Friday, June 26, 2009

Johnny Appleseed Bugs Out

Hi everyone! Dean in Arizona here! Now is a great time for fresh fruit and veggies, whether home grown or store bought. Cheap and plentiful, hopefully, at least for this season. Any excess can be canned, frozen or dehydrated (I bet you knew I'd slip that in!)

So what about the leftovers, such as the peels and skins? Easy, use them for compost! Just remember not to compost the seeds or you'll have them growing wild all over, which isn't a bad thing if you can identify them as they sprout.

Now if you keep the seeds out, what to do with them? Save them! Set them in the sun to dry out, then into a jar or plastic container in the freezer. Seeds like tomatoes and peppers need to freeze to crack the tough outer shell on them before they will sprout.

If your garden did well, your handful of seeds turned into a few dozen cantaloupes, bushels of tomatoes, and so on, so you'll have tons of seeds. Probably more than you'll need for the next year, easily.

What to do with them all...Well, if you’re lucky enough you have some junk land where you can plant them. Don't be too picky about making it into a farm, just plant them randomly here and there, let nature take over. If weeds or grass grow there, chances are anything will. Sure, conditions may not let them fruit too much, but at least you'll have something waiting for you later.

If you don't have junk land, find some! I've found a spot way in the middle of a national forest, way away from anything where we go target shooting. Every time I get up there, I scatter some seeds around the area as we hike into the area. Hopefully, when the time to bug out come', I'll have a garden started and waiting for me. Even if the critters decide they like them, they'll be waiting too!

On my next trip up there, I'll have a bunch of bell pepper, squash, cantaloupe and even a bunch of peach pits to try out and check on last year's plants and see if they made it.

You don't even need to buy the heirloom seeds, as most of my garden is from grocery store food. Remember that fuzzy thing you found in the drawer of the fridge? Plant it!

Hope this gives you all some ideas! Thanks again RW!

Dean in Arizona

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

tomatoes and peppers do not need to freeze before they germinate.

SciFiChick said...

whatever anon! Thanks for the post Dean! Have you checked out that dehydrated soup yet? I did 6 lbs of taters in the dehydrator today!!

Stephanie in AR said...

Some fruit peels can be dried for flavoring teas. They can also be simmered in water to make jelly or nectar. Then put them into the compost pile.

riverwalker said...

If they are properly dried (DO NOT freeze wet seeds) and stored cold, tomato seed will maintain a high viability of germination for about 10 years. Freeze them down below zero and you can stretch that out to about 20 years. You will need to include a desiccant when you freeze seeds to keep the moisture content as low as possible.

When stored cold in a refrigerator they will keep for several years. Stored at room temperature they will maintain their viability to germinate for a several years but may not completely germinate.

Freezing is one of the best methods for incresing the long term storage life of tomato seeds.

RW

Anonymous said...

Anon 9;48
Several site's I've seen say to gently sand the seed's on an emery board or fine sandpaper to break the shell,or freeze.Your luck may vary.
Sci fi
I got a great deal on some flounder a few day's ago,tried it out...don't! Too greasy to dehydrate.The dog's loved it tho!
Stephanie
Great tip's! Thank's!
RW
I knew it helped to freeze them,but not that much!You alway's do your research,no wonder your my favorite site!
Dean in Az

riverwalker said...

To: Dean in AZ

The moisture content needs to be kept really low (something like 8 to 10 %) to keep from damaging the seed embryos.

RW

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