Gardening

How to create your own organic seed bank

One of the important things that we can do is create a particular ecological seed bank.

We can start it by saving the seeds of the organic products that we eat (if you still do not eat, click here to find organic producers or find consumer groups to join).

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Why a seed bank? For multiple reasons. The main:

(1) because food biodiversity is decreasing; According to the United Nations, during the 20th century, 90% of agricultural varieties are no longer being used, in addition 75% of the world’s food is in the hands of 4 companies, which in numerical terms means that 3 out of 4 seeds They belong to Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and Groupe Limagrain. In addition, most, if not all, of the seeds they sell are genetically modified, since that is their business, in patenting genetically modified nature, since if it is not MGO it cannot be patented and there is not much business. In addition to the business, there is also the control of the population through the control of food. If we have seeds again, we once again have control and sovereignty over a basic need, food.

(2) given the interest in reducing the world population because for the elite, there are too many of us on a planet with limited resources, the economic crisis we are in can lead to a food crisis. Therefore, having seeds in the near future can be like having gold, both to exchange and to be able to grow our own food. It should be added that the elite have intelligently taken care of depriving us of all knowledge related to agriculture, to the rhythms of nature, to how to grow a tomato, a lettuce or a potato. In this way, we are totally dependent on the system. If food is not brought near supers or restaurants, we do not eat.

(3) and thirdly, because of the importance of knowing nature again. Come into contact with the seeds, the earth, the natural and growth cycles, with insects and animals. This urban and technocratic society has disconnected us from Nature, it seems as if it is out there, when we are and are part of it. It is a way of disconnecting from our inner source and potential.

Creating your own seed bank

When considering creating your own seed bank, several aspects must be taken into account:

Kind of food

The type of food from which we extract the seeds ( preferably organic and local food ).

Selection criteria

We can follow several criteria to select which vegetables and fruits we choose, apart from the ecological criteria. Those that taste and smell good, those that look good (not deformed), those that are larger (have the highest number of nutrients), among others. The concept is to save the best seeds, the best fruits. In this way, we ensure that when we plant and germinate, we will also have a better chance of having the best fruits.

Anyway, as in general we cannot know how it has grown, if it has grown fast, strong, if it has resisted pests, etc., we cannot use these criteria. But we could also include: resistance to weather elements, parasites, the growth cycle and speed, etc. In the case of having access to the flowers of certain vegetables such as onions, lettuces, etc., take the seeds of the flowers that bloom later.

It is also important to have as much variety as possible, covering both vegetables and fruits. Another option we have is to buy seeds of food that we do not find in our area or exchange the seeds we have for others.

Procedure to follow

One way to extract the seeds is by opening the fruit and extracting it manually or with a cutlery, then washing those seeds and letting them dry on kitchen paper, for example, since it absorbs all the moisture that the seeds may have.

 It is very important that the seeds are not wet, otherwise they could rot or even germinate. If possible, leave the seeds on paper, in a place where the air flows and that does not give them the sun. To know if the seeds are dry, to proceed to save them, we can take one and try to break it by folding it . If it breaks, it is ready to be put away. Also, if they bite, “petan”, a sign that they are dry.

How to save them

Once we have the dry seeds, they must be stored in a dry, cool or cold place, and without sunlight.

By virtue of being, in a place at a stable temperature. So we have different options depending on the possibilities of space and the place where we are going to store them. For example, in paper bags or sealed envelopes, also in fabric. Paper and fabric are porous and do not retain moisture. One option is to keep the sealed envelope inside a plastic bag closed only by a staple, so the air goes in and out, and I make sure no seed is lost if it comes out of the envelope. Another option is in vacuum glass jars (airtight), but for that you have to have more space to store them and use a safe method so that they close well.

Slate chalk and ashes can be used to keep the seeds dry.

Labeling and references

To each jar or paper bag it is important to write down the references , personally I put the following as an example:

  • (1) Food: Watermelon;
  • (2) Class: ecological or not;
  • (3) Date of packaging;
  • (4) Amount of seeds approx;
  • (5) Observations: we can write down what we want, for example, if the fruit was good, very good, its origin, etc.

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Average duration of normal germination capacity of seeds stored in good conditions:

When we want to use the seed after a long period of conservation we can do a germination test to ensure its viability. It is about putting some seeds in several layers of damp paper, at a temperature of 20-25º (inside the house) and observing the germination after one or two weeks. The viability of the seed is the ability to germinate and give rise to a new plant. Seeds can remain viable for a highly variable number of years, from one to 10 or more years. A batch of seeds does not suddenly lose its viability. The proportion of seeds capable of germinating progressively decreases over the years. This decrease in viability is highly dependent on storage conditions and, therefore, it is difficult to say how many years the seed of a given species can be preserved. Despite this, in the following table we give an orientation of the average conservation time of different species:

  • 1 Year: Onion
  • 2 years: Corn
  • 3 years: Pea, Lettuce, Bean, Pepper, Carrot, Tomato, Endive
  • 4 years: Chard, Cabbages, Spinach, Broad Bean, Turnip, Radish, Broccoli, Brussels Sprout, Cauliflower, Beet, Navo, Abas
  • 5 years: Celery, Aubergine, Pumpkin, Melon, Cucumber, Thistle, Zucchini, Watermelon

For more detailed information, be sure to see the document: ” The seeds, instruction manual ” or this other complete manual on ” How to obtain your own seeds

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