Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Seed Saving

Thanks for all the interest you have shown in my Free Food post. It is great to hear that some of you have 'inherited' seeds from parents and grandparent.

Not me alas - didn't have any.It is sad that growing your own food gradually 'died' out when families began to prosper. Of course I am pleased that times did improve but it did mean that so plant life was lost.

As F1 hybrids have been developed over the years, the older varieties of vegetables in particular have been lost. That is why, when I do buy seed, that I haven't or couldn't save. I like to try and get the hertitage varieties. I can't obviously have all heritage, but even if I grow some of them, it makes me feel good.

For a few years now I have been saving Cherokee Trail of Tears climbing beans, and have given them away to dozens of people and put them in any seed swap 'chains' that I have joined. So many people had never heard of them, yet when they grew them they were amazed at the taste, colours, and sheer adaptability of the little climbing beans, in all weather and soil conditions. When I give them as presents I always include the story of how they came to be, and a link to a site with more information on the trail of tears in general.

I know some of you will think me soppy and sentimental - and the regulars readers will know that I am - but each time I hold one of those speckledy seeds in my hand, I hand help but remember how it came to be there, ready for me to plant - a living reminder of all those people all those years ago.

If we can get hold of even one heritage seed, and keep the 'life line' growing each year, we are continuing part of history. Who knows, some day we might be very very grateful indeed for doing so, if the 'man made' hybrids fail due to desease.

Our 'old' heritage seeds should be so strong and desease resistant they should stand the test of time.

Busy day today - so best get going.


  1. Can I show my ignorance and ask what F1 means AL?
    I have noticed these letters on some of the seeds I was given.


  2. my horn bean seed is small and speckly thought for a minute might be the same bean but i am going to our blooms are not red. i will take a look on mrs. siples page and make sure that the one you have are red blooms. i thought that i had seen the vines with pretty red flowers.

  3. I have 'trail of tears' that I saved last year from two plants given to me. it is a really nice sweet bean.

  4. I have climbing beans with very pretty red flowers Patsy, the variety is called Enorma. I also have pretty white ones, with a slight tinge of pink and they are called White Lady, and the Cherokee ones have little lavender coloured flowers - rather insignificant, but the beans are plentiful, multicoloured and tasty.

    Hope you find what you are looking for.

    The red and white flowers are almost as big as sweet pea flowers and would not look out of place in a garden flower border - and you get food too!


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