Friday, November 19, 2010

Saving Seeds

When acquiring seed to grow vegetables make sure you buy Heirloom seeds. Do not buy hybrid seeds because you cannot save these seeds. Once you grow them they will not reproduce. Heirlooms seed are the best because they are handed down from generation to generation with the same elements that helped our grandparents survive with a healthy diet and without all these problems we have today with our health. It’s time to get back to basics before it is too late. Gather seed even if you do not garden, In the near future you may need this seed to live on because it will keep for a few years.

3 comments:

Anne said...

Open pollinated seeds. Open pollinated means the strain is stable and subsequent generations will be like the parents (provided no cross pollination with another strain occurs). "Heirloom" means nothing more than a strain with a perceived heritage/ story of origin. Even age is not specified as to how old it must be to be advertised as heirloom.

Hybrids in general will have viable seeds, just the next generation is more likely to not be like the parents. Also GMO seeds fall in under the hybrid labeling.. GMO genetics are typically dominant genes.

Know how to store seeds as well as how to collect and process them. Like the green peppers in your picture.. the fruit needs to be ripe. Reason being the seeds are not fully mature.. resulting in lower viability as well as significantly reduced storage life.

Also.. a few huge corporations are going into seed vaults and patenting the stored strains. This means that later.. you could grow seeds of this strain and actually owe them royalties. Monsanto alone has acquired over 11,000 patents of crop varieties.

fer said...

Thanks for the advice!
I saved some pumpkin seeds this year, but I have no idea what they where, or if I will get them to reproduce. I hope they will

Anne said...

Pumpkin is a general term, and if you grew it yourself you can look up what species it is. Several of "jack-o-lantern" type pumpkins fall under the species of Cucurbita pepo. It is a good thing to know, so you are aware of cross pollination potentials. Many summer squash fall under C. pepo as well.. and cucurbits often are pretty heavy pollen & nectar producers.. so quite a few bee species go nuts for them.. hence cross pollination issues.
In your pumpkin situation.. if you also grew zucchini/ pattypans/ srookneck summer squash/ etc. near them.. there will be crossing that occured.
This matters if you are saving seeds because outcrossing like in a zucchini to pumpkin cross would mean the fruit could lose flavor quality, storage capability, and texture quality (stringy/ fiberous).
If the seeds were from commercial pumpkins.. most likely they will be field grown monoculture, so there is a good chance they will be decent. Often commercial growers opt for hybrids for the bonus of vigor.
After cleaning them well, dry out completely. Testing to see if they are dry enough, bend it in 1/2. If the seed snaps in 1/2 the moisture content is low enough to be stored. Airtight, dark, dry container in temp. stable area.. they will be viable for over 5 years easy. (Properly dried and stored.. I have had them hold viability for over 12 years at 70%+ germination).

Grow it out is the only way to figure out what you have (but should be easy and relatively consistent results).