Community Garden: A Seed Story

We started in May and can't believe it's coming to close to the end of the season. With a few growing months left, we're learning new techniques, and the importance of saving seeds from our garden. Seed collection will help develop plants that are suitable for the weather and growing conditions in our garden, taste good, and are more resistant to local pests.

 Broccoli Plants flowering! 

Broccoli Plants flowering! 

 A lil butternut squash, not yet ripe enough 

A lil butternut squash, not yet ripe enough 

Using our healthiest plants we're hoping to continue a line of hardy plants we can grow for seasons to come! This is our first year saving seeds from flowering plants, so we are going for variety to see what works next season and to keep our garden genetically diverse. As a first step this season we are looking to see what traits the plants show next year, and then narrowing our varieties to favourable and strong plants. Learn the process below, and try to save some seeds from your own backyard garden! 

 Our tomato plants, after being harvested 

Our tomato plants, after being harvested 

 An aerial view of the garden (August 2016)

An aerial view of the garden (August 2016)

 August 2016

August 2016

 Compared to our Planting Day Event!  (May 2016)

Compared to our Planting Day Event!  (May 2016)

 May 2016

May 2016

 Today we seeded cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers

Today we seeded cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers

The Process

Wet Method: Harvest wet seeds from mature fruits, into a small jar and prepare for fermenting to kill off any mold or bacteria.

  • Squeeze seeds into a jar
  • Add 1/4th water to the jar and clean out any dead seeds that float to the top
  • Cover opening of jar with plastic wrap and secure with an elastic band
  • Poke holes into the plastic   
  • Let sit in a shaded warm area
  • Pulp around the seeds will bubble up and ferment after a few weeks 
  • Strain and clean seeds after fermenting
  • Let dry on flat non-stick surface
  • Store in a warm place without moisture

Dry Method: Harvest dry seeds from pods or husks, and remove the chaff around the seeds

  • Remove husks or pods gently 
  • swirl seeds in a bowl to "winnow" and blow to remove the fine chaff that comes off
  • Allow to dry and store in a dry place 

That's it! It's really rewarding to see the seeds ready for next season, and we can't wait to see what we grow next year! 

Email volunteers@manyfeathers.ca to get involved in our garden, and upcoming garden projects and grow with us!