Seed Saving: My Top 5 Insights

As a gardener saving seeds is a favorite seasonal ritual—Saving seeds helps me deepen my connection with plants, the garden and myself. Saving seeds is one of the most important, meaningful and special human practices.

Saving seeds naturally helps me learn to produce more and consume less, which in turn helps me heal my relationship with the earth and myself. Growing, saving, planting and getting to know seeds offers re-connection in a modern world.

Here are my top 5 insights drawn from saving seeds from plants grown in our homestead gardens:

Genetic Adaptation

Plants grown from our garden’s seeds have a better chance to thrive.

Epigenetics shows that as a plant lives in and interacts with its environment it is encoding new information into its genes. That new information is carried to the plant’s offspring via seeds.

With each generation plant help their offspring adapt to local environmental conditions including soil, moisture, light and climate conditions. Plants even help their offspring adapt to their gardener’s growing style and habits through their seed!

Those benefits compound with each successive generation—The more seasons we save and grow seeds, the more adapted our plants can become.

I’d rather grow seed from my garden than purchasing seed every year, because I know the plants are adapting to my garden and will thrive more and more each year that I save and re-plant seed.

Deepening Relationships

Saving seed helps me deepen my relationship with plants growing in our garden.

I find myself checking in with plants more often, getting to know them better, looking through a new lens. As I learn to save seed from various plants my observational skills develop. I get in closer to flowers and seed heads. I am opening pods, tasting seeds, and asking the plant questions.

All to often I get swept away by the beauty and genius of the plants’ designs.

How lucky I am to witness the result of millions of years of plants’ evolution.

How lucky I am to participate in a human tradition and ritual of living, working and co-evolving with plants that spans back at least tens of thousands of years.

As I connect with plants and seeds, I am connecting with this human tradition that goes way, way back into our ancestry and is embedded in our genetic makeup.

Seed as Food

Seed is an important part of human diets since time immemorial.

Each season I have been slowly introducing more seed from the garden into our kitchen which deepens our relationship to the food we eat.

Two of my personal favorite staple seeds to grow are currently fava beans and flint corn. Eating fava bean chili and cornbread from seeds we grew is so delicious and satisfying on levels that a supermarket (and the supply chain behind it) just can’t compete with.

This year I am growing a small patch of wheat for the first time. I look forward to harvest our own wheat grain. Ann loves baking sourdough and I think it could be satisfying on many levels to grow, mill and cook our own wheat. If that goes well we want to try growing rice and other grains too.

We enjoy many seeds as culinary spices in our kitchen including mustard seed, fennel seed, poppy seed, kale seed, dill seed, coriander and many more. Having abundant amounts of fresh, homegrown seeds filling our spice jars and cupboard feels so much more fun and special than using store bought spices. Not to mention nutritious.

Tangible Abundance

Interacting with seeds is a beautiful way for any gardener to experience abundance.

My favorite natural pattern is abundance. Nature operates with abundance on every level.

When I see that one plant can produce dozens, hundreds, even thousands of seeds I am astonished. Inevitably I think about the potential of each of those seeds to become a plant and producing more seeds. How amazing plants are!

Saving seeds, I inevitably end up with more seeds than I can possibly plant the following season. I enjoy having too many seeds because then I can share with friends and family. Perhaps they end up growing something new or saving a little money on seeds they would have purchased.

With all the various plants producing a plethora of seeds in our garden it opens the possibility of more wild gardening. We encourage many plants to grow semi-feral in our garden by broadcasting seed everywhere. Its so fun to see who wants to grow where in and around our gardens!

Homestead Income

Selling seeds from our garden results in a helpful chunk of income at the end of each season.

As part time seed gardeners we enjoy being paid to explore our passions while offering high quality seed to gardeners.

For us, selling seeds is often a by product of growing the plants we already love to grow. Its a nice way to have more diversity of income and resilience within our family homestead with little-to-no extra investment or overhead.

The best part of selling seeds from our homestead is that the income supports our interests around saving seed for genetic adaptation, deepening relationships with plants, growing seed for food, and experiencing natural abundance.

Thanks for reading along! I hope you are able to take away something inspiring or useful.

Are you already saving seeds in your garden? Reach out in the comments or by email and let us know what seeds you are most excited to save!

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.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from this author