Tag Archives: Seed Saving

Saving Our Genetic Heritage One Seed at a Time (part 2)

Cucumber - Straight Eight (7)Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

GMO’s are organisms that have had their natural genetic structure altered by literally forcing the genes of unrelated plants, animals, insects, fungi, bacteria, viruses and even human genes into the host plant’s embryonic cells using a virus as a vector to infect the host and spread the new gene. I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I don’t believe the Creator intended rice and mice to splice. And spirituality aside, there are serious concerns as to how these genetically modified foods act upon the human and animal body when consumed over a long period of time. Continue reading

Saving Our Genetic Heritage One Seed at a Time

Seed Saving Watermelon Orange-Glow (2)Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

(originally published in Permaculture Activist – May 2017 issue)

I have been saving garden and native plant seeds for the better part of 20 years. What started out as a simple way to save a buck quickly became a deep-rooted passion. After so many years as a teacher and advocate, it is truly exciting to see so many people interested in saving their own seed. Yet, there are those out there who still think seed saving is just a pass-time or a fad – just another hash tag in a world of buzzwords. Perhaps seed saving is just another trend in a long line of trends, like bacon everything, backyard chickens and kale, but for those of us who have worked towards seed sovereignty and food freedom for years, an American seed saving fetish is exactly what this country needs right now. Continue reading

Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

Butternut Squash with seeds. Copyright Jill Henderson

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

With the holidays in full swing, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening.  But trust me, the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream!  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday pies, breads or savory dishes, now is the perfect time to save seed!

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Using Seed Screens to Save Better Seed

Seed Saving sorting black-eyed peas using seed screens.  Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Saving heirloom seeds is really pretty easy, even for the beginning seed saver.  Of course, you need to know a few things about how plants mate and produce seed early on, but once the seeds are harvested there are a few tricks that can help you save seeds that are much more likely to germinate quickly and grow well in the garden next spring.  Naturally, the first trick for saving seed is to harvest them at the right time.  The second trick is simply to clean and sort your seeds.  There are many ways to do this, but the fastest and easiest way to sort any kind of seed is by using a simple set of seed screens.

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Shiny Beetles, Square Tomatoes and Crafty Coons

Garden late summerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

As we near the end of August I am so very thankful for a long and productive season in the garden.  February is when we begin to dream about this day – planting seeds, rooting cuttings, planning rows.  As always, a lot of work has gone into our small patch of organic Eden. Some days were happy, some were frustrating, others were just downright back-breaking.  But in the end, lessons are learned, food is abundant, feeling thankful is prevalent and many, many a dawn has been spent simply inhaling the beauty of a garden in full swing.  And so, as the gardening season here in Oz begins to wind down, I look back on the good, the bad, and the down right weird…

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Seed Saving Time: Watermelon

Saving watermelon seeds. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Whether you like it seeded, juiced, sliced, cubed, or just straight off the rind, there’s almost nothing better on a hot summer day than a big ‘ol chunk of juicy-crisp, sweet-ripe, just-from-the-garden watermelon. M-mmm.  Of course, if you grew that melon in your own garden, the level of satisfaction rises even higher.  But if you really want to reach gardening nirvana, try harvesting a watermelon that you not only grew, but grew from seed you saved yourself.  And the best part? Saving your own watermelon seed is soooo dang easy!

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Seed Saving Time: Radishes

Description Raphanus sativus, Wild Radish. Date August 03, 2002 Location Glen Canyon Park - San Francisco, California Photographer Franco Folini CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=722804Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – I don’t know about you, but our spring garden is never complete without at least a few rows of crisp, spicy radishes.  We love to put them in salads, on sandwiches and, of course, for snacking on while we weed!  Common radishes are super easy to grow, have few pests and diseases and can really tolerate the cold, wet weather of the early spring months.  Radishes are also among the easiest seeds to save, provided you follow a few simple rules.  As a bonus, by saving your own radish seeds you get to enjoy an entirely new round of tasty edibles in the form of the young green seedpods, which are a taste treat in their own right.  So don’t pull all your radishes just yet…

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Seed Saving Time: Flowers and Pollination

2014 7-1 Straight Eight Cucumbers (2)Show Me Oz – No matter where you live in the country, you are either itching to get your hands in the dirt or are already in the garden digging, planting and dreaming! If you want to save seed this year, you have come to the right place! Because today we are talking about flowers and how they achieve pollination – and what those two things have to do with saving pure quality seed. Understanding these things not only helps you reap a larger harvest of fruits and vegetables to eat, but also ensures that the seeds you harvest from those fruits will come true in next year’s garden. So, let’s get right to it!

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Seed Saving Time: Testing Germination Rates

 Testing seed quality and germination rates. showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

Last week, I received my first spring seed catalog.  And while it’s a bit early for me to even think about ordering seed for next year, it is an early reminder to test some of the seed stock I currently have on hand. Checking the quality of the seed you save is just as important as saving it. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than spending hours planting seeds that either germinates slowly, patchy, unevenly, or (gasp) not at all.  So, whether you save your own seed or lean heavily towards “accumulating” seed, you should be testing at least a portion of your stash every winter. Continue reading

Grow Pure Seed with Blossom Bags

IMG_4007by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Seed savers know that the key to obtaining pure seed is by controlling the pollination process.  Each species is made up of many varieties.  If two – or more! – of those varieties get too close to one another during flowering their seeds will not come true.  Of course, not all gardeners have the room to grow multiple varieties spaced far apart.  Sometimes, we just don’t know that we’d like to save a certain variety of seed in early spring and so we don’t pay any attention to the spacing requirements for purity.  If this sounds like you; have no fear!  Blossom bags are here to save the day!

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GMO’s Threaten Seed Savers

Seed really matters!by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a wonderful feeling that comes over me when the garden I have planned and tended and nurtured finally begins to pay off.   Of course, I’m pleased with the success of producing food for my family, and I’m excited about the nutritious fruits and veggies that will grace my table for the entire year to come, but the best feeling of all is knowing what is (and isn’t) in or on the food we eat.  In years past that statement would have been all about chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  But these days, the threat of food crops infected with Genetically Modified Organisms is a major concern.   That’s why learning how to save seed is so crucial for organic gardeners and farmers.

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Seed Saving Time: What’s in a Name?

The heart of every fruit is its seed.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

If you garden, I’ll bet you’ve talked to your plants before.  Don’t worry, I do it, too. It’s perfectly normal. Common even. People talk to all kinds of animate and sometimes inanimate things – they also give them names.  Take trees and fast cars, for example.  It doesn’t matter if anyone knows you talk to your plants or not, we’ll keep that our little secret.  But if you are a gardener trying to save pure seed, you’ll want to take those pet names and give them some botanical teeth!

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Seed Saving Time: Legumes

Snow peas will cross with snow, snap and shell peas.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz 

If you’re planning on saving some of your own seeds this summer, the very best time to start is before a single seed goes in the ground.  In fact, your seed saving efforts should begin with that catalog you’ve been perusing all winter.  In addition to a myriad of valuable information such as germination times, growth characteristics, suggested planting dates and so on, many seed catalogs now list each vegetable’s Latin botanical name, as well.  You know the one I’m talking about…those two  little words written in italics and perched between parenthesis can mean the difference between seed saving success or seed saving failure.

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part Two)

Are you starting seeds indoors? Enjoy Part Two of this in-depth two part series on how to start quality vegetable plants at home from our trusty archives!  Don’t forget to follow the blog for free via email, Facebook, Twitter or Word Press using the multiple options on the sidebar!

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part One)

An oldie, but a goodie from the Show Me Oz archives…

Why Save Seed? Selection & Genetic Diversity

Saving lettuce seed couldn't get any easier. Image copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress.comby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I have been saving seed for almost 20 years.  What started out as a simple way to save a buck, quickly became a passion with very deep roots.  After all these years, it is exciting to see so many people interested in saving their own garden seed.  In fact, saving seed has become quite popular. But there are those who still think it’s just a fad – another hashtag in a world of buzzwords. And perhaps seed saving is just another trend in a long line of trends – like bacon everything, backyard chickens, and kale, but for those of us who have worked towards seed sovereignty and food freedom for years, an American seed saving fetish is just what this country needs!

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Seed Saving Time: Start with Quality Garden Seed

Pepper - Paprika (4)I’m always going on and on about why it is so important to focus our seed saving efforts on making sure that seeds are saved correctly.  Specifically, that seed savers learn to avoid cross-pollination between varieties within the same species.  If done wrong, your seeds won’t come true to type.  In practice, it is a small job that takes little time.  In terms of results, it means the difference between quality seed and failure.  But there are other ways to help ensure that the seeds you save will not only germinate and come true to type, but will thrive and produce abundantly in your garden.

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Pure Momentum Network Interview

Pure Momentum Network Interview

Yesterday’s interview with Pamela Tartar on the Pure Momentum Network .

Click on the image or the link below to listen:

http://puremomentum.net/hosts-2/november/factor-nine-jill-henderson-seed-saving-gmos-seasons-in-nature-herbs-water-and-fracking/

Seed Saving Time: Drying and Storing Your Home Grown Seeds

Paper packets work great for storing most types of seed.by Jill Henderson Show Me Oz

Seeds are living, breathing, life forms capable of remaining dormant for long periods of time, germinating only when environmental conditions are just right for the growth of the plant they will soon become.  But even the best kept seeds don’t last forever.  If you save your own flower, vegetable or herb seeds, you can help increase their lifespan by following just a few simple steps.  In this week’s Show Me Oz, we’ll talk about the right way to dry and store your seeds and how long you can expect them to live.

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Free Seed Saving Class

Seed Saving Class Ava LibraryJill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you always wanted to learn how to save your own garden seed?  Then check out my fun, no-nonsense how-to at the Douglas County Library, Ava, MO, on July 17th and start saving your own garden seeds!  The class is free and open to the public!  See you there!

Saving Seeds: Open Pollinated vs. Hybrid

Share the Seed (12)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Ever wonder what the difference is between open pollinated, hybrid, heirloom, and GMO seeds, and which one is right for you? Well, in today’s post I hope to shed a little light on the situation, but first, you might want to send the kids out of the room for this studious look at how seeds are born and why you should care what happens in your garden when you’re not looking.

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2014 Annual Missouri Organic Association Conference to be Held in Springfield MO

The Missouri Organic Association will be hosting the 2014 Annual Conference from Feb 6-8, 2014 at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield MO. This conference will provide the best education needed to impart successful farming procedures – whether your focus is on grain and row crop production, livestock production, horticultural production of vegetables, fruits & berries; on sustainable production and living techniques, or perhaps looking to add skills in tractor mechanics or Welding 101 to reduce maintenance costs. Maybe you need some tips on successful marketing with training provided by some of the nation’s experts on marketing; or perhaps you are looking for new ideas for adding value to hands-on workshops.

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Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

pumkinssmBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening, but the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday treats, now is the perfect time for saving their seeds.   Extracting and drying seeds from hard-shelled squash and pumpkins is fairly straightforward, however, you must first be sure that the seeds you save now will come true to type next year. Continue reading

The Bell Pepper Sex Scandal

Bell Pepper Sex Hoax imageBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you seen this image floating around the internet claiming that one can determine the sex of a bell pepper by the number of bumps on the bottom?  Whoever posted the original image* claimed that those peppers that had four lobes were “female”, while those with only three lobes were “male”.   They expounded on their theory by explaining that “…female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking.”  Is this true or just a mammoth hoax to burn away your precious time trying to find out?

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Far Out Radio Interview

Thought some of you might be interested in listening to my first nationally syndicated radio interview with Scott Teeters of Far Out Radio. 

It was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it!

Listen to the archived show by clicking on the link or image below.

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Life In The Ozarks with Jill Henderson

Far Out Radio Listen

Broken image links?  Click here:
http://faroutradio.com/1-17-2013-far-out-radio-guest-author-and-artist-jill-henderson/

Saving Seed Begins in Spring!

Cherokee Pony Peas Image copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

If you are one of the millions of gardeners who want to try their hand at saving their own garden seeds this year, spring is the perfect time to begin.  And the best way to have a successful seed harvest is by selecting the right plants, spacing them properly and maintaining control of the pollination process.  For the beginning seed saver this is sometimes a bit confusing, which is why I’ve put together a tidy list of the easiest seeds to save and exactly how to save them in your garden starting right now!

GMO’s: A Modern Disaster

Image Via: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/10/11813/california-gmo-labeling-supporters-confront-41-million-opposition-and-13-point-poBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a lot of talk these days about being prepared for all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.  It is not uncommon to find classes, lectures, videos and books that teach eager “preppers” how to be wholly self-sufficient should our modern-day systems fail.  After all, life without electricity and modern modes of transportation would change everything about the way we live.  But whether or not you believe that some type of large-scale disaster will occur sometime in the future, there is a man-made disaster of epic proportions occurring right now.

Keep It Local: Good Fun for a Great Cause

Farmer's Market - Copyright Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

Whenever you buy locally produced goods and services from businesses and individuals, most of your hard-earned money stays at home where it works to build a stronger, more economically vital and self-sufficient community.  In fact, the most important aspect of a sustainable community starts with local food production. Continue reading

Share the Seed: How a Seed Swap Works

Ozark Pot Luck and Seed SwapBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Swapping seeds is both fun and addictive. I remember the first time I began swapping seeds with other seed-junkies in 1999, using a then obscure method of communication known as the internet.  Back then, most of the people I knew did not have or even know what email was.  Finding a group of people who loved to trade and talk seed was like finding a long-lost friend.  I was instantly hooked, both with seed swapping and the internet!

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Seed Saving Time: Tomatoes

Ripe tomato

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

If you’re like most people in the Midwest, your garden got a slow start this year. With the colder than usual temperatures and excessive moisture this spring, many gardeners were late in getting their seeds in the ground. If you were among those who didn’t give up entirely this year, you’re probably just getting around to processing the bounty of your labor. And while you’ve probably got a ton of things to do, don’t forget to save some seed.

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