I've been a seed saver and gardener since I first interned at Abundant Life in 1991. But well before that, I studied ethnobotany at Evergreen and decided, "That makes a lot of sense". Even before that, I came to the conclusion that if all hell broke loose, I'd want at least to be able to grow my own food.
I inherited the gardening gene big time. There are many in my extended family who tend a garden, but according to my parents, there are a handful of us who are UNABLE TO KEEP OUR HANDS OUT OF THE DIRT. This is not a hobby, people. It is an integral part of who I am.
My cousin, Dan Quickert, shares this trait. He has been an avid organic gardener for decades, and has quite admirably done a bit of plant breeding along the way. Last spring, he sent me about 40 seeds of a purple-podded snow pea he developed and named "Midnight Snow".
Here are some fresh results of what grew from those seeds.
|Midnight Snow Pea|
With the help of Lisa (who was visiting from San Diego), I harvested the already-dying pea vines, and laid them on wire racks to finish developing and drying the pea seeds.
Tonight I shelled all the peas, and this is what I got:
|Pea seeds ready for planting next spring|
There is something special about saving seeds. It requires sacrifice; with most crops, saving seed means you won't be eating that fruit or vegetable. It requires vision; you must think early about which plants you'll be saving for seed and designate them to that task. It requires optimism; you are doing this for future gardens. These are qualities I don't mind developing in myself as well.