How Our Hearts Fell Into Working with Seeds

Its fall season and our family has been collecting seeds this season for several months now. We have worked with seeds for enough seasons now that it has become easy and natural to fall into the rhythmic nature of seed harvesting.

When we were just getting started homesteading, Ann and I spent some dreamy time brainstorming various ways we may want to produce income as homesteaders.

Selling seeds stood out to both of us as something we were excited to try. We already seriously loved gardening and we had enjoyed learning more about saving seeds through our various farm and homestead apprenticeships.

Then we attended a weekend long intensive seed stewardship workshop. We came out of the workshop excited and empowered to work with seeds at a deeper, more intimate level at our homestead garden scale.

Following our hearts and our guts we gave ourselves fully to seeds. We began harvesting the seeds of plants we were most excited to co-create with. We were also dabbling with other income producing crafts at the time, but it turns out working with seeds was one of the income streams that has stuck with us to this day over six years later.

Now it feels as if having some income is merely an excuse to spend more time dedicated to working with seeds. Through our time spent with seeds we have discovered more beauty in the garden and love in our hearts.

Ann and I both love working with seeds. There I said it! And how would we have known that before giving it a try?

It turns out the ritual of working with seeds satisfies something deep in my heart, in my hands, in my eyes and… well, all my senses to be fair…

The crinkly sound of leaves and seed stalks in the summer breeze, tasting seeds out of curiosity, biting them to see how dry or filled out they are, dreamily watching the chaff blow off in the wind, satisfyingly sinking my hands into a pile of cleaned seed, enjoying the brilliant colors, shapes and textures… I could go on. My heart smiles every time I experience these natural, sensory delights.

But something else is going on at an even deeper level… An ancestral connection that I cannot explain. It occurred to me that, before at least a few generations ago, most of my ancestors had deep relationships with seeds because, well going back far enough, all of our ancestors relied on seeds as a major source of sustenance.

And beyond food, seeds transform into all manner of plants that our ancestors relied on for shelter, tools, clothing, fire and clean water.

That’s about as intellectual as I get with the subject because my mind can relax just knowing that working with seeds is something I am innately ready to do, if not meant to do, at least on some genetically evolved or predisposed level.

So my mind is satisfied with some kind of “knowing” and my heart can go on enjoying experiencing connection that feels right without having to define it. It just feels good on a level that I can’t fully explain.

After some seasons going through the motions of harvesting, processing, selling and replanting seeds, certain activities start becoming more second nature.

This summer, as the first seed crops started ripening I found myself less in my head about trying to figure out the best way to harvest and more in my heart, sensing and feeling the joy of the return to this place in the cycle of the year.

I found myself missing collecting seed from last year. And yet I was so satisfied from completing the harvest last year—the satisfaction carried me through to this season. The missing, or nostalgia, conveniently came at the moment it was time to start over again.

Living through the rituals around working with seed gives our family so much joy that we continue to practice seed saving and seed sowing every year. We continue to sell seeds as a part time income stream for our family homestead.

It seems we are lucky that this way of gardening and being fell into our laps. But the more I sit with the feeling, I am becoming convinced that the seeds called us to come closer from where they sat in the garden.

I’m glad we gave seeds a chance!

Are you feeling a call to work more deeply with seeds?

Want to learn how to process bulk seed at a homestead garden scale? Create more resilience and become empowered to clean the seeds that you grow to stock your pantry, share with your community, or sell to other gardeners.

See our course Seed Processing for Abundance for details!

Recommended Reading

Living Abundantly With Seeds — 27 ways seeds offer connection, empowerment and resilience for your family. A free, inspirational guide.

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