Monday, 14 October 2013

Saving seed

Seed purchased earlier this year
When I first started growing vegetables the concept of saving seed never crossed my mind. It was enough work to just keep up with my new vegetable patch. As time has moved on I'm rarely buying seed though I'm not yet seriously saving. I'm working through many of the 'free' packs that come with magazines, especially from 'Grow it!' that I had a subscription for last year. Its a great way to quickly accumulate seed that you're not sure that you really want!

As I'm becoming more experienced I'm now becoming more aware of the different varieties that I wish to grow and which seeds I would like to save. My son has loved the mangetout that we have had, Carouby de Maussane. This was originally purchased as organic seed from a local museum (I was very pleased as it saved me a trip to the garden centre). It has lasted me two years and I've taken care to collect the seed from our final plant for next year. I also have a pretty marigold sherbet fizz that I intended to save seed from last year but forgot, luckily one has self-seeded so I need to keep an eye on it! Saving seed makes me feel firmly connected to the cycle of the seasons, the rhythm of life, and my first steps have been taken.

I never really considered saving seed to be part of growing vegetables until I ordered a selection of catalogues from different companies three years ago and I stumbled across 'The Real Seed Catalogue'. At the time it wasn't what I was looking for but it's emphasis on encouraging us to save seed from tasty food did bury itself in my head. I was reminded of it again by the recent push on seed legislation by Brussels earlier this year (you can read The Real Seed Catalogue's interpretation of it here). I find it scary that people in power feel that they can dictate our relationship with the natural world by stating whether or not a seed is acceptable. But of what value is a seed if I don't choose to save it myself?

Diversity is a word that I am using a lot at the moment. I really do feel that it is what we need to continue to flourish. Diversity in beliefs, diversity in education and most definitely diversity in our land including the seed that grows within it. Diversity gives us the ability to try new things, the strength to explore solutions and something to fall back on when we fail.

No comments:

Post a Comment