One critical aspect of biodynamic farming is the practice of saving seeds. Saving seeds is important for food security. You save seeds to preserve the varieties that you see cope well with your local climate, are resistant to the pests or diseases in your area, or thrive well in zero-chemical conditions. You also save seeds because there is a plant you simply love and must have again.
We saved seeds from some of our healthiest plants. Some of these are: Cilantro, French beans, Arugula, and Basil. This gives us produce that is grown from very healthy plants that have already adapted to our local climate and environment. The plants are also less “addicted” to chemicals as they have been grown biodynamically or organically.
- The best time to produce seeds is towards December to January when we no longer experience heavy rains.
- Avoid hybrids as you cannot produce good seeds from hybrids. The seeds will be sterile or produce inferior plants.
- Choose the best plants, flowers, or vegetables to save seeds from. Some things you might consider are the variety’s pest resistance, the flavor, the beauty, etc. Some seeds that can be easily produced are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and beans. Once you have selected a variety, allow those plants to produce seeds.
- Our process includes waiting for the plant to bolt. This means we wait until plant begins to flower. And then we wait for the plants to form seed pods. Once the seed pods are dried, we get the pods and dry the seeds. The seeds are then stored in cold storage.
- Store seeds that are completely dry. You can store it in Manila paper or a paper envelope. Label it and then place in an air tight container. Store it in a cool, dark and dry place.
- Stored sees are usually used the following year.
Seed saving, especially from plants that have been grown on healthy soil and without chemicals, is a key towards sustainable agriculture. It’s also a wonderful way of propagating native, heirloom and indigenous plants.