Yesterday as I was working with the boys in the garden, I passed by the bed of arugula that has been waiting for me to come by and collect the seed that I let it send up this spring. I passed it as many times yesterday and the day before and so on. I guess it is the brutal heat out at this time of year that keeps me from doing these small but oh so important jobs. Why important you ask? Well, because learning to save seed is one of the most important jobs a person who grows food can do.
If you are going to be truly self sufficient, you can’t do it if you have to buy those little seed packets at the store. Really its not all that hard to save your seed and if you do you are not only creating true food security but also paying yourself back for the seeds you bought.
My one little packet of heirloom arugula seeds was purchased a few seasons ago. I have saved that seed, planted it and then at the end of the season I purposely leave a few plants to set seed which is really a fancy way of saying that I ignored the plant and did not eat it. While I was ignoring it, it grew some pretty flowers and made some cool pods which I ignored even further to let them dry on the plant. I let these go way longer than I usually do but I still got lots and lots of seeds and many where scattered around before I came around to pulling the plants so they will probably self seed themselves at some point.
Those few plants that I left have given me triple the amount of seeds that I planted and probably six times the amount of seeds that were in the original packet which I purchased. I should tell you not to save seeds from seeds that are not heirloom but hey if you like surprises then go for it. Ron Finley says Growing your own food is like printing your own money. Well, I would add that saving your own seeds is like saving all that money you just printed.
My favorite part of saving seeds is drawing a cute package of seeds to put away for next season. I still have lots more seeds out there waiting. I will try not to ignore them any longer….try.
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