It struck me this year, when I gave even more thought to food, growing and seed gathering, just how many plants have seeds. It sounds stupid to some people, of course they have seeds. But I mean seeds you can plant and grow a whole new plant from. Hundreds in some cases, thousands in others. Yet we casually discard them, or wantonly breed them out. I thought seedless grapes were great at first, then it dawned on me. If you can’t get the seeds from the plant, you have to buy them from somewhere. So it is in the interest of the food controllers to get rid of seeds. But you can’t just do that, so as far as I know, they came up with a cunning way to bypass that little detail. They tinkered with the genes and edited them, to be sterile. This is how I believe Indian farming has been tainted and ultimately controlled. Same with lots of African countries. They get offered ‘help’ with agriculture and farming practices, and get hooked into an ever more expensive buying cycle. It’s the opposite of self-sustainability under the guise of it.
But there are still really seeds and food all around us, growing back each year and finding it’s own way. Despite our uses of chemicals in pesticides, fertiliser and all the industrial waste we dump, nature finds its way. The birds lend a helping hand too, dropping all sorts of seeds as they go about their day. I have had at 6 cherry trees and 2 plum trees start in the garden from flyovers. And elderberry which has sprung up. Other things have found their way on the wind I suspect. This year though, I’ve been trying to be more proactive on saving seeds, to see what you can get from just your average garden and shopping. I’ll list them –
Raspberries, lemon, orange, tangerine, melon, peppers, tomatoes, carrot, sheep sorrel, wheat, rosemary / Calendula, pansy, nigella, poppies, sweetpea, snake’s head fritillary, erysium, yellow clover.
Getting started with growing things is so easy, and ends up creating a great routine which includes understanding nature and usually a bit of exercise and outdoor time. Being involved in the life of a plant is nice, and it’s a responsibility if you are it’s sole care-giver. Meaning, if you put it in a pot, make sure you look after it or you won’t get the best out of it. The same can be said of people I guess, but that will be another article, available here – Plants and people. But it is rewarding, in energy and with food, which is also energy, so it’s a swap. you look after the plants and they will look after you…
There are a lot of plants you can propagate by taking cuttings, too. Rosemary, many herbs, roses, and fruit trees can all be grown from cuttings. It takes less time, and you basically get the exact plant .. I suppose it’s cloning!