We're trying to come up with some other ways to get seeds to grow this year, and was wondering if it was possible/productive to grow seeds saved from fruits and veggies one might find in a local grocery store, or a local dumpster. I was also wondering about edible dried seeds (such as beans) and if they could be planted to grow healthy, productive plants. I know they're viable since I sprout them to eat all the time. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Whether or not this is a good idea will vary on a case by case basis.
1. Most fruits and veggies found in the grocery store are selected for lbs./acre and ability to harvest under-ripe and transport. These aren't necessarily the traits most important to you in a home garden. You might be more interested in taste, nutrition, and suitability to your climate.
2. If you want specific varieties due to disease resistance, quality, or uniqueness then you probably won't find what you want in the grocery store.
However, for certain things we aren't picky about we will buy seeds directly from the grocery store shelf because it is cheaper than going through a seed company. We do this with coriander/cilantro, dill, wheatberries (for wheatgrass), etc.
Basically, it will probably work (unless you get a batch of veggies with terminator seeds, I'm not sure if that is still legal or not). However, you will probably be able to get better varieties that are more well-suited to your area by going through a seed company or joining the Seed Saver's Exchange. Remember, if you start saving your own seeds you only need to make the investment in purchasing them once.
Principal - Terra Phoenix Design
Location: Middle Georgia
posted 12 years ago
beans do wonderfully we give the kids at school beans bought from the store to grow at home and learn from for science and biology class. I have bought pinto beans from the store and lated a few and grew them. also soybeans.
Somethings do better than others. Some plants may be treated or be hybrids and may not produce true or that good of a plant when planted from seed. But it sure is fun to experiment.
From working at a raw food restaurant I thought about this question a lot too because we were always soaking nuts and seeds, often until they sprouted.
The quinoa is definitely worth experimenting with. Seeds of change lil packets are 2.69 each, whereas bulk quinoa from a store is way cheaper. If they can sprout little tails they can be plants, I say.
Like Dave says, for seed saving it may be worth it to know what variety you're starting out with. BUT personally I err on the side of cheaper until I get myself organized enough to successfully have plenty to eat and more to save.
Right now I've got potatoes, sunchokes, and garlic in the ground that are all from the produce counter. I thought about buying seed potatoes, but the high cost when they're going into a new garden of mine is too much. Especially when the soil might suck for potatoes, etc.
My philosophy: make plenty of mistakes with the stuff at hand. Then, when I know what I'm doing, the investment for fancy varieties will be worth it.