Remember when we showed the pictures of the zinnia and marigold seed heads we had picked one afternoon? After they had dried somewhat, we separated them to make sure they dry completely before we store them for next year. There are millions, well maybe not millions, but thousands of seeds. Most of these came from
volunteer plants that came up this year from the seeds we planted last year. Many of those seeds came from an end-of-the-year sale at a hardware store for 10 cents a package. 10 cents! So for 10 cents, we now have thousands of seeds that we can use for 10 years even if we never save another seed.
So, that got me to thinking. We saved three big cucumbers and kept the seeds from them. Since we don't really like cucumbers (believe it or not, I just like dill pickles) these seeds will last us forever - not counting the ones still in the original package I bought that I have been planting for three years now.
In the past few years we have saved okra, corn, zinnia, marigold and black-eyed pea seeds. If we continue to expand this process with seeds from plants we like to eat that are non-hybrid, pretty soon we will not need to buy any. Wouldn't that be great? One more small step toward independence and self-reliance.
It is always good to have a stock of seeds on hand though. What if the weather doesn't cooperate and you need to replant? What if the bugs kill everything and you need to replant? What if you can never buy another seed and what you have is all you have? You've heard the old saying 'Never put all of your eggs in one basket'? Well, never plant all of your seeds. Never. Always have some in reserve for the unexpected. Your life may depend on it one day.
I know that sounds odd in our day of plenty, but I truly believe this will not always be the case. I am very grateful for the comfort and luxury of living in a time when failure is an option - that I can go to the store and replenish all I need and want that is within our means. We are truly blessed.
Now, at the end of the season, wisely stock up on extra seeds - more than you think you will ever need in your lifetime. They will be worth more than silver or gold. They may feed your family, your neighbors or your community. They will be tremendous bartering commodities. Providing others with the means to provide for themselves may be one of the most
priceless gifts you will ever be able to give someone.
Until next time - Fern