Seed Saving

Each year I strive to add a new skill to my garden repertoire. This year I’m learning how to save seeds. Seeds are fairly cheap, and if you purchase from a reputable company you know you have good quality. I like the idea of preserving the seed from things I grow, though, and hey, if they don’t sprout the chickens will get them as a snack (my sweet pup is not a fan of seeds!).

Squash are a vegetable I’ve discovered later in life, and I’m in love. The richness of the flesh, the versatility of cooking methods, and the health benefits are huge. It’s also easy to store them – a cool, dry space is all you need. They are easy to prep – once you’re through the rind, anyway – and the seeds are removed fairly easily.

Once the seeds are removed they need to be washed. I fill a small bowl with water and rinse the seeds throughly, then repeat the process with a strainer. Your goal is to remove all the plant guts from the seed before spreading them to dry. I made a small drying frame out of an unused frame and a spare piece of garden wire. A staple gun makes quick work of the job. Spread the seeds on the wire and set aside to dry.

So far this year I’ve saved green and purple pepper seeds, acorn squash seeds, and butternut squash seeds. I’m working a batch of mini-pumpkin seeds today. We’ll see how successful I am next spring!

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