i have been saving seeds for many years. and no, i dont mean faithfully preserving certain varieties of heirloom seeds, mashing and fermenting very ripe fruit-fly fruit, and drying out the pulp…to get those little living treasures.
this morning i went seed shopping in my big freezer, and am now sitting amid a lapful of cold packets. they do quite well–for years–i have planted 6 year old
corn and blackeye peas that lost maybe 10% germination, kept airless and frozen.
i do buy seed, but i have found this cold-storage method to reduce my spending quite a bit. these days, some seed companies are leaning pretty hard on $2.50 to-$3+ prices, for way less seeds. feels like those treacherous patent holders-and hybridizers are robbing us of seed freedom.
and dont get me started on GMO’s…..the market has already shifted to this brave new world. anything for a buck, and let the seeds fall where they may, literally, while old faithful, open-pollinated varieties fade to grey. cloned food cannot be real food; i must resist on principle! the many oldtime strains, kept alive so long for their excellent flavors are not suited at all to market demands for good shipping, and a long shelf life. which would you want to eat?
yesterday, i started 6 flats of heirloom tomatoes, to both use in my garden and sell the rest. their seeds are from 2006, and grew for me fine last year. some of the bigger seeds lose a greater percentage germination a bit faster, but even beans and xmas limas are still viable for a couple seasons.
folks, dont think i’m a cheapskate by any stretch of the imagination….i buy fancy heirloom tomatoes, chiles, eggplant, odd old varieties of lettuce, various herbs, etc. in those those $3.99 packets, too. However its so easy to fold the air out, tape the packet well, and store frozen in an airtight a zip-lock, and have plenty gourmet seeds for next year’s incipient gardens.
this was an unconscious process for me for a long time in gardens past,
but now a more thrifty effort has really helped… on this season’s newly spring day!
during this period of tiny income, i discover a whole garden, already bought and paid for.
thanks be for seeds…..small gifts and miracles that they are.