I have wanted to save my own garden seeds for several years now. for some reason, though, I would look at those flowering plants and couldn’t figure out how to go about the business. Seed saving tips never helped me either. How could something so simple as a plant producing seeds be turned into the event of the season? What did I have to do with selective pollination and different colored ties?

Ah, but every planting season rolls around and I gaze with longing at the organic seeds. I wonder why I didn’t save my seeds from the year before and then remind myself of the difficulty. Well, last year, I grew my own snapdragons from saved seed. After that small miracle, I convinced myself that I could do it! This year, I have saved lettuce, calendula, fennel, coriander, snapdragon, broccoli, marigold, forget-me-nots and the list goes on. When next fall rolls around, I will be more than ready with my small arsenal of organic goodness–and for a price that can’t be beat!

How did I accomplish this feat? Actually, it was really pretty simple. I pulled up whole flowering stalks of broccoli and put it in a bucket to dry completely. Only last week, I “shelled” the seed pods (just like you would beans) and out popped little broccoli seeds! I used a mortar and pestle to remove most of the chaff. What I couldn’t remove, I didn’t worry about. It will just work as organic matter in the soil. Some things like coriander and fennel are so easy to gather that they will plant themselves. You have to be quick to gather the coriander or it will happily reseed itself for you. Come to think of it, same thing goes for tomatoes.

So, if you’ve never before saved your own seeds for planting or giving away, get started today. Carefully removed dried seed pods from the plant, make sure the seeds are completely dry before storing them away (mildewed seeds don’t sprout well) and put them where birds and mice can’t reach. Happy planting!