What is seed saving?
Seed Saving is the practice of harvesting seeds from vegetables, fruits, grains, herbs, and flowers for use from year to year. This practice is the traditional way that farms and gardens were maintained for thousands of years! Saving seeds is also a great way to save money by recycling last year’s seeds, instead of going out and repurchasing them at the store.
Seed Saving with Children:
Seed Saving with your children teaches them about sustainability practices, self-sufficiency, the history of farming, science, where their food comes from and why it is important to preserve farming methods such as seed saving. To harvest seeds with your children, start in late summer and early fall. Below are some tips for harvesting seeds:
Flowers- once the flowers have finished blooming, dry some of the plant heads and then collect the seeds and store in a reusable container. Don’t forget to label what is inside, and store in a cool dry place.
Fruit- you can harvest seeds from ripe fruit also, just be sure to remove as much of the pulp from the seeds as you can. Then lay them out on a newspaper to dry. Store them in a reusable container right on the newspaper and label them, leave it in a cool dry place. You can plant the seed stuck to the newspaper directly in the ground in the spring!
Peas and Beans- allow the pods to ripen on the plant, once they are dry and turn brown you can harvest the seeds. Remove the pods from the plant and let them dry whole, 2 weeks or until the next season when you are ready to plant. Label them and put them in a reusable container.
So next time you accidentally let your broccoli go to flower or you are slicing up a tomato from your garden, remember you can save those seeds and use them to plant your garden in the spring. This is a great way to save money and feel self-sufficient, and it is lots of fun for children as well!
On Sunday, September 29 our POP Club kids will be doing a Seed and Magnifying Glass activity, in this activity we will look at various seeds up close to learn about some of the differences in them and try to match the seeds with the fruit or vegetable that grows from them. Learn more about the POP Club here and visit us at the market to register.
The POP Club is a farmer’s market-based kids program. Children (ages 5 – 12 years old) will learn about fruits and vegetables, local food systems and healthy food preparation through fun activities all season long.
Each week children will earn a $3 market token to use towards any fruit or vegetable of their choice. There is no cost to participate and the program runs every Sunday rain or shine!