This is so crucial, and such a blessing!
Plants come from seeds, and seeds make plants. It's an easy enough cycle and without human intervention, it'll continue and continue. For too many gardeners and growers, the goal is just the harvest... the first harvest... the food harvest. This harvest is indeed important and without it far fewer people would garden, but it's not the only harvest a gardener should busy themselves with.
SORTING & SAVING SEEDS
Seeds are so important. Without them the vast majority of gardening would vanish. The seeds above are for a kind of plant that I only planted once, back in early 2018. Since then, it's reseeded itself yearly and we've had an overabundance every year. The plant is the red-stemmed Malabar spinach, and it's one of our top garden plants. You might be wondering, "If it reseeds itself every year, then why do you need so many seeds, like you show in the photo above?"
Actually, these seeds aren't for us. they're for others. When we have such a ready (excess) supply available, and when we have such a great kind of plant that quickly became one of our favorites, it only makes sense to make it available to others. These seeds will be offered for sale in our Etsy shop as a way to help support our family and get this great kind of plant into the hands (and gardens) of others.
It's amazing all of the interesting kinds of plants that do awesome on our homestead. Above are Korean Goji Berry seeds, and they've been a huge blessing to us. We grow both Chinese & Korean Goji Berries, and the Korean ones do much better for us here. The Chinese do great, but this kind just does way better, so it's become our favorite. This is another plant that we really can't keep up with the entire harvest. It just produces such an incredible amount of tiny red berries, and it gets bigger every year!
This bowl is a great example of how a lot of my life goes. It's mixed up and somewhat scatterbrained, but it's useful with a lot of potential. Often, when I'm working outside and see seeds ready for harvest, I'll just grab them quick and place them in my pocket. Later, coins, screws, seeds and all sorts of other random goodness is pulled out of the pocket prior to laundry and put in a bowl like this. I try to get more and more organized, but I think I've still got a long way to go.
Some of our varieties wax and wane too. These Baby Fat Achocha Cucumber seeds are a great example of that. Last year, we had lots and lots of the seeds that we saved. This year, we don't have a lot. Due to the lacking inventory, we'll keep all of these for ourselves (most likely) and try to produce more next time. After all, when we produce more seeds that means that we produced more food, which is a good thing! We really appreciate the abundant harvests, and they go a long way in decreasing our grocery bills.
One cool thing about a lot of garden varieties is that there are multiple ways to use and preserve the harvest. The seeds above are from our Snake Gourds, and that's probably our top garden plant. Besides cooking them up fresh from the garden, we can also freeze some to be stir fried later. Moreover, they can work as an amazing pickle substitute for times when the cucumbers just weren't producing. When the snake gourds are pickled, you wouldn't even know the difference when compared to an actual pickle made from a cucumber.
It's amazing how it all works together. We garden so that we don't need to spend as much on food and have food from a reliable and trustworthy source. Then, we save our own seeds to save even more money and to have the best genetics for our area in our crops. Next, the plants produce way more seeds than we could ever reasonably use, so it gives us an opportunity to sell the extra. Basically, in the process of trying to save money, we make money. How cool is that?
Also, it's worth being reminded that our goal in offering seeds to others is that their purchase will be a one time purchase. It's our hope that whoever purchases them will learn to save their own seeds too, and have a lifetime supply and then some! Do you garden? Do you grow your own food? If so, do you save your own seeds? Honestly, it's easy, and we'd highly recommend it!