wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Saving Seeds

36 Comments

Five years ago when we were in Montana on our annual trip, Mick, a farmer friend gave us two buttercup squashes he’d grown. He suggested we could cook them in the microwave in our trailer. They were so good that I decided to save the seeds and bring them home. I’m glad I did. I am still growing Mick’s “Montana squashes” now, five years later, and they taste of good Montana memories.

I harvested a squash today and cut it in half. I scooped out the center and separated the soft tissue from the seeds.

Then I washed the seeds in cold water and scooped them out leaving much of the gooey protective mush behind. I dabbed them dry on a paper towel and set them outside in a warm place to dry off for a few hours before bringing them inside out of the damp night air.

I peeled the two halves of squash and cut them into wedges to pre-cook in the microwave for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped a cooking onion and sauteed it in a frying pan.

I added the partially cooked squash pieces and cooked them slowly until they were golden brown on both sides. For spices I kept it simple: salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of some green herb (this time it was savoury, but I’ve tried others – like oregano or thyme – and found them to be quite nice too).

In the photo below the squash is not completely browned yet but one or two pieces in the center are starting to get brown and have been flipped over.  I use a generous amount of butter so the pieces don’t stick.

When the seeds are completely dry, I store them in a jar in a cool, dry place. I found out that these squashes like me a lot. When I am not diligent enough to do everything right, the bits that I’ve put into the compost over the winter will sprout in early spring if I throw shovelfuls of the composted soil around the garden.

These buttercup plants started to grow as soon as I threw the shovelful of composted soil onto the ground. It’s a bit late for them this year but I’ll keep it in mind to start some of the volunteer compost seeds early in the spring next year.

Meanwhile, today we enjoy buttercup squash and think of our generous friend, Mick, in Montana.

I save seeds from all kinds of plants and am extra happy when they grow for me. I think it could someday become a very useful bit of knowledge to be able to save seeds for future crops.

Do you save seeds? Which are your favourites?

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

36 thoughts on “Saving Seeds

  1. I don’t save seeds, but I don’t have a place to plant them. I do collect native flower seeds for friends,though. That’s quite satisfying — if not quite as tasty as your squash!

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  2. Oh this looks very good. What a wonderful fall dish. I do not save seats because it is too hard to have a vegetable garden in Arizona. Sadly.

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  3. I’ve never liked Squash, but I will sample your squash, Anneli! 😊

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  4. What a lovely gift. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

    I don’t collect seeds right now but that’s because I don’t have a yard. I will when I have one again, I hope within the next 12 months. We will be house hunting soon. I have collected many different types of seeds, from flowers to veggies. 🙂

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  5. I love squash and these look like my favorite–acorn squash (sans ridges). I bet they tasted great!

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  6. I’ve never been a fan of squash, but if you made it, I’m sure it would be delicious.

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  7. Wow! I love squash, tried planting one to no avail.

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  8. Looks delicious! I don’t bother to grow them anymore, because I am the only one who will eat them. They take up a fair bit of space in the garden, so it is hard to justify using all that space for something that isn’t really appreciated. So sad. It looks scrumptious. 🙂

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  9. This recipe sounds very good! I have no space for those big plants in my garden. But they sell all sorts of squash in the stores. I will try out your recipe, thanks for sharing it!

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  10. Micks Montana Squash…what a cool legacy.

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  11. Since we’re new at gardening, we haven’t grown anything from seed. Oh wait, my husband grew a grape-tomato plant from seed in a pot this year (first time). I’m not the vegetable gardener though, he is.

    About the Butternut Squash – I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that before. What does it taste like? I’d love to try a new veggie, as I’m a vegetable lover. Those seeds look like pumpkin seeds. I don’t eat onions, not any kind. Would they that squash still taste good with garlic? Since I don’t know what they taste like, I don’t know what seasoning would go with it. Thanks for teaching me something new.

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    • The seeds look like pumpkin seeds because they are related plants. This squash is firm until it’s cooked and then it melts in your mouth. I think you could put almost any flavour with it, garlic included. It’s a mild taste so anything is good with it. By the way, it’s not butterNUT squash; it’s butterCUP squash. I made the same mistake at first.

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      • Oh, thanks for the info. I’d like to try it. If I get it from the store though, it won’t taste near as good as from the garden. Our tomatoes are sooooo much better than store bought. Same with our garden zucchini and eggplant. So, much tastier. (Can you tell we grow mostly the Italian veggies? Made pasta sauce from the fresh tomatoes too.)

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        • That’s great that you grow what you use, and use what you grow. I think once you grow a buttercup squash you’ll always want them in your garden. Why not just throw a seed or two into a space where they can grow without getting in the way, and see what happens? You can start with one store-bought one and save the seeds, or buy one pack of seeds and have squash forever after.

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          • Don’t really have the room. We had to move the zucchini plant out of the garden because it took up too much room. That Buttercup squash looks like it grows similar to the zucchini. We also grow peppers and Swiss chard (the latter is my fave). Our yards aren’t big here, although it’s double the size off our tiny yard back in Florida. We couldn’t even grow grass back there.

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  12. I love how you saved the seeds from that wonderful squash years ago, and it is giving you a harvest every year. Your recipe sounds delicious!

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  13. It sounds like your friend’s squashes were a gift that keeps on giving! And the cooked result looks delicious.

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