At the end of last summer, we sat around tables and harvested seeds from lettuces, salad greens, radishes, chickpeas, beans, carrots, calendula, cornflower, marigolds, tomatoes, squash, and peppers,
We are learning; you can't harvest too soon, or they won't germinate. You can't harvest too late, or they will be moldy. Some seeds have to ferment to replicate a natural process before they dry, some have to be dried immediately or the mold will kill them. My favorite lesson from last year was that particular squashes and cucumbers can cross pollinate, so if you save seeds from those, you might not get the same plant you started with! Which is of course, how we have created hybrids over all these years. Some of which are better than the original, and some of which, well, aren't.
With so much particularity, so much room for error WHY SAVE SEEDS?!
Every time we save seeds from our best plants, next years crop is a bit more acclimatized to this region, this soil, this climate, this place. Seeds grown commercially are developed to do good everywhere, which also means they will be the best nowhere. Seeds saved here, are best here. So, saving seeds here gives us the plants that will do the best here. This is a picture of one of our harvest shares from last year, those look like good strong tasty plants to me!
Next, when we save seeds, we have control over what goes into our soil, our climate, and our food. No one gets to tell us what to grow. We also can control the supply chain; by growing our food and saving the seeds, we decrease our dependency on fragile supply systems and become more resilient as a community.
Nature thrives with biodiversity. Nowhere in nature is there a mono-crop landscape that is healthy. By saving seeds, we preserve, and even create the possibility of increasing genetic diversity; thereby supporting the health of the entire environment around us.
Theres lots of other reasons; to learn about nature, to reconnect with our ancestors, to fight a political battle about the rights to open-pollinated seeds, and to save money!
So, at Nurture in Nature Community Farm, we are concentrating on saving seeds. We have Pemberton Varietals available in the seed library created by Stewardship Pemberton Society, which is a seed bank stored in the library and free to use by anyone.
We also have seeds available in The Farmacy, our farm stand on site.
And lastly, we have plant starts, grown with love from our saved seeds for you to bring home and care for. STARTS AVAILABLE NOW in the greenhouse! No pre-orders, just come browse any day 9-5.
Join the movement; Garden with local seeds!
Thank you to TD FRIENDS OF THE ENVIRONMENT for funding to instigate this process, increase biodiversity, support our local environment, and provide our community with a stable food supply! It is amazing to have such supportive organizations in our area!
-tomatoes, winter squash, flowers, herbs, SAVED SEEDS!
*(brassicas, beets, zucchini, cucumbers, hot peppers NOT saved seeds, we are still working on growing our repertoire! Support us in this endeavor!)