Re-Established 2011

Learn how to best keep these rare heirloom variety seeds.

Growing an organic garden from seeds you saved yourself is the ultimate in gardening self-reliance. But that’s only one reason to take up this hobby. In addition to the satisfaction that comes from self-sufficiency, you’ll reap multiple immediate benefits. First and foremost, you will save money. Seeds are cheaper than transplants, and seeds you save yourself are free!

  • Peppers: Harvest mature, fully ripe fruit. Cut pepper open and remove the seeds. Allow to dry completely for several days.

  • Tomatoes: Solanaceae - (Tomatoes, Eggplants, Tomatillos) - Each little flower is self pollinated in this family -making isolation distances less critical. Tomatoes: Harvest seed when the tomato is ripe. Squeeze out the juice and seeds, leaving the meat of the tomato behind. Add the same amount of water and let ferment for 3 warm days - stirring daily. Pour off water, floating seeds and pulp and let the remaining seeds dry. Store in a cool dry location for up to 10 years. Eggplant: let desired fruit yellow on the vine, cut the fruit in half and dig out the seeds. Rinse with water and then dry. Store seeds in a cool dry location for up to 5 years.

  • Beans: Self-pollinated, different varieties of Legumes only need to be planted about 5 feet apart. You can tell if there was a variety cross by the seed coat - but other traits may cross that are not evident. Make sure there's enough space for the plant to grow to maturity. When harvesting, make sure the pods and dry and papery. Pull up the entire plant and store in a dry place until they are ready for threshing. When smashed with a hammer - the seeds should shatter - indicating that they are dry enough for storage in a cool dry location for up to 4 years.

  • Beets: Easily cross pollinated through wind pollination. As biennials, they need to be grown out in the first year and then stored over the winter, in a cool area with high humidity. Transplant the beet to its original depth in the spring, where it will soon flower. Harvest seeds when they are dry. Store in a cool dry location.

  • Squash: Seed propagation is the same as cucumbers. Seeds are ready to be harvested when the fruit is ready to be eaten. Remove the seeds, rinse with water and dry. Store seeds in a cool dry area.

  • Brassicas (Broccoli, Cabbage, Mustards): As an insect pollinated biennial, broccoli will cross with all members of Brassica oleracea. They should be isolated within a ½ mile caging is used. Plant out early in the spring and allow for seed heads to develop, possibly until late fall. When the seed pods are dry, gather the stalks, thresh, and store seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 5 years.

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  • Onions: Insect pollinated. Onions are biennials and generally will not make seed their first year. Store the bulbs in a cool dry place or protect for overwintering outside. In the spring, transplant bulbs outside about 6" apart in rows about 12" apart. Harvest seed heads when 1/2 of the pods are open and showing black seeds. Allow to dry and seeds will be easily shaken out. Use 1/8" screen to help with cleaning. Allium seeds will remain viable for 1-3 years

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  • Cucumbers: Easily cross pollinates with other members of the curcurbitiacea family. The best way to prevent this is to cover the plants with row cover and pollinate individual flowers with a pain brush. Allow cucumbers to turn yellow to brown and the vine, harvest and then store in a cool dry place for 5 weeks. Scrape the seeds out and add to the same amount of water, letting it ferment for 3 days, stirring daily. Pour of the water, pulp and flattened seeds and keep the seeds that remain at the bottom. Spread out on a cloth to dry and store in a cool and dry area for up to 10 years.

    No seeds currenly available...