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On seed saving

January 7, 2008


Bidgee Widgee (Aceana novae-zealandiae) going to seed with Poa grass seed heads. (From the front garden)


Red Mustard seed pods.

My mother is a seed saver. She has always done it because that’s how it has always been done. She would have seen her parents do it. My mother is of the opinion that, if you don’t have to, you don’t buy the seeds. Granted this limits what you grow but she’s loosening up a bit and will buy seeds for things she likes to eat and will sow seeds that I give her. But she will always save seed from things she grows!

She also has a great network of friends who share seeds. Their range of seeds has expanded as they exchange seeds with their co-workers and neighbours who are migrants from different parts of the world. How else can you explain Croatians in the Western Suburbs of Sydney growing Asian snake beans when none are/were available from the seed companies?

El at Fast Grows the Weeds has just written about the limited choice offered by US seed companies. Take a look. The situation is not that different here, perhaps even slightly worse. Seed saving is an essential thing to do particularly if you want to preserve variety and diversity of food beyond what the corporate sphere offers you.

Now with the example of my mama before me, why did it take Seed Savers for me to finally get it? Probably a mother – daughter thing or just stupidity on my part. I am a seed saving novice with much to learn but have successfully saved seeds, grown and harvested the fruits and set about letting things go to seed again. It’s a nice closed loop. I love that.

The local Seedsavers group meets once a month and they are such great people. Generous, knowledgeable and welcoming. They make me feel hopeful about the world and the transformative power of gardening.

The other thing about seed saving, is that by letting plants flower and go to seed you get these beautiful forms in the garden.


Leek about to flower and set seed.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2008 1:13 am

    Couldn’t agree more, Nada. I’m also a big fan of heirloom seeds figuring they’ve stood the test of time and taste. Like you, I’m only new to seed saving having just seen my first saved seeds germinating.

    Regards, Gary

  2. January 8, 2008 4:41 am

    Happy New Year Nada, the last six months have been my first experience of seed saving and planting from seed. It is a great learning curve and fascinating too. The photo of the leek is gorgeous. May the coming year be fruitful (literally!)

  3. January 8, 2008 8:45 pm

    Gary: Congratulations on the first germination! Once you get started, it’s quite addictive. I have even started saving seed from food(organic) that I buy and tastes good. That, however, may enter me into the tightwad stakes!

    Helen: Happy New Year to you. Much good fortune to you and your garden!

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