This week’s Grow Aappalachia was on seed saving. Seed Saving is a hobby that is most beneficial to the food in which we intake. it allows is to enjoy our favorite crops and even share the love to others that want a taste of our delicious produce. I’ll tell you some helpful tips that I received from the class.
Before the start of the class, one of the gardeners brought in a weed that is trying to dominate his crop. Would you happen to now what this weed may be?
If you guessed Dopper, then you are correct. Many have not seen this in your garden (you are the lucky ones!) for those of you who have this in your garden, pull it immediately and burn it. Burning this weed seems to be the most effective way of getting rid of it. Do not allow this weed to grow in your garden, for it will spread like wildfire.
On the other hand, I learned a ton of information about seed saving. The ultimate time to savring seeds it to dry them!!! The following are some other helpful tips to aide in your seed saving journey.
Tip #1: Parsley, Beets, and Carrots are biannuals. They will produce seeds in the second year of harvest. If they produce seeds in the first year, this is NOT a good thing. That indicates that the plant was stressed, thus the seeds produced will not be good for saving.
Tip#2: One common drying technique that is utilized involes a paper bag and rubber band. For example, if you have a parsley plant, place it in the bag (with the flower in the bag and part of the stalk out of the bag), tie a rubber band around the exposed stalk and the loose end of the paper bag, and let stand or gently shake. The seeds will be captured in the bottom of the bag.
Tip #3: A way of checking the viability of your seeds involves the use of wet paper towels, a bag, and the seeds of your choice. For example, when checking the viability of tomato seeds, place them on three wet paper towels. Roll the wet paper towels and place them in a bag, but do not fully close the bag. Let the seeds germinate. The final step is to count the number of seeds that did germinate and calculate the percentage of said sample.
Tip #4: Tomato, pepper, beans, and pea seeds are easy to save because these plant are sell pollinating and you do not have to worry about cross pollination.
Tip #5: On the contrary to the previous tip, you will need to worry about same species of plants cross pollinating. For example, Chilli peppers and bell peppers are of the same species, this they will cross pollinate of they are planted in close proximity. To combat this, plant same species plants far away from each other.
Tip #6: To check the dryness of fava beans, make sure that the covering of the bean is brown. Next, bite the bean. (Yes, you did read that correctly.) If the bean is completely dry, there will not be a dent in the bean after you bite it.
Tip#7: In order for the flowers of runner beans to pollinate, they need to be tripped by insects or the wind.
Tip #8: When drying seeds, place them in a mason jar and place them in the freezer for a week. Do not check or open the container for a while week. The freezing process will kill all insect eggs that may be on or in the seeds.
Tip #9: This final drying tip involves the use of an oven mason jar, rice, two rubber bands, and panty hose. Place rice in the mason jar, then place in oven for 45 minutes. In the meantime, cut the leg portion of the panty hose. ( The particular section of the leg is of no importance. You will simply need to have one opening to pour seeds into.) Tie off a end of the panty hose, then pour your sends in. Tie off the other end. After you remove the mason jar from the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature. After it has cooled down, place the panty hose filled with seeds in side of the rice. Leave it in here for two weeks.
I hope that these tips will help you in your seed saving journey.
Sorry there wasn’t one last week, but hopefully this one will make up for it. I found it while perusing some food site that I enjoy getting ideas from. This is easy and doesn’t require much work.
Cherry Tomato Tart
- 1/2 recipe pie crust or use a refrigerated pie crust (not frozen) (one sheet)
- 1/4-1/3 cup goat cheese
- 1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
- handful of basil
- olive oil for brushing
- Heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the pie dough into a large round, 12-14″ wide and about 1/8″ thick.
- Scatter half of the goat cheese over the dough. Add the cherry tomatoes, then the rest of the cheese, leaving a 1-2″ edge of bare dough. If desired, chiffonade half of the basil and sprinkle it atop the tomatoes.
- Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, pleating as needed to maintain a circular shape. No need for it to be perfect; it should look rustic.
- Transfer the parchment paper with the tart on it to a baking sheet. Brush the cream over the pleats of pie dough.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes have softened and begun to wrinkle.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly before scattering it with the rest of the basil and serving.
This is the original recipe, from http://www.dianeabroad.com/2013/08/cherry-tomato-tart/ however to make it my/your own don’t be afraid to add more ingredients. I put a little olive oil on the pie crust before placing the goat cheese. Then placed some more after I place everything else onto the crust. Also, I didn’t follow the measurements exactly/used more cheese because who doesn’t like a little more cheese? Seriously? . I also, sliced the tomatoes and coated them with olive oil and herbs fresh from my garden. I used thyme, parsley, and oregano, before placing them on the pie crust.
I hope you enjoy. I know I did.