Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saving Seed

Saving Seed

Every year we save seed from our best crops, and there is a process to this I thought I'd share.
First we cut the seed stalks and hang them upside down in feed sacks to dry. This way if the seeds fall off we don't lose em.  Then we let them dry.  Eventually when time allows we get around to dealing with the seed....sometimes not until planting time the following year. (We have so much to do, always...that we need to set priorities).  So, once dried I rub the seeds off of the stalks inside a feed bag.
Here I'm doing coriander (cilantro seed) just in time for planting.

Next comes the winnowing out of small stems in a large bowl..
I started running out of breath blowing on it, so used technology (my compressor) to carefully blow out everything that wasn't seed...and the lighter non-viable seeds.
Check it out, nice bunch of seeds..
Then to finish it up here is a little secret of mine.... I add in diatomaceous earth (sharp bony skeletons of microscopic sea animals) that acts like little swords and cuts to shreds any little bug type varmint that might decide to want to feast on our seeds. Often their eggs will be in with the seed. Diatomaceous Earth won't hurt us to eat (if we decide to use some of the coriander in cooking, which I do a lot when we don't have Cilantro)...and it doesn't harm the seed.  (Just probably calcium carbonate and silicate).
And there you have it....next years Cilantro crop, and seasoning for Mexican Food which I make a lot.

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