Seed saving has begun. So far I’ve saved some:
And cucumber seeds.
This is the “wet method” of seed-saving:
Seed contained in fleshy fruits should be cleaned using the wet method. Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber and roses are prepared this way. Scoop the seed masses out of the fruit or lightly crush fruits. Put the seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a bucket or jar. Let the mix ferment for two to four days. Stir daily. The fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seed from the bad seed and fruit pulp. After two to four days, the good viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float. Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mold. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry. (source)
After re-reading the rest of the article (only a portion is quoted above), I’ve just now realized that the seeds were probably too immature to be viable and you need to wait until the fruits mature (past the point of “eating”). So I will be saving cucumber seeds again!
The yard-long beans are drying out well on the vine. In a few more weeks all I will have to do is just pick the dried seeds from the pods. Saving seeds is one of my favorite parts of having a vegetable garden. I love seed-packet artwork/photos and have always envisioned myself making pretty homemade (maybe even kid-made!) seed packets. Maybe that will actually happen this year! In non-seed saving news…
Our mums are just starting to show some color. I always buy mums when they get marked down really cheap at the grocery store (usually this is sometime around thanksgiving) so I have amassed a nice range of colors over several seasons.
I am really excited to see some little buds forming on the Thai Red Roselle! It requires a long growing season so I wasn’t sure if I had started it early enough.
(Hibiscus sabdariffa) A valuable plant for making cranberry-flavored bright red beverages, jelly, pie and tea. Much grown in Asia and the mid-east as the flavor is wonderful. A tasty sauce can be made by boiling and sweetening the fleshy calyxes; the leaves are also used to make a drink. The entire plant of this Hibiscus is red and very beautiful. Start early, unless you live in the far-south. Citrus-flavored flowers are delicious on frozen deserts. This plant has too many uses to name here. Collected in Thailand. (source)
The leaves taste very sour and cranberry-like. I haven’t really used them in much but they would be great in a variation of this basil jelly!