Contributing Monkie Sayward Rebhal
Published on September 11, 2010
Photographer: Sayward Rebhal
Oh, deary me. Goodness goodness goodness. With a late spring, a miniature monster to care for fulltime, a foggy summer punctuated by unexpected heat waves, and most recently, two consecutive weekends away . . . it feels as though the world is conspiring against my garden. Ha! It’s just a hot mess up in there these days.
Oh well, I can’t complain! In this odd year of mostly hands-off-farming, I’ve actually learned a whole lot. And I’m so excited for next year! I can’t wait to implement all my new insights, and I just can’t wait to see this baby beast all covered in dirt and sprinkling seeds as he toddles along. We’re gonna have so much fun!
So speaking of seeds, I sort of have this grand idea. I want to organize an international seed exchange for Bonzai / G Living readers! I’ve always been enamored with the idea of saving seed – there’s something so inherently whimsical about this incredibly practical act. There are tons of really great reasons to do it, not to mention the fact that it’s just plain fun. I mean, talk about recycling!
I’ve written a bit about various seed-saving techniques, but the truth is, it’s fairly universal no matter the species. First, remove the plant part that holds the seeds. If it’s a pod or a flower, allow it to dry completely and then liberate the seeds. If it’s a fruit like a tomato or gourd, simply excavate the seeds and then allow them to dry out. Either way, collect your fully-dried seeds and label them clearly, storing in an airtight container (old spice jars work great). Easy as pie!
One thing I haven’t had any issue with is my gourds! Funny, since last year I planted a ton and didn’t get a one. But check ‘em out this time! They’re lovin’ it!
I think this guy would grow up to be an acorn squash. Alas, I’m pretty sure he won’t make it. One of the casualties of heat + weekends away . . .
So this autumn as your garden begins to wind down, why not save as many seeds from as many plants as you can? Then email me, tell me what you’ve got and let me know what you’d want, and I’ll do my best to get everyone matched up for a great trade. I’ll post more info as the time draws near, but for now just remember to let some of your stock go to seed!
And now, a little look into my pitiful plot, haha. But I swear it’s not all my fault! It’s a similar story in every raised bed across the city. All the plants are petite; each bloom and fruit is delayed. I don’t know anybody who got homegrown blueberries, and even the Farmer’s Market produce is showing up late for the season.
What a strange year it’s been . . .
These are my first ripening tomatoes. Yes, my first tomatoes. It’s basically September. The best thing about waiting so long for your garden to get it together? Man, these are gonna taste soooo good.
What’s left of the chard. It was super lush but never got very big. But it still made many a smoothie! (of course!)
Beet greens . . . I wonder if there’s actually anything going on under there? Ah well, if nothing else the greens will be delicious!
Summer is never complete without sunflowers! My big beauties are finally getting ready to bloom. They’re just about 7 feet tall already!
So tell me my dears, how has the season been where you live? Any luck in the garden this year? If so, I hope you’ll be saving your seeds!