they say…
But best of all to me, it doesn’t get bitter quickly in the heat of summer. This year and last, we have had Romaine until last week of July. You can tell then that it is getting past its prime as it gets bitter.
This is when I let some go to seed and usually tear out the rest of the spent plants.
Be Observant -Watch For:
1.) Beginning to bolting…sending up flower stalks instead of making lettuce leaves
2.) Blooms ( *love* them up close and personal with the camera, but they are spent all too soon) which turn into…
3.) Dried-up flowers with seeds inside
4.) Seed release. Now is the time to collect those that reach this stage.
Beware: the flowers give off a bit of a sap. I got it on my hands and camera! It was slightly annoying, so I’m giving you fair warning 🙂
Really, it’s just waiting for the seeds to dry sufficiently to harvest.
Like farmers know, the moisture content must be way down or it will not be good seed when you plant it.
DO let it dry out on the plant.
DON’T pick it and think it will dry out inside.
Now I’m looking forward to planting again for a lovely fall crop, say in late September?
I hope so…because we love a good salad!
PS Remember to record the name of the seed and the date you collected it!
You can learn about spinach seed saving here.