Tuesday, October 16, 2012

our homestead: early autumn seed saving

Ghosty and her porch pumpkin.

October is my favorite month. Like the fleeting beauty of the blossoming of the spring cherry trees, I view this month as the golden month before the dark winter. The leaves are all turning my favorite colors: crimson, orange, plum and mustard and are dazzling both on the tree or tumbling through the wind. The fields down the hill from my home are full of big, fat pumpkins and mazes of maize (corn). And all of my favorite flowers around the yard are producing seeds for next year's garden.

 I've been collecting a variety of seeds and laying them out to dry on a rack near a basement window. Once dry, I'll roll the seeds up in paper or fill paper envelopes with them, then I'll store the seeds in an air-tight container in a dark room, such as the basement pantry. By next spring, the seeds will be ready for planting, and acclimated to my area's specific weather and soil conditions. I also plan to gift some seeds to gardening friends like I did last Christmas. It made me happy to see plants growing in my loved ones' gardens which originated from seeds I'd taken the time to save the previous growing season.

 So far, I've saved seeds from those strange chocolate and pink tomatoes I grew, the ample nasturtiums which covered my retaining wall this year,  fragrant red, white and blue sweet pea flowers, teddybear and strawberry blonde sunflowers from the vegetable garden and Bienenfreund seeds: an awesome heirloom flower I purchased from Uprising Seeds which lived up to its German name (Bee's Friend) as its whiskery violet flowers were swarmed by bees this summer.  

1. Nasturtium seeds
2. Sweet Pea pods
3. Bienenfreund seeds
4. Sunflower seeds

I've already dried ample amounts of sunflower petals to color up winter teas; I love seeing the bright yellow of a dried sunflower petal come back to life once steeped in hot water. I had a basketful of loose sunflower petals after harvesting seeds, so instead of drying more petals, I decided to have a little fun and throw them up in the air to try and catch a photo of the petals raining down.


  1. Hello,

    I am writing from Hatherleigh Press, a book publisher specializing in health and wellness titles (see www.hatherleighpress.com). We would like to use one of your images in our upcoming book entitled "Backyard Farming: Growing Vegetables and Herbs", to be released on May 28, 2013. Can you please e-mail me at anna.krusinski@hatherleighpress.com to touch base about this?

    Thank you in advance.

    Anna Krusinski

  2. Love your blogs! We are moving and have an awesome patch of land where we are going to start a garden. I found your blog when I was looking around for info and got absolutely hooked! When will you write again?

    Looking forward to reading future posts!

  3. Hello Anna,
    I just sent you an e-mail. I am beyond honored that you'd like to use one of my images in a gardening and farming book. (o:

    And to my other poster, Wow! Thank you for your support. I will keep writing. The busy harvest and gardening season is starting to winde down, so I'll have more time for this blog. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. And good luck with your future patch of land! How exciting to have a bit of earth you can work with.