• Hedonistic Seed Saving

    by  • October 11, 2010 • Miscellaneous

    I could go on about all of the reasons we should save seeds from our gardens: helping to develop strains of plants that are more suited to our climate, keeping access to beloved old heirlooms available, and keeping money out of the hands of gigantic seed conglomerates are among the top reasons I’d give anyone who asks why I save seeds from my garden.

    But there’s a less lofty reason I save seeds. The truth is, I find seeds almost ridiculously beautiful. Consider heirloom beans:

    I almost want to make some type of bean collage art and frame it, rather than planting these next year. From left to right, ‘Emerite’ filet beans, ‘Good Mother Stallard,’ ‘Ireland Creek Annie,’ and ‘Hidatsa Shield Figure.’ I felt like a kid after I finished shelling these beans, running my fingers through them, dropping the beans from one hand into another. There was certainly nothing practical about it — just the pure pleasure of enjoying the colors, the smooth coolness of the beans in my hands.

    Or, if that doesn’t do it for you, what about glossy black columbine seeds, like hundreds of tiny ebony beads:

    Or what about all of that silky soft fluff you need to sort through when saving milkweed seeds:

    Milkweed photo by Muffet, Flickr Creative Commons]

    Or the sense of satisfaction that comes from harvesting spiky coneflower seeds:

    There are plenty more I can think of: matte black morning glory seeds, like tiny pebbles; or the bumpy, curly calendula seeds that look more like worms than seeds; or the soothing, papery feel of tomato seeds. You get the point. I think this is maybe one of the best things about being a gardener — we’re surrounded by beauty, from the juiciness of the biggest, reddest ripe tomato or the beauty of a lily in bloom, right down to the earthy richness of compost and the literal and symbolic beauty of seeds. No wonder we become completely and totally obsessed. We are nothing but a bunch of hedonists, wrapping pleasure in the guise of hard work.

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