Why save seeds? Well, for a few different reasons:
1. Money is probably the least of them, because one packet of seeds doesn’t really cost that much in the grand scheme of things. However, if you are like me and have an addiction to seeds, it can end up costing more than you want to admit. So, if you can save some money, even if it’s a small amount, it will add up to larger savings over time. Of course, if you end up using the saving of seeds as an excuse to buy even more rare and wonderful seeds, since you have that extra money kicking around…. well…. I can relate.
2. Food security – you can grow your own food, even if you suddenly find yourself unable to purchase seeds (for whatever reason….!).
3. The more people we have saving heirloom seeds, the less likely they will become extinct. Diversity is important for maintaining the health of our planet.
4. It teaches children about the cycle of life. If you have kids in your life, share this with them. It’s one way to help out us humans as a species. Knowing where food comes from is a survival skill that many are lacking these days.
If you’re growing heirloom tomatoes or open pollinated varieties of beans, you probably also want to save some seeds for next year. Learn how to set up your garden for maximum seed saving ability, and how to avoid ending up with cross-pollinated seeds that don’t breed true to the original plant.
Generally, plants within the same species will cross-pollinate. If you’re interested in a long list of vegetable varieties and the species they fall under, please feel free to download the following free PDF file. It contains Family, Genus, and Species information for vegetable plants that are grown in home gardens. You can use this information to determine which plants need to be isolated, and which ones don’t.
The workshop will give a full explanation of isolation techniques and more information about various vegetable plants, so please come to the Seedy Saturday in Kitchener at the Country Hills Branch of the Kitchener Public Library. My workshop is free and will take place at 1:15. I hope to see you there!