This year, we’re saving seeds not only for our own farm, but to sell to a local seed company (Annapolis Seeds).
Why are we into seed-saving?
Well, we love the idea of a seed being at home here on the farm with us. Just as we are a product of our environment, plants are too. And they are very adaptable. So, of course, we want seeds that have adapted to our sweet little farm. Who get our climate. And our soil type. And our soil life.
We also want seeds that have adapted to living with us. Shannon and Bryan. And the way we farm. And the flavours and looks that we go for.
So we save seeds. But we can’t save all the seeds we grow on the farm. And we don’t want to. We also love the idea of planting seeds that other farmers like us grew and saved. And that they’re sharing a little bit of their farm with us (as well as the flavours and looks and other qualities those farmers go for).
So we have started saving seeds commercially in order to reciprocate. And to diversify. And for local seed security (or seed sovereignty). And because it offers a different challenge and a different way to view the plants we cherish. And because we think other seed savers are some of the coolest people we know and we want to learn more from them.
The picture above is of lettuce just about to flower, destined for seed production. This next picture is what that same plant looks like now, ready for harvest of those seeds.
Lettuce is technically a self-pollinated crop, but isolation distances (the distance between different varieties of the same crop so they don’t cross) for lettuce vary from none up to 150 ft (depending on the source). And since all of the lettuce (3 varieties), we’re growing for seed production are under the same greenhouse structure (so rainy fall weather doesn’t turn the seeds moldy), we’ve isolated them by time rather than distance (though they are still about 15 ft apart from each other). Hopefully the weather will cooperate and all three varieties will produce a nice seed crop.
Oh, and something else I love:
Last year, we got one little seed packet of edamame (fresh soybeans) from Annapolis Seeds and planted it all out. There wasn’t enough plants to sell any edamame at market. So we saved the seed (see picture above) and this year all of the edamame we sold at market was from seed saved on our farm. I love that! And we’ve saved more of it this year. So next year’s edamame on our stand will be the result of 2 generations of edamame raised on our farm. Which will be even cooler.