In fall, we start collecting seeds from all the plants that we can. Dill, calendula, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, and more are all packaged away in newspaper or brown grocery type bags to dry out. Once they are dried, we sort through them to hand pick the best seeds. Some we sell, the others we use in our garden for this seasons crops. By doing this we know where are seeds are coming from, and therefore we know that the produce we sell in the summer is the best around.
Sorting seeds is a somewhat tedious job. It can also get messy. Seeds all over the floor, and the paper like coverings of the squash seeds flies everywhere. In the end it is all worth doing. It makes one feel much more connected to the food they eat, when you can look at a seed and know that by next fall, that seed will be a pumpkin or two.
I can remember the first time I planted a seed and it grew into an acorn squash plant. It was wonderful to watch the plant grow a little bit everyday. Then suddenly it had a baby fruit on it. I was so excited. It was as if I had given birth to that squash. I watched the squash grow everyday. When it finally came time to pick it, I hated to eat it. It was beautiful. In my eyes anyway. When I finally did cut into it, I realized the seeds inside would be my crop for next year. That is when I was hooked.
Since then, I have grown many fruits and vegetables. I still feel like each and everyone is my baby, and I must protect them. I hover over them each day to make sure they are getting everything they need. When the season is over, and it is time for seed saving, I save each precious seed knowing next year they will be my new babies.