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Snow Day Activities

December 13th, 2017

More snow, freezing rain, and ice rolled through yesterday. After office work and house cleaning, I started processing some of the many seeds I saved this past summer.

I’ve been developing better systems of processing them. Using a fork to remove the seeds from the dried flower heads is a huge finger saver, these seed heads are super prickly.

I’m looking forward to lots of tithonia in the garden this coming summer, hopefully in many other gardens as well (you can purchase these seeds over at Seeds & Sundries). Finding gardening chores that can be done when the snow is falling outside is always a nice way to brighten up those dark winter days!

What seeds did you save from the garden this year to plant next year?

Harvesting Seeds

November 2nd, 2017

This year I’ve been harvesting more seeds than I ever have. There are paper bags, bowls, plates, and various trays filled with seeds in my office and in the dining room. Most recently, I harvested ‘Scarlett Runner’ beans.

These were one of my mom’s all-time favorite garden plants. Each year she planted them just for the hummingbirds. When she died, my dad gave my sister and I each a packet to grow in our gardens.

They grew and bloomed beautifully, and the hummingbirds loved them all summer long. I’m saving seed to grow them again next year, a few packets will be available for sale here on the blog later this winter. Seed packets have been ordered, stamps are coming soon, and websites are being worked on.

Do you save seed? Any favorite family varieties you’ve been saving for years?

Seed Saving

August 22nd, 2017

Sometimes I save seed for my favorite plants, this year I’m saving in earnest. So far I have a nice collection of: hollyhock, foxglove, sage, columbine (3 different colors), poppies, and nasturtium.

As the season progresses I’ll be saving seeds for some of my favorite pole beans, tithonia, tomatoes and a few other annuals. As I’m always thinking of ways to help cover the bills of this blog without ads, I’ve been consdering saving seeds to some of my favorite no fail flowers and herbs to sell. Would you be interested in buying seeds?

Do you save seeds from your vegetables, herbs, and flowers?

Saving Sage Seeds

July 18th, 2012

I have a beautiful culinary sage plant that grows right outside the back door. It thrives in this location, with full sun and elevated dry soil. Since this is it’s second year in the garden, it bloomed beautifully and is HUGE. This plant was started from seed from Renee’s Garden. I decided to save seed from it because it’s such a hardy plant, definitely has genes I’d like to keep going. The hummingbirds and other pollinators LOVE it too!

Since sage is edible, I figured I could use the seeds for sprouting purposes. I’ve never had sage sprouts before, but I’m guessing they’d be wonderful on a turkey sandwich, sprinkled on top of butternut squash soup or a salad. Maybe they’ll be really terrible, but you never know until you try. I’m assuming the sprouts will taste like sage, the seeds certainly smell like it. Maybe they’ll even be great browned in some butter just like sage leaves are.

After the plant bloomed, I waited until the seed pods were brown and dry, then we cut off the flowering stems (you can cut the plant back by about a third or half if you want at this time). The seeds pop right out of the little dried buds.

Mr Chiots and I sat on the back deck one evening enjoying the cool evening while harvesting a good number of seeds. Of course Dexter was at hand to inspect our work and make sure we were doing it right.

I grow tons of herbs in the garden and enjoy them all year long both fresh and dried along with lots of spices purchased from Mt Rose Herbs. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about how spices and herbs and super healthy, many of them containing more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. I’ve always loved spicy food so this makes me very happy. Even though we eat lots of herbs & spices already I’ve been trying to find other ways to add them to our diets. These sage sprouts should add a little healthy goodness!

I also saved tons of ‘Red Russian’ kale seed for the same purpose. When I have more garden space I hope to be able to grow more plants for just for seed. There’s nothing better mid-winter than fresh sprouts, they not only feed our bodies but it’s a great way to get in some gardening in during the long winter!

Do you eat sprouts? Do you grow them yourself?

If you’re interested in reading more about the health benefits of herbs & spices I have purchased a few books and really like them, the first one is my favorite and I’d highly recommend it for health information and because it’s full of fabulous recipes for using spices.

I Spy Pumpkins

August 31st, 2009

While visiting my mom’s house this weekend I had to take a photo of these pumpkins. They are planted in our corn patch as part of a 3 sisters garden.
Do you recognize these? They’re Cinderella Pumpkin ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes’ of course, from those seeds I saved last fall.

Anyone else growing great things from saved seeds?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.