Going to Seed

Spinach going to seed. Female plant on left, male plant on right.

Seeds! As stated, this is ‘a homeward journey to grow food and SEEDs to share with the community I love’!      It didn’t take long, in my first introductions working with agriculture, to become very curious about seeds. There was an intriguing first impression -a strong hand shake. The weight of wisdom in the palm of my hand as I would cup them and individually sow each seed into trays in a greenhouse or directly into their beds in the field. They were authentic in the truest sense. They held everything, the will, comprehension and enlightenment all within, as well as the patience to retain it for the perfect moment. I knew I wanted to journey with them-to play and to learn. There will be a lot of that this year, how exciting.

I’m growing out a nice array of crops for seed this year. Most notably, two crops through a seed contract with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a small seed company located in Virginia. Grady, at Green Fire Farm has maintained seed contracts with them for many years and encouraged me to make a big move this year and connect with them. It has been really special the way the way things have worked out and here I am, a farmer with two seed contracts: Dean’s Purple pole bean and Reverend Marrow’s Long Keeper a variety of storage tomato. With one of the longest growing seasons in Siskiyou County, afternoon winds and isolated location, I feel there’s great potential for the Shasta Valley area to be a very successful region for seed crop production.

Dean’s Purple – purple pole bean

Reverend Marrow’s Long Keeper – storage tomato

Some other crops that are now bolting, a term used when a plants starts sending up flowers that will produce pollen and then seeds, are pak choi, tulsi, cilantro and spinach. I’ll be saving seed from fleshy fruits too, such as tomatoes, peppers and watermelon. Saving seed is a journey in persistence. It goes beyond growing the plant, caring for it and seeing its leaves and fruits develop. If you’re saving the seeds you go further and get to interact with the bold flowers, pods and bees, bees, bees. In a good season, plants mature and then fully dry in the field. There are seed extraction and cleaning steps and drying, then testing for germination rate. Persistence, persistence, from seed to seed.

Pak Choi pods forming

Pak Choi
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