I may be more proud of my seed larder than I am my pantry of canned goods. These seeds represent several years of gardening education. I’ve been wanting to ween myself off the annual seed catalog shopping spree for a while and now I’m slowly but surely getting to that place.
With the dried beans, I still have a way to go. Sure I have enough beans for planting next year, but hardly enough to eat. I ended up with about two quarts of heirloom Trail of Tears black beans and only a pint of Yin Yang beans. I may or may not eat a pot of those. We’ll see what I end up with next season. At least for now, I have more than enough seeds for planting.
I have coriander for days (and years). It produced like gangbusters – just under two quarts worth! I’ll be planting some and eating my way through a jar this year. I see a lot more Indian cooking in my future.
The calendula produced like crazy too and I would have ended up with more seeds had I been more motivated to save them all. I imagine I’m going to have volunteer calendula all over the place next year. In fact, I already see little green sprouts around the calendula bed that look an awful lot like calendula seedlings. I might end up the salve queen.
And then, there are the tomatoes. I’m very proud of those. I made sure to save seeds from the first and best Stupices because they were my very best producers by far. I saved a few others for variety. I saved some lacinato kale seeds too. I can’t wait to grow that again next spring.
Now is the time to store your seeds properly so they make it through the winter and remain viable for when you want to plant them in the spring. In fact, if you store them properly, you could have viable seeds for more than a year!
The most simple way to save seeds is in a mason jar with a lid. I like to use a wide mouth quart jar for the job. Some of my jars have seeds in them, others have seed packets and envelopes of seeds in them. Those jars are then stored in the refrigerator. I have dedicated a crisper drawer to my seed collection. For good measure, I drop in one of those little silica capsules that sometimes come in bottles of supplements or vitamins, when I have them. You can buy Silica Gel Desiccants Packets and put them in the jars with your seed envelopes. I’ve never gone through the trouble of ordering them though. The bottom line is you want to keep your seeds moisture-free.
To learn more about heirloom vegetables and seed saving, check out these books: