Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the frugal garden

I've been busy working on a guest post for a friend, and have been neglecting this space here.  I'm talking about living frugally while living naturally over there (not posted yet), so frugal living has really been on my mind.  It's one of those things that is just so tied into our everyday living that it was hard for me to put words to it.  Does that ever happen to you?  But I must say, it is always a welcome gift to actually think through the why I do what I do.  I started looking through all of the areas of our day to day living, looking for glimpses of frugal living.

In the flurry of harvesting and putting up produce this time of year, sometimes it is easy to overlook one of the most frugal uses of our garden bounty.  Saving the seeds.  I was thinking about this yesterday when I was cutting up some cantaloupes a friend brought over from his garden.  The peel was to go to the chickens, the fruit was to go in our bellies, and the seeds were to be saved for next year's garden.  Not one part of this fruit was going unused!

I do this with most of the veggies and fruit that I get locally (whether through my own garden or the gardens of friends).  Store bought fruits and veggies are often hybrid, so their seeds are not viable options for saving.

To save the seeds, I simply remove all of the fruit or vegetable matter (sometimes this calls for a thorough rinsing) and lay out on a paper towel to dry.  Once the seeds are completely dry I move them to seed saving tubes, or envelopes.  I clearly label each little package with the name, the date, and where the seed came from.  I'm sentimental that way.  I like to be able to say, "those are my daddy's tomatoes".

It is wonderful to be able to plant an entirely free garden patch.  Or, it is a good way to free up some money to buy some wonderfully different variety of vegetable from the seed catalog.  Those are nearly impossible to resist!

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