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Home-Scale Seed Saving

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Leah Wagner

on 17 February 2018

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Transcript of Home-Scale Seed Saving

Home-Scale Seed Saving
Backyard Sustainability for the Everyday Gardener
with Leah Wagner
Saving Our Seeds
Not All Seeds Are Created Equal
The bold and courageous act of collecting plant material to propagate for use in your home, community, or to share with other similar climates.
Open-Pollinated: Produced through traditional breeding methods using simple technologies.

Hybrid: Produced by crossing two inbred genetic lines to create a superior variety.

Genetically Modified: Produced by having DNA engineered in a laboratory. This can include splicing in genetic material from other scientific kingdoms.
F1, F2
OP, Landrace, Heirloom
Climate Relevant
The Imperfect Flower
Isolation in Small Spaces
Wet Processing
Beginners Seed List
Flower: Perfect
Isolation Distance: 10-100 ft
Pollination: Self
Part Processed: Fruit
Method: Wet
Storage: 4 years
Flower: Perfect
Isolation Distance: 150 ft
Pollination: Self
Part Processed: Pod
Method: Dry
Storage: 3 years
Flower: Perfect
Isolation Distance: 20 ft
Pollination: Self
Part Processed: Pod
Method: Dry
Storage: 2 years
Flower: Perfect
Isolation Distance: 50-400 ft
Pollination: Self and insect
Part Processed: Fruit
Method: Dry
Storage: 2 years
Seed Pods
Tubers or Bulbs
Tree and Bush
Hand Pollinating
Petals are removed to access stamen.
Pollen is protected by bagging or tying petals.
Remove seeds and gelatinous coating from fruit.
Place in a jar of water covered with cheese cloth.
Ferment until a white mold forms on the surface and seeds drop to the bottom.
Drain liquid, rinse seeds, and allow to air dry.
Remove seeds from fruit and allow to air dry.
Seed Pod
If needed, pull entire plant from ground and hang it in a warm, dry place.
After plants are dried, thresh to remove pods.
Use screens or other sifting material to winnow the chaff.
"Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth
"The Organic Seed Grower" by John Navazio
Dry Processing
Saving for Posterity
Keep in Touch
Simple germination tests can be done at home to test the viability of your seed.
Seeds can easily be stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator or freezer to keep seeds fresh for many years.
Healthier Plants
Better Varieties
More Control
Less Expensive
Food Security
Traditional Knowledge
Bio-regional Adaptability
Growing from Seed
Homegrown Seed
Seeds are food security at its source.
We have lost 96% of the seed varieties that were available in 1906.
Currently 12 crops are 75% of the food consumed worldwide.
The bold and courageous act of collecting plant material to propagate for use in your home, community, or to share with other similar climates.
Seed Saving
Saving seeds preserves our food security, history, and the sustainability of vibrant communities.
Sow True Seed
What is my plant family?
Brassica Oleracea
we can cross-pollinate
we can't
Eruca Sativa
Am I an annual or biennial seed producer?
I produce seed
every year
I take two seasons to produce seed
Do I have perfect or imperfect flowers?
The Perfect Flower
Am I monoecious or dioecious?
There are separate male and female spinach plants
Male and female flowers are on the same plant

Do insects or wind move my pollen?
Pollen can travel
over 2 miles
Pollen can travel nearly 1 mile
Do I produce a seed pod or fruiting body?
Seed Pod
Fruiting Body
Grow only one variety.
Maintain isolation distances.
Use bagging and caging techniques.
Follow minimum planting requirements
Reintroduce new seeds if signs of inbreeding depression occur
Sacrifice your best plants and fruit
Select for
desirable traits
Rogue for negative traits or any signs of disease
Full transcript