First time poster here, 21 yrs old. Fairly new to the permaculture community. "Based" in the south of France near Aix-en-provence. Mediterranean climate zone 9. Though probably more like zone 7-8 in the winter as we are 350 meters (.. aprox. 1000ft) in altitude, we get frosts a lot and it can dip down in to the -10C.
Besides building a 45ft long 5ft tall hugelkultur bed (the first of three, pics to be posted when I get motivated), I've recently started saving my fruit/veggie seeds to sow in the spring. This is from organic produce so I'm assuming the seeds will grow from these?. My question is what will happen, and can I, germinate and start to grow them indoors during these winter months and then trans-plant them outside during the spring? I have some annuals - pepper seeds, squash; and some perennials - olive 'pits', apple seeds, caroub... I might be forgetting some. I'm also curious about doing this with tomatoes.
What about chick peas, alfalfa seeds, lentils etc... ?
I did try and do some research but either I'm confused about what I read or I can't find the exact answer to my question(s).
Germinating indoors has been a challenge for me in some cases. Usually I start tomato and peppers 6 weeks before they can go outside. If i start too early they end up getting stunted and root-bound or really leggy if the sun isn't cooperative. Squash goes out about 2 weeks after starting inside. They grow fast. Though, honestly I would just wait until you can direct seed the squash. they do better in my opinion if directly sown.
As for the seeds: I find that produce from a store/market is usually picked before the seeds are really ready. You may find low germination rates so plant a lot of seeds. Also, if the seeds came from hybrid varieties, you'll not likely get the same fruit that you got from the store. Usually you'll end up with a sterile plant or a variation of one of the original parent plants from the hybrid you ate.You may be pleased with some fruit and horrified by others.
That being said, Last year I bought a few pounds of dry beans, some popcorn, sunflowers seeds and other seeds from the grocery store. I threw them all around an area that I had cleared for a new garden area hoping to have some results. Most of the seeds sprouted and we had tons of that stuff to eat through the year. It cost only a few dollars and worked very well to cover that area with food. I did this as well as growing a whole separate area of seeds and plants that I bought from a seed catalog in the spring. Call it an insurance policy I guess.
Needless to say I had more than I could want to eat and so did my chickens. The best part was how well that worked for transforming that area's soil from compacted clay to something I can work with now.