Monday, July 29, 2013

Save your own seed for sustainability, savings and security!

"Calico" popcorn seed saved from 2012 harvest
Seeds are something I can go on a tangent about.  I mean a big tangent....or rant if the situation calls for it!.  The great thing is that I don't need to do that for you as there are whole books who do a great job summing up the amazing things that occur when gardeners save their own seed.  Most recently I read The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food by Janisse Ray.  An entertaining read for both beginner gardens and those with years of experience and plenty of knowledge to back their own seed tangents and rants. Ray includes wonderful stories about saving seed and all the folks who do and WHY we should do it.  A few reasons why we should save seeds:

1) saves money
2) decreases resource use (no packaging, shipping, etc)
3) seed crops typically get a large dose of nasty pesticide and herbicides since they have to stay in the ground longer than if the veggie was getting picked for fresh consumption.  That means you want to buy only organic seed OR you can save your own to ensure it isn't covered with toxins.
4) increases food security for a number of reasons that I won't rant about right now!  Read the book above for more info on that point OR attend the upcoming seed saving workshop at SAGE to learn more!

Edamame seed saved in 2012
Out at SAGE we save seed from some of the "easy" seed saving crops.  Beans, lettuce, tomatoes....  There are reasons we save certain seed and purchase (or have donated from Shonnard's Nursery or in the form of starts from Gathering Together Farm or Persephone Farm) other types of seeds.  You can learn about how and why to save seed by attending the upcoming "Seed Saving" workshop THIS Wednesday, July 31st from 5:30 - 7pm.  Lyle will be leading the workshop and he's currently doing research at OSU breeding tomato and snap beans for certain flavor qualities.  He knows his stuff and is ready to share it with folks!

If you're interested in attending, please pre-register by visiting: http://www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org/edible-corvallis-initiative/garden-workshops/seedsavingworkshop/

Folks can also show up the day of the workshop, no one will be turned away!


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