I planted my first garden with my parents when I was just 5 years old. We had recently moved out of an apartment building and into a house with a backyard, so my Dad picked out a 3 by 5-foot area by the shed with a lot of morning light and got to work. I remember not being much of a good farm hand, I preferred making up elaborate stories about the everyday lives of the earthworms we came across to hauling dirt and tilling the soil, but somehow the garden went in. We checked on the progress every day at first, then once a week, and then my interest waned. One day my Dad rushed in and said: “I have a surprise for you.” We trudged out to our little plot, he pointed to a tuft of long grass and said: “pull right here.” I have never before or since been as truly awed as when I pulled a carrot from the ground on that morning.
Caring for plants has the ability to make me feel like a shocked 5 year old from time to time, and saving seeds from my successful crops is one of my most fulfilling endeavors. Need some more reasons to save seeds? We've got just a few:
- To preserve genetic diversity. Over the last century, a staggering 75 percent of the world’s crop diversity has become extinct. By saving seeds we can save rare varietals that may better stand up to shifts in climate or environmental changes.
- To ensure great crops year after year. By saving the best, biggest or tastiest vegetable in your garden you can make sure that every year your plants are getting more acclimatized to your region, climate and soil composition.
- To connect with your past. Whether your family has an extra special tomato plant passed down the ages, or you want to begin this tradition now, the stories that a seed tells weave a thread through the ages and connect us to our culture.
- To ensure food security. With the increase in hybrids and patented crops comes an even more basic need for communities to preserve food sovereignty through seed saving and sharing.
You don’t need to build a top-secret lair in the artic to start saving seeds, you just need to come to our SFC Farmers' Market Downtown this weekend to get started. Local gardening expert Colleen Dieter will be giving two free classes, at 10 am and 11 am, to get you started on your journey. You will learn a simple technique for saving seeds from a winter squash and the slightly more complicated method of saving seeds from a tomato. Stick around afterward to meet your neighbors for our first annual Seed Swap at the market!
Bob Appel is going to serenade us with his classic country crooning on the deck from 10 to 12. If you find yourself at our Sunset Valley market don’t miss the bohemian stylings of Ethan Azarian and stop by the SFC Double Dollars booth for the ever popular kid’s rock painting.
We’ll see you at the market!