Seedy Saturday

I have been saving seeds for over 35 years. I always looked forward to seeing the descendants of my plants growing. The long line of repeated generations became like old friends. Recently I found out that there is a whole cult of seed saving going on out there.

What a great discovery! Besides planting my own saved seeds this year, I will plant seeds from other seed saving gardeners.

Just look at the crowd of gardeners looking for something special at Seedy Saturday in Qualicum on Vancouver Island.

Seed companies offer their time-proven seeds each at their tables set up in the big hall, but off in a smaller room are the seeds that other seed savers (local gardeners) have packaged up for sale. At 50 cents a package, it is a bargain.

On my wish list, were two plants that I wanted to find seeds for, but I really didn’t get my hopes up too high. I knew the chances were slim. I was looking for seeds of poblano peppers. These dark green medium hot peppers are  popular in Mexico but outrageously expensive to buy here.

I was also looking for seeds of a dark-skinned (black) tomato like the ones I had eaten for the first time last summer after a friend gave me some as a gift.

 

I was thrilled to see that the first two packages of seeds I came across were poblano peppers and black-skinned tomatoes. What are the chances?!

Then a local gardener gave a talk, and although I had been gardening for many years, I was happy to learn several new gardening tips.

I also learned of a new (to me) type of potato (Sieglinde) that I will try this year, along with my tried and true Norgolds, Kennebecs, and red Pontiacs.

Here is my happy stash of purchases all for a grand total of $10. I’m a cheap date!

Now where is that warm weather?

58 thoughts on “Seedy Saturday

  1. Peter Klopp

    I am glad to read that the custom of collecting and preserving seeds is alive and well. There is a great danger to our biodiversity caused by the seed companies which concentrate only on a few varieties with special properties that sell. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Klausbernd

    As our dear friend Peter wrote already we find it very important to preserve seeds as well – especially of old varieties.
    On Svalbard, there is a huge seed bank in the permafrost soil of seeds of all different varieties of crops.
    All the best
    The Fab Four of Cley

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I hadn’t seen the black tomatoes before and they’re quite good. Not as sweet as the red ones but supposedly good for us (antioxidant benefits, like many of the black-skinned fruit and vegetables). Anyway, it was lots of fun seeing what others are doing to save seeds.

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  3. Anonymous

    This is why I love to shop at Farmers Market in Olympia. So much diversity from different vendors and the choices we enjoy, of apples ,is delightful. Tons of organic produce and even Bliss Choc. Truffles.

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  4. laura bruno lilly

    I love this! Years ago, our next-door neighbor (on the day she moved out of the neighborhood) entrusted me with several packets of seeds from her grandfather’s garden in New Zealand. She felt like I was a better gardener than herself…not sure how true that was, but it was an honor I took seriously and for a few years I had a bit of NZ growing in my Colorado backyard.

    Those tomatoes look luscious, BTW
    🙂

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  5. Sonja Forrester

    I have also saved seeds from last year’s garden, along with a few from some produce purchased over the last few months. Looking forward to getting them into little pods to germinate very soon. Just a few more weeks before I get started. The SEEDY SATURDAY event was very popular, and I am so happy you found such wonderful treasures. Who knew it was good to be a “Seedy” person. 🙂 It used to have quite a different meaning.

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  6. wordsfromanneli Post author

    Maybe the “seedy” part is what attracted me (haha). I love it when I see something growing in my garden that came from seeds I saved or something that reseeded itself. I have some seeds that came from our first house in Comox 37 years ago. They’re like part of the family almost in the way that pets are.

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  7. overthehillontheyellowbrickroad

    Wow! I’m impressed. I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of seeding until I read your post. You learn something new every day. Though I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening, I do enjoy watching my orchid’s cyclical process. During its cycle, there’s a point where it almost looks dead. Over time, it sprouts buds and new flowers grow. Of course, I congratulate it.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Yes, different plants have different ways of propagating. Some will grow by seeds or cuttings, or root division, and probably several other ways. But seeds are fun to collect and save and plant again. There’s hope for you, if you’ve noticed your orchid’s efforts to bloom again. I have some orchids too and love it when I see some signs of new growth. I think congratulating them encourages better blooms, don’t you? 😉

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        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          They’re beautiful flowers. I’ve used them in my first two books (The Wind Weeps, and Reckoning Tide). The “bad” guy in the story has a thing about orchids. Even though they aren’t meant to be presented in bouquets, he wants to impress so badly that he spends huge money to do that.

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  8. purpleborough

    Great Article. I do not collect seeds but I do use cuttings. I have many plants from my dad’s funeral plant and just recently lost my mother’s pony tail palm. It died while I was gone. I also talk to all y flowers. Your seed gathering occasion looked to be fun..

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Thanks, Linda. I use cuttings too, and I also have a couple of historic plants. One is my mother’s lovage plant which started from a cutting of hers, and has many sisters and brothers everywhere now, and the other is her small white popcorn chrysanthemum that was on her veranda when she died back in 1982. It still blooms for me every year and reminds me of her. Plants are great in that way – the stories and memories that accompany them.

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  9. Lori

    You’re all some devoted gardeners. We had our first garden ever last year. Had no idea what we were doing, and still don’t. But, the vegees grew fast and furious. I’ve never seen black tomatoes before. Shows you what I know, I would’ve thought they had gone bad if I’d seen that. 😛 I love poblano peppers. We looked for them when planning our first garden and couldn’t find any. Of course, being novices, we did not grow a garden from seeds. We grew the usual tomatoes, plus red peppers, and my two favorites, eggplant and Swiss chard. We also grew zucchini, which we had no idea what we had gotten into with that one. We bought two of them and they nearly choked out the rest of the garden goods. It all turned out delicious in the end.

    I look forward to seeing pictures of your tomatoes, poblanos and potatoes. BTW, have you ever canned any of your vegees? I looked into doing that and decided I didn’t have 1,000 hours to set aside for the job. Heh.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      No need to can veggies as long as we have our gardens and California supplying us, but it could be done (if we had another lifetime to do all that work). But I think it’s great that you had a garden. Every year gets better and you learn by doing. Congrats for making the effort and don’t give up. You will be rewarded more each year.

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  10. D. Wallace Peach

    I’m so jealous. What fun, Anneli, to be exploring seeds and heirlooms and enjoying the generations of tenderly loved seeds. I try to plant with seeds, and my dogs just think the garden is the BEST place to plant their bones and lie in the sun. I’ve tried barricades and they find a way! I’m stuck with starters 🙂

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Started plants are okay too. The main thing is to grow something. You need a skookum fence to keep the pets and other invaders out, but once you have that done it’s very rewarding. Thanks for checking in, Diana.

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      1. reocochran

        It is hard to like how winter has just set a seedy, pebbly ice down upon our ground this morning. So sad and yet, last year I took photos of sleet and snow in April! It was titled snow in April so it is easy to remember last year’s late snow.
        Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Anneli. ✨🎆

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  11. Kat Seaholm

    Seed saving, swapping, and sharing is so much fun. Spring is playing hard to get here in Colorado, some days are nice and some are still really chilly. It doesn’t stop the spring fever and gardening cravings though 🙂 Happy Saturday!

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