Grow Local's Just Seeds Iniative

Grow Local is spreading the word about the mighty seed! Seeds are an integral part of our national and local food systems, as well as our cultures and traditions, and nothing is more impressive in the natural world than tiny seeds that create entire plants from almost nothing. We want you to discover the magic of the seed, why it is so important to know where your seeds come from, and how to save your seeds – so we started the JUST SEEDS initiative! No matter your experience with seeds or seed-saving, we have activities for you to become better acquainted with nature’s impressive seeds. Check out below for how to get more involved with seeds this fall.

Take our Seed Saving Basics class – Join SFC’s Grow Local team for this "Just Seeds" workshop and learn all about seed-saving for beginners. Add another layer of sustainability at your home or community garden by preserving plant diversity, developing seed stock that is resilient and better adapted to our particular climate, and sharing your seed bounty with the Austin community! This class covers the basics of seed saving including the fundamental reasons for saving seed, seed saving guidelines and processes, and easy seeds to save. Register Here:

Attend the Fall Seed Swap Potluck – Grow Local would like to invite all local farmers, home or community gardeners, or any other type of seed-lover to bring your own saved seeds, transplants, or harvest from your gardens and/or a tasty, local dish for this year's Fall Seed Swap Potluck. This will be a time to mingle with members of the seed saving community and share gardening experiences. Even if you don’t currently garden or save your own seeds, we will have a seed saving demonstration and plenty of seed saving resources to get you started! Since this seed swap potluck is the day before Halloween, be sure to bring PUMPKINS or any type of squash for jack-o-lantern carving and a seed saving demo for cucurbits. Also, feel free to dress up in your Halloween costume! The best costume will win a prize! RSVP Here:

Save Seeds from your Halloween Pumpkins – Follow the easy steps below to save pumpkin seeds from your Jack-O-Lanterns, and cook them up for a tasty treat.

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).

2. Separate any pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin flesh. The best way to do this is by hand, or by using an old (cleaned) comb that you wouldn't mind getting dirty. If it is difficult to remove those fleshy bits on the outer pumpkin shells, here are some tricks:

  • Soak the seeds in water for a few hours, and then strain the seeds in small batches into a mesh strainer. With your hands, stir the pumpkin seeds around in the mesh strainer and let the mesh catch the remaining pulp. When you slide the seeds out of the strainer, they should be pretty clean.

3. Pat seeds dry with a paper towel and spread out on a baking dish. Although no seasoning is necessary, this would be the time to season your pumpkin seeds with:

  • a little bit of curry powder, cayenne pepper, or chipotle flakes for a spicy, savory edge.
  • a little bit of cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg for a sweet treat.
  • regular old table salt or sea salt for added salty flavor.

4. Throw the pumpkin seeds in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Allow to cool before eating!