Thursday, July 5, 2012

Seed Saving--for food or foliage

Last year, I went my usual route for seed saving: throw the drying stems in a paper grocery bag. When mice infiltrated my shed, I tossed the coriander seed into a new garden bed instead of harvesting possibly contaminated seed for culinary uses. I got a big, beautiful bed of coriander/cilantro. This year, I did not want to make the same mistake, and I began processing the seed yesterday. Until I can make my own screen for winnowing (something like these), I rubbed the seed back and forth over an unused door screen and let the wind take away a lot of the chaff. Of course, I made sure to save some for the cilantro bed.
With these mammoth dill heads, it is a lot easier: just snip and place on a paper towel. They fall off pretty easily. I also like to put not-yet-fully dried dill flower heads in pickles.

I spread my flat-leaf parsley seed liberally around the garden. I use it a lot in the kitchen, and I let plenty of it flower to attract beneficial insects. Other herb seeds I have coming are fennel and fenugreek. Of course I've got lots of heirloom veggies to save seeds from too, so it's time to get organized.
The flower seeds mostly get taken care of by the birds (look closely to spot the goldfinch on this sunflower). Unfortunately, rampaging squirrels have since broken all the sunflowers off.

1 comment:

  1. Your cilantro bed sounds delicious - I never seem to plant enough to keep me in cilantro all summer. Thanks for participating this month!