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Harvesting seeds from your groceries

 
R Ranson
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Something I loved to do as a kid was to transform regular food items into plants. I would raid the kitchen, and later the grocery store for yummy things that had seeds in them, or could be grown to produce seed. I still do sometimes, especially when discovering an exceptionally delicious tomato, cucumber or squash. Even better, if I'm seeking a whole whack of genetic diversity for a plant breeding project, collecting seeds of yummy things I ate over the winter saves a pile of money.

Apparently not everyone does this and it got me thinking - why not? It's awesome.

Advantages of raiding the grocery store for seed:
- affordability: one small seed packet costs as much as four squash and gives only a handful of seed.
- Most of the time you are paying for the food already and the seeds are just wasted.
- you know there are tasty genetics in the food crop that you can use to create your own variety.
- Kids love doing this and don't realize that they are doing something educational
- It's exciting. You never know what traits your plants will have.

Disadvantages of raiding the grocery store for seed:
- hybridization: many plants grown now are hybrids and the seeds won't grow to be exactly like the parent plant.
- plant may not grow well in your conditions.
- Plants may not grow at all in your conditions.
- plant may be treated with something to prevent seeds from growing
- may not be strictly legal for pvp varieties in some parts of the world. You would have to decide for yourself if you want to take that chance.

Advantage:
- when growing out hybridized seed (f2 and on), you have a lot of variation. select the best, save seeds, grow seeds next year, select the best... and suddenly you have your own landrace or even cultivar that not only is awesome but performs well in your growing conditions. (Breed Your Own Vegetables by Deppe is an excellent resource for this).

A word about GM food crops: Sadly, I live in part of the world where GMO foods are not labeled. Thankfully there are resources online that can tell us about which crops are grown in what parts of the world. My favourite being GMO Compass. Saving seeds from GMO crops may be just fine. I have no idea. I haven't knowingly tried it yet. My personal views on GMOs lead me to avoid them when I can, but I would love to hear experiences from people who have knowingly grown out seed from GMO crops. Also, I have no idea the legalities of doing this, but I suspect there may be problems in some/most parts of the world.


Tips for choosing the right produce for saving seeds:
- mature produce, even overripe will usually have more developed seeds - what this means is the discount section filled with overripe produce is the best place to start looking.
- Organic produce grows better seed - at least in my experience.
- produce grown locally is better adapted to your growing conditions
- don't disregard produce grown from far off places, I've had some amazing results with squash from Japan.
- When eating a tomato or other yummy thing containing seeds for the first time, only prepare half of it. If it's amazing, save the seeds from the other half.
- Just because the grocery item does not have seed in it or on it, doesn't mean it won't grow seeds for you. Carrots are an excellent example. I cut the top off about an inch or two down from the little leaf growing spot, plant it in sand or soil, then it grows into a big plant and makes thousands of seeds that summer. Now I have thousands of carrot seeds. Many biennials can be treated that way. (see Joseph Lofthouse's post below for a word of warning about male sterility in many crops - that's male flower parts, not sterile male people)
- Garlic, potatoes, and other ground foods can also be used for growing in your garden. I have a rather large patch of permaculture garlic where I plant all those annoying garlic bulbs that started to grow in my cupboard... now I don't buy garlic anymore, I just harvest 9/10ths of the permaculture garlic patch each summer.
- only save from yummy things.
- don't forget the bulk bins for dried beans, grains, popcorn...&c.


Important regarding seed born disease:

If you are using seed from produce that traveled from far off lands, or even local, it is a good idea to treat the seed in a way that destroyed as many pathogens as possible. For tomato, squash, cucumber, this would mean fermenting. For some beans, there is a hot water treatment. Some books that go into more depth on this include Seed to Seed by Ashworth and The Manual of Seed Saving by Heistinger. Perhaps someone else can recommend some good books that cover this as well. Your local library should have these books in stock - if not, well they SHOULD have them in stock so feel free to let them know I said so.


Some plants to get you started and methods for saving seeds from them:
- squash and melons - scoop out the seeds from the RAW squash, wash as much gunk off them as possible, dry them.
- Apples, pears, oranges - pick out the seeds, dry them.
- Tomatoes and cucumbers - scoop out the seeds, put them in a cup with water, allow to ferment for 3 days (or until the first spot of mold) then rinse and dry.
- Potatoes and garlic - plant in garden at appropriate time for your area like you would do for potatoes and garlic.
- Carrots, celeriac, and other biannual root crops - either plant whole, or plant the top two inches of the root (including the leaf growing spot which must be healthy) in the soil when danger of hard frost passes, let go to seed, save seeds.
- avocado - see google
- pineapple - see google

Don't forget that you can do a germination test on your seeds. Got some old dry beans in the back of the cupboard? A bag of quinoa? Run a germination test before you plant it in the ground. If it don't germinate, it's better left in your kitchen for eating.


Anyone else here a grocery store seed raider? Any success or great tragic stories for us? Crow about your masterful way of getting around those big seed conglomerates. Or, perhaps a cautionary narrative for what not to do.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I've grown hundreds of varieties of vegetables that were sourced in grocery stores.

I consider it a miscalculation that the USDA is vigorously harassing people over importing packets of vegetable seed containing a few milligrams of seed, while they are allowing 100 million tons of food per year to be imported with approximately zero inspections or quality control. People are constantly placing grocery store products into their gardens as either propagules or as compost.

In addition to the crops mentioned, many grocery store vegetables will root if set into a bottle of water. Celery is a classic example. Grocery store mushrooms are an inexpensive source of spore prints. Sometimes whole spice seeds will germinate.

Beets, carrots, onions, and brassicas in the store are often hybrids which were created using Cytoplasmic Male Sterility. That means that they will not produce pollen and neither will any of their descendents. That means that they are incapable of producing seed, unless a pollen donor is growing nearby, such as wild Queen Anne's Lace with carrots. Buying organic does not get around this issue. There are both natural and GMO versions of this trait. I cull either version from my garden by inspecting the flowers to make sure that they have normal looking anthers that are producing normal looking pollen. The sterility issue has been my biggest ongoing disappointment with trying to grow seed from grocery store vegetables. No lawyers necessary if terminator technology is used.

Grocery store tomatoes that taste approximately like cardboard will taste approximately the same even when vine-ripened. Grocery store tomatoes that taste good produce good tasting offspring.

Melons, squash, and beans are glorious crops to grow from seeds collected in the grocery store.

I've been known to buy a pound of beans to get one off-type seed that was inadvertently included in the bag. Grocery store 15 bean soup mix is a great way to screen a bunch of varieties and species for usefulness in my garden for less than the price of one small packet of seeds.

 
Patrick Mann
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I saw the phase "grocery store cover crop" somewhere on permies. That's what I do. Flax is my favorite - I buy pounds of it for cover cropping. Also rye. Planning to try some of the lentil varieties this year for leguminous cover.
 
Zach Muller
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Along with everything mentioned I have also had good luck with non seed plants like leeks, green onion, and fennel. All these you can use for a meal and then plant the rest to grow up for another use.

I did this with a celery plant and it ended up in a huge crop of celery seeds.
 
elle sagenev
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You should see all the apples I'm growing that way. I've done a few things from grocery store stuff. I've got a few blog posts on it. It is fun.
 
R Ranson
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Thrilled to find out I'm not the only one.

I didn't know about celery rooting. Can't wait to try it.

Thanks for chiming in Joseph about the male sterility issue. I always forget to mention that.

 
elle sagenev
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Oh I get some throw away veggies for my birds so I'm letting the carrots, which I cut down, go to seed for me. They are doing really, really well! They're organic rainbow mix carrots. mmmmm
 
John Polk
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Not far from the grocery store are the garden shop, and hardware store.
Most of these have cheap bags of various wild bird feed.
These are not processed like 'human food' - they are raw, untreated seeds (except for the hemp).

The blue jay who used to take peanuts out of my hand would then plant them around the yard.
That's how I learned what a peanut plant looked like.

One cheap bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) will keep you supplied with BOSS for a lifetime.
I'm sure that the millet, rye, and other seeds in the mix would grow well also.

 
Roy Hinkley
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Thanks everyone.
I have about 20 apple trees that just sprouted and a few plums but never thought about cover crops. I'll have a different perspective at the store next trip.
 
R Ranson
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Do you guys graft/bud your fruit trees when you grow them from seed, or just let them grow and see what happens? We've always grafted/budded in the past, but I would love to just let some grow.
 
Zach Muller
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I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 apples grown up from seeds. I plan to let them grow up all the way. I have not had an apple tree since I was a kid, and these year old sprouts seemed very winter hardy, sure am interested to see them produce if they make it. Once they are up I will probably graft some as Apple scions become available. I probably planted 35-50 cores, maybe 5 or 7 different types of apples, so it's a complete unknown as to what is growing. Exciting stuff.
 
Rebecca Norman
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We have lots of apricot trees from pits that we spit or threw out into the garden while sitting on the roof. The ones that grow in the middle of the garden get transplanted out or pulled, but the garden is now surrounded by apricot trees that were just enough out of the way to be protected. I'd say that most of them are tasty: maybe one out of ten is nasty, and the rest are good eating and great for jam and juice. Fewer than one in ten are super excellent eating, as good as the ones that are grafted with a special variety.
 
elle sagenev
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R Ranson wrote:Do you guys graft/bud your fruit trees when you grow them from seed, or just let them grow and see what happens? We've always grafted/budded in the past, but I would love to just let some grow.


My plan is to let them grow. If the apples are gross I'll graft them then.
 
William Bronson
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I have been doing this with food from the CAM Asian supermarket, Whole Foods, and Jungle Jim's. I even found sunchokes at Jungle Jim's, but they are crazy unique anyway,'chokes are positively mundane for them.

I have established buckwheat in my yard, and I am gonna grow some sorghum from a bag of bob red mills.

My potatoes have grown so well inside it makes me wonder if one could do indoor potato towers for winter food production.

Last summer an African neighbor asked for my sweet potato leaves but declined my turnip and Collards greens. CAM had the greens for sale so I bought their yams to grow as well.
 
R Ranson
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Some things to consider before committing an apple variety to the grafting list:

Apples that taste terrible for munching on often improve if left on the tree until after the first hard freeze. Or some can be like medlers, and don't taste good unless stored for 6 months in the root cellar.

Most important, many apples that taste horrid, make some of the best hard apple cider (or as we call it in the Great White North - cider). Check your local laws before making your own cider.
 
Jesse D Henderson
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I'm loving these tips. I just got a volunteer potato plant from my compost pile.

A question about avocados: I've heard of germinating them by suspending them by toothpicks in water. I'm running that experiment right now. But what would happen if I just bury the whole thing? Sometimes I forget about an avocado and when I cut into it there are roots starting. Has anyone tried this method? I would think it's closer to what would happen in nature.

Then of course I'll have to figure out if the resulting tree will grow in North Carolina. I've heard there are cold hardy strains but I don't know if those avocados are in grocery stores.
 
elle sagenev
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Jesse D Henderson wrote:I'm loving these tips. I just got a volunteer potato plant from my compost pile.

A question about avocados: I've heard of germinating them by suspending them by toothpicks in water. I'm running that experiment right now. But what would happen if I just bury the whole thing? Sometimes I forget about an avocado and when I cut into it there are roots starting. Has anyone tried this method? I would think it's closer to what would happen in nature.

Then of course I'll have to figure out if the resulting tree will grow in North Carolina. I've heard there are cold hardy strains but I don't know if those avocados are in grocery stores.


I know of a gardener who tried both methods of avocado starting and liked the soil method better because it was less work. Don't bury it all the way and enjoy! They take FOREVER to germinate though.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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I grew ginger from a supermarket piece last year. I think I actually just about came out with more than I planted. It's not a very pretty houseplant though.

I have had success growing on parsley from the "growing herb" pots of seedlings, after harvesting the leaves.

We also grew pumpkins from seed from bought Halloween pumpkins my son had carved and was sorry to see go on the compost heap. The pumpkins were called Ricky and Bob, but we couldn't remember which seed was which, so the seed is now known simply as "Rickybob" and was collected again last year. It doesn't really matter too much what it turns out like!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I planted mustard seeds from the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. I had three bottles of them from different sources. I planted a few hundred seeds from each bottle into their own pot. One of them, containing old seed germinated like crazy. One containing new seed and one containing old seed only germinated a couple of plants. But a couple of plants each is sufficient to grab any genetic diversity that they might have to contribute.

This is part of the project that I call: "What am I currently buying from the grocery store that I could be growing myself?"




 
leila hamaya
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good post , i like =)
i also start a lot of stuff from the store, and even better - the farmers market.

- Apples, pears, oranges - pick out the seeds, dry them.


i have only a small correction to make...if you want to start fruit seeds from fruit, it is best to never let them dry out.
this is especially important with any citrus, the seed must remain moist. others it isnt as important, but i have found the germination rate goes way up if you do it that way and never let it dry out.

it can be...somewhat dry, but much better is to take it right from the fruit and immediately place it in a glass of water to soak. i start so many lemons and oranges i have an almost permanent soaking cup on the counter. once i collect a bunch in a few days time, i plant them out in pots.

another tip for starting citrus, i have found that nicking them helps them. theres sort of a little nub on the "skin" part, on the very end, and i cut that off and sometimes that makes it so a small part of the "skin" covering peels off...
...the covering is not the seed, its more like a little jacket the lemon/orange seed is wearing. it is good to nick them, slice off the end, or in some way open it up, so that water can penetrate the seed covering and swell the seed inside. some people remove the whole covering but i just nick them, and that works for me.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Rights now I have ~25 Apple seedlings. I've motiver that the apples I buy in the supermarket have often been kept in cold storage, so they have already sprouted when I take them out of the core. All winter I have been throwing all my lemon seeds in our rainwater garden in front of my kitchen door - now I have three little lemon seedlings growing there, I'll have to move some of them eventually. I have 4 chesnut trees grown from seed sitting in pots: I'd forgotten the chestnuts in the cabinet and some had molded and some sprouted - I threw away the moldy ones and threw the rest in a can with some sandy soil and forgot about it, suddenly I had three little trees peeping out of the pot, so I've transplanted them to pots (and one to the spot where I had a chesnut die from draught last year). I have a rule: I ginger sprouts in my drawer it is because it wants to live, same with garlic, onion, potato, turmeric etc. - I've also had cabbage set out seed stems in the compost, so now I am trying to replant the roots. When I cut tomatoes I pick up the seeds on the cutting board with paper towel and throw it in the garden - they often sprout, but don't survive if it is a place that doesn't have enough water. Chickpeas, beans (sometimes my green beans spout in the fridge), peas (if the kids leave me any). I buy basil in pots and make sure not to cut it down too far - and plant it everywhere. Chili, peppers, melon, pumpkin. I think actually I could grow most of the sables in my kitchen this way. At least that is my plan.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Oh yes - and we were just down in the nearby village to pick mulberry leaves our silk worms and an old man was kind enough to cut me a branch for planting. I'll start doing that with figs etc. too this fall. Almonds and other nuts I am planning on planting from seed this fall.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Last summer I found an unknown tree seedling growing in one of my beds; it looked kind of like a laurel, which we have at the back, but not quite. Since I didn't want a tree there, I reached down and pulled it out. The whole stem came up, including the seed, and I then realized this tree was growing from an avocado pit. I live in the north of England. Avocado pits, along with the rest of my kitchen scraps, get dumped outside on the beds for the chickens to peck over.

Sadly it died, even though I tried to transplant it into a pot. I think I broke too much of its taproot when I yanked it out. I would have liked to have had the only avocado tree in Yorkshire
 
R Ranson
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i have only a small correction to make...if you want to start fruit seeds from fruit, it is best to never let them dry out.
this is especially important with any citrus, the seed must remain moist. others it isnt as important, but i have found the germination rate goes way up if you do it that way and never let it dry out.


I've never tried this with apples. Usually I just save up the seeds until the fall rains start, then put them in pots in a semi-sheltered place outside where the squirrels can't dig the seeds up. It's usually 1/2 to 1/4 success rate, but greatly improved if the seeds are allowed a bit of a freeze. I'm excited to try fresh seeds and see how this improves the germination rate. Do you stick your seeds in the fridge or something to give them a 'winter' before they grow?

Also interesting about citrus. I haven't tried with citrus as they don't survive our winter, but I would love to have a few house plants that make those tiny oranges. Growing from seed would be a lot more affordable than buying a plant (they start about $30 for plant here). Do oranges grow true, or are they usually grafted/budded?

How about dates? I just had this most fantastic packet of fresh dates, so I saved every stone. Should they be dried or fresh for best germination? Any tips on starting dates?
 
Vera Stewart
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I was inspired by this thread to try growing squash from an organic squash purchased at a store two weeks ago. So far, no signs of life from the seeds, but I'm still hopeful!
 
Willie Shannon
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I did an experiment with some store bought spaghetti squash and spaghetti squash seed bought at the local big box mart. So far my germination is identical with both. I planted roughly 12 seeds of each in their own seedling pot and I have 5 seedlings of each variety sprouting.
 
leila hamaya
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R Ranson wrote:
i have only a small correction to make...if you want to start fruit seeds from fruit, it is best to never let them dry out.
this is especially important with any citrus, the seed must remain moist. others it isnt as important, but i have found the germination rate goes way up if you do it that way and never let it dry out.


I've never tried this with apples. Usually I just save up the seeds until the fall rains start, then put them in pots in a semi-sheltered place outside where the squirrels can't dig the seeds up. It's usually 1/2 to 1/4 success rate, but greatly improved if the seeds are allowed a bit of a freeze. I'm excited to try fresh seeds and see how this improves the germination rate. Do you stick your seeds in the fridge or something to give them a 'winter' before they grow?

Also interesting about citrus. I haven't tried with citrus as they don't survive our winter, but I would love to have a few house plants that make those tiny oranges. Growing from seed would be a lot more affordable than buying a plant (they start about $30 for plant here). Do oranges grow true, or are they usually grafted/budded?

How about dates? I just had this most fantastic packet of fresh dates, so I saved every stone. Should they be dried or fresh for best germination? Any tips on starting dates?


yes the "cold startification" is good with many types of tree seeds, most everything except tropical trees/plants like it. i usually plant a few hundred seeds each fall to over winter outside, but sometimes when i get something that needs cold stratification at the wrong time of year i use the fridge.

in general many citrus types are true to type, or very close to type, BUT this will only work out if the original parent plant was isolated. which of course you cant know what it was grown near, seems most likely people growing citrus would be growing at least a few types of trees near to each other which would give some random crossing of the genetics. theres a few types that wont produce true to type, but for the most part citrus isnt as genetically varaible as apples or whatever else.

but its quite likely they are crossed with whatever that grower was growing near each other. many tangerines, manadarins and the like (which are better bets for colder regions as well and is what i think you mean by "tiny oranges") will only produce seed when a different variety is present....so they are often seedless unless grown by a compatible type that gets hybridized.

citrus do make good houseplants, and can be grown to maturity in larger pots, because they have very shallow roots and dont put down that massive taproot like most other trees do. many commercial varieties are dwarf versions, because of the ease of picking, so theres at least a good chance your random seed might be a dwarfing type, and more suitable to container growing indoors. but its definitely a random thing, this is all very experimental. first seems good to even see if it can start and grow before you think about your potential fruit, and theres a chance of failure, so its not like anything is guaranteed. but it is free and pretty easy to start, if you eat a lot of lemons and oranges anyway you might as well start the seeds, and see what happens.

despite this, most people who grow citrus do get grafted trees, grafted onto flying dragon rootstock, or other poncirus trifoliata varieties....and people seem to have a bias against any trees on own roots. IMO unfairly biased against that, because it has a pretty good chance of producing something nice, if not completely true to type.

i have about 50 or more citrus trees, either just newly sprouted or up to two years old, since i have been starting every citrus seed i get =) sometimes i get some from trades or from friends who have purchased trees grown in isolation, but at least half of them came from the over ripe discount bin at the local grocery store =). we will see how it goes.
my landmate picked up some citrus trees in a 75 % off sale somewhere...so they were extremely cheap and she got 4 =) i have been playing with trying to air layer them, although it seems i might need some more experimenting to figure that out. so far none of my air layerings seemed to have worked =( but i will keep trying to figure out how to get some cuttings/air layers to work out....i am also starting some poncirus trifoliata seeds to grow out as rootstock...so that later i can get some actual named cutlivars to try my hand at grafting.

as for dates, i havent ever tried them..i would think they need warm weather and no cold strat...other than that i am not sure....talk to google, he seems to know everything =)
 
Dawn Hoff
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Er manager to germinate dates using cold stratification two years back. Sadly they all died when we transplanted them. But the date palms around here seem to spread their seeds quite easily (I see neighbors pulling out baby palms in driveways and gardens) - so this winter I will try to plant them directly, without any prior work on my part, hoping the winter cold will stratify them for me.

Like apples, dates don't come out true to type - but I am thinking that if they are "crap"-dates I can still feed them to pigs, ducks, chickens etc.
 
R Ranson
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What about nut trees? What should I look for when buying grocery store nuts that I want to grow? Any time of year better than others? In the shell or out? Any diseases that come from growing nuts from seed?
 
Dawn Hoff
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Almonds can be grown directly from the nuts - but you might end up with bitter-almonds (onto which you can graft a non bitter cultivar). There is a greater chance of germination if you take the shell of first, and cold stratify it in the fridge for 30-90 days.
 
Vera Stewart
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Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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My harvested squash seeds are blossoming - I planted a dozen seeds, and ended up with two plants that survived being transplanted into a vegetable bed. They have both been flowering for the past week or so, and one is already starting to grow a squash.
 
trinda storey
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Location: kent, washington
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how about plum seeds? do they need to be taken out of the shell? i have some heirloom pear seeds from my tree, but i noticed the seeds are not all the same?
 
R Ranson
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trinda storey wrote:how about plum seeds? do they need to be taken out of the shell? i have some heirloom pear seeds from my tree, but i noticed the seeds are not all the same?


I don't take my plum seeds out of the shell, though I suppose one could.

My preference is for nature to do as much work as possible. The stone really benefits from a winter so I burry my stones (the pit from a plum) in the garden in the fall. In the spring, a whole bunch of baby fruit trees.

I do the same for the pears and apples.

Could you tell us how the pear seeds are different? Some are dark and some are white, perhaps?
 
trinda storey
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yes exactly white and black varied sizes as well
 
R Ranson
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trinda storey wrote:yes exactly white and black varied sizes as well


The white ones are immature seeds. The fruit was cut open before the seeds had a chance to fully ripen. Not a bad thing, as in my opinion, that's when the fruit tastes best.

However, the darker seeds should generally be a bit fatter. These seeds are mature and ready for planting.

I've often meant to do an experiment where I separate the immature white seeds from the darker mature seeds - see if any white seeds germinate. I have a sneaking suspicion that they might if they are pale and fat. But I never got around to doing the experiment so I'll just stick to parroting the 'traditional,' modern wisdom that dark seeds grow and pale seeds don't.

Give them some soil and let us know how it turns out.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Some years ago, grocery store beans were a major contributor to the beginnings of my dry bean landrace. I planted various bags of 15 bean soup (different brands had different varieties), and some of what I planted were single variety bags from the store. Some of them died young, and some got killed by fall frosts without producing seed, and some got eaten by diseases or pests, but many survived and produced lots of seeds.

I have just started harvesting this year's crop. Here's what the most recent harvest looked like:



The two yellow bean varieties were sourced from swaps with individuals. The rest of the beans were sourced at the grocery store.
 
Dan Boone
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Nice! With all the different colors and shapes, do you find that they cook up nicely together, or do different ones stay firm while others dissolve into the pot liquor? (I'm not actually neurotic enough to care, but some of the people I might feed beans to perhaps might be.)
 
cd shahan
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Excellent thread R Ranson!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Dan Boone: I eat my beans mostly in soups. Some dissolve quickly into the cooking liquid, and some stay firm even when cooked all day long. I plant about half of my beans landrace style. The landrace contains around 300 varieties this summer. I plant about half of them as individual varieties: Pinto beans, red kidney beans, etc... At the farmer's market some people really love the blends. Some people only eat one specific variety.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I did not see anyone mention coriander, the whole seed is also the seed to plant for cilantro. I bet most everybody already knew that. I buy the bulk coriander because I can get handfuls for less than a seed packet.

If you buy organic, it won't be GMO (in the USA, I don't know about other places on that issue).

Here we have farm stands and you can buy 50 #s of pinto beans for a couple dollars more than 25#. I buy the big bag, and use them where I don't have perennials established yet. I plant them with oats (50 # sack from the feed store. It is small and locally owned and they always know if something is non GMO.) The beans oats and sunflowers (again the feed store) and non GMO popcorn make great goat forage, and bring the soil along.



You can get viable gourd seeds out of the dried gourds. For Nigella (Love in a Mist) buy "black seed" sold as a spice in some specialty stores. Or, Mountain Rose sells "black seed" but check the genus and species. The one you want is Nigella sativa or damascena. it is also sometimes called black cumin, check the genus and species!

I've grown turmeric from live grocery store root.

If you buy bulk "hibiscus flower" often there are seeds in it. It's also called "roselle" and "biesap" and "agua de Jamaica". The seeds germinate readily, but they've never flowered for me. I think they need a longer growing season. And should you be lucky enough to get the plant to flower, it is not the petals you want, but the fleshy sepals that are under the petals. The part that in most plants is green, the thing that is on the outside when the flower is in bud stage.

Plant the seeds from pkgs of dried chiles, or inside the dried chiles if they sell them bulk in the Mexican food part of the grocery store.

Lots of seeds everywhere!

Thanks for the great thread!
 
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