Monday, September 26, 2011

Simple Seed Saving

Yesterday you read about my carrot seed saving experiment. It was two years in the making. Here's a more simple seed saving experience.

If you've been following my blog, you know my garden space is limited to four raised beds on a cedar log float and containers on the deck of our cabin. Even with that small configuration, it provides Wayne and I will quite a variety (if not quantity) of fruits and vegetables.

One of my more successful plants grown in a pot is green beans. I've chosen Scarlet Runner Beans for several reasons: 1) they climb tall, 2) the beans can be eaten or canned fresh, 3) the large seeds are good in soups and chili, 4) the seeds can be dried for storage, and 4) the lovely red flowers are attractive to humans and hummingbirds.

Wayne doesn't cook many vegetables when he's alone at the cabin. So, when I returned, there were lots of beans dry on the stalks. The hard pods crack open easily to release the large seeds inside. To make sure they are completely dry before storage, I leave them out for a week or so on shelf in the warm cabin. Then some will go into paper envelopes and labeled for planting next spring. The rest will be used (after soaking) for hearty winter meals.

Do you save seeds? What are some good ones you collect and keep? -- Margy


  1. As a kid we grew TONS of scarlet runner and fava beans so I lost my taste for them...but it's probably time to give them another try. We have very limited garden space too so they'd be a good fit. The corn field the maze is in is silage corn so the entire plant is cut and shredded when the season is over. -Eli

  2. Runner beans are my absolute favourite beans. I leave it to my dad to save the beans for next year and I think the original beans probably came from my gandfather x

  3. Wow. I am SO impressed. Truly. I suspect it's too late for me to become a real gardener. :o)

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. I like Scarlet Runners too, we generally pick them young, slice the pods into inch long sections to cook and eat. I haven't grown any for a couple of years but I used to save the older pods for the seeds. Funny I never thought of eating the beans without their pods. They are a very attractive looking bean.

    Do you have Sloe berries (Blackthorn shrubs) in your area? I went for a walk with my camera yesterday along one of the roads out of our village and found most of the hedge on one side was Blackthorn covered with berries, so today I'm going to pick some to make Sloe Gin for Christmas.

  5. Eli - Sometimes tried and true is best. Give them a try again. They are so easy. Thanks for the answer about the corn maze in Lynden.

    Fran - That makes them truly heritage. I wonder if my bean saving will have a similar results. Since I don't have any kids, probably not.

    Kay - It's never too late to try. I didn't really start gardening until we got our cabin. Try some beans in a pot or along a fence. They are pretty and easy to take care of, even if you are off traveling the world.

    Jackie - I've heard of Sloe Gin. In fact I had one big headache in college from it. I never knew there were berries that were used in its making. We have lots of blackberries, but no Sloe berries that I know of.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy