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Mahatma Gandhi & Saving Seeds

mahatma gandhi and seed saving shidonna raven garden and cook

If you know even a little bit about Gandhi, then one can easily understand what Gandhi means to seed saving or what seed saving would have meant to Gandhi. Gandhi was very much a promoter of the freedom of man and his country man. Like King he saw freedom in both simple and profound ways. A seed in itself is simple. Yet seed saving is a revolutionary concept even today. Where there is industry and money to be made, there is always controversy. More specifically where the industry is not truly needed is where the controversy seems to begin. Gandhi believed that people should have the right, yes right to grow their own food rather than being subject to purchasing food at prevailing prices. To this day there are many industries that surround the growth of food. Even farmers struggle against this industrial corporate complexes.

So in the midst of a pandemic when many people have begun to start their own gardens, seed saving is more important than ever. Understanding the profound yet simple practice of seed saving is important. Knowing and being able to save seeds gives one freedom to contentiously produce their own food sources. One might say, I buy food out of convenience and to save time. During a time when money is short for many but time is long, one might say, like many have, I will grow my own food. Exercising the right to grow ones own food has become important to many in the midst of COVID 19. Jim Ulager “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” helps one to understand the background of seed saving as well as the application of seed saving.

We have saved several seeds of our own such as pumpkin, green beans, lentil beans, pinto beans, cantaloupe and more. A few of these seeds are in our garden and did sprout. Pumpkin is our largest saved seed. How has COVID 19 impacted you and yours? How could you and yours benefit from saving your own seeds? How has this article helped you? How could this article help your friends and family especially during these times? “Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener” can be found below or by clicking the link. Share your experience with seed saving with the community by posting your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Birds & the Bees

Like the saying goes, “let me tell you about the birds and the bees”. Well, the birds and the bees have a lot to do with plant pollination. There are a few ways plants are pollinated. Let’s look at those ways:

  • Birds
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Wind
  • Perfect Plants (self pollinating plants)
  • Man

If you are saving seeds or you are growing your own plants, it is important to note the different ways that plants pollinate. When you know how plants pollinate you can help to facilitate this natural process. At the very least you do not want to hinder it but rather encourage it. It also helps to know how and where your seeds will come from so you know how to locate and save them. If you decide to pollinate the plants yourself, then you will want to learn more about the reproductive parts of the plants. The stamen is the male part of the plant and the stigma is the female part of the plant. This is where Jim Ulager book came in very handy. I picked up “Beginning seed saving for the home gardener” by Jim Ulager at my local library. It was a topic I was curious about, so I decided to check out the book. The book is highly informative and very well written. Pick up this book for more details about pollination and propagation.

We found this book extremely helpful in identifying which insects and animals are helpful to our garden and which ones are not. We also learned a lot about seed saving in addition to plant pollination and propagation. Propagation requires more man intervention rather than allowing nature to simply take its course. Propagation is often used to reproduce the same plant rather than getting a variety of a plant. Seeds from a Roma Tomato plant will still be Roma but they will be the children of the original Roma plant and thus not the original plant. This can produce a different tasting fruit than the parent. To avoid this and to get the exact same plant, people propagate. What are the forms of propagation? Let’s look at them:

  • layering
    • layering the branch
    • air layering
    • trench layering
    • tip layering
    • mound layering
  • stem or root cuttings
  • soft and hardwood cuttings
  • budding
  • grafting
  • micropropagation (mass-produce or clones)

There is a lot to discuss when talking about pollination and propagation. What questions do you have? Almost everyone knows the story about how insects and birds carry pollen to pollinate plants. What did you learn that you do not already know? What can you share with all of us about what you know about plant pollination? As always you are the best part of what we do. We look forward to hearing more about what you know about the birds and bees and the other topics we discuss. Or suggest your own topic. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Mahatma Gandhi

mahatma gandhi and seed saving shidonna raven garden and cook

Have you ever been asked, if you could meet anyone past or present who would it be? If we were asked that question, one of them would surely be Gandhi. He is by far one of the most interesting man of the post colonial age. Among many of his inspiring beliefs was the belief in Seed Freedom. Ask any gardener and they will immediately connect with this issue. In my research about gardening at the local library I came upon a book that caught my interest right away. Eliot Coleman talks a lot about sustainability and the industrial complexes that surround and hinder the natural and Organic approach to gardening and farming. Not to mention how the industrial complex surrounding farming works against sustainability. Eliot also talks a lot about paradigm shifts in the approach of gardening and the quality of the food we consume. I believe him and Gandhi would have gotten along very well. So, what does that have to do with seeds. Everything, really. When I read Beginning Seed Saving by Jim Ulager, I was very inspired and relieved.

Ulager discussed how the economics of seed producers discouraged seed saving and also encouraged myths about seeds. All three man highlight a very important issue in gardening and food growing. Gandhi might have said in freedom itself. A people able to gather what God has freely provided are able to feed themselves if willing to cultivate their own foods. Gandhi might say freedom. While Coleman might say sustainability. While Ulager might say save. Many things have been used to oppress people in the long history of the world. Food is one of them. When you begin your own garden you will rediscover a quite peace in growing your own food.

Who knew seeds were so controversial? Seeds are often the beginning for many gardeners as from it all things grow even the livestock and wild game we may eat. I encourage you to read Ulager’s book Beginning Seed Saving. It is a very informative and liberating book. We know some basics of seed saving but Ulager gives us an in depth look at just how to do it. It is also worth noting that some of the foods we consume we can not collect seeds from. For one reason or another, some believe on purpose. Typically industrial food producers do not want you to have access to seeds because you will cut into their business if you grow your own food. Seed producers also lead you to believe that perfectly good seeds can not be used beyond a certain date. Ulager begs to differ. Coleman so clearly points out that those business involved in the industrial complex that surrounds farming are constantly trying to convenience farmers that they must have certain products year after year in order to grow food and these claims simply are not true. And such pursuits make it unsustainable for the farmer to financial continue.

We have begun saving a few seeds of our own. We have pumpkin, navy bean, lentil bean, pinto bean and cantaloupe thus far. We would save papaya but think this fruit is best grown in warmer more tropical climates. Here are a few basics about starting to save your own seeds:

  1. Identify the location of the seed. This is not always obvious. In this case Ulager’s book can come in very handy.
  2. Free your seed of any plant matter that is not seed.
  3. Clean your seed
  4. Allow your seed to dry (spread them out on a plate)
  5. Store your seed in a cool and dry place discouraging growth until you are ready to sow the seed. So, no water, soil or sun.

It is important to note that not all seeds are the same. Sometimes the child of the seed, the seed of the seed you sowed, is different from the parent of the seed. So, if you like a particular seed, it is important that you save as many of those seeds as possible so you can grow that same plant in some cases the same variety of that type of plant. So, sometimes a good seed becomes prized and thus preserved. You might do the same with some of your seeds so read Ulager closely on how to preserve your seeds so they are there for you when you are ready to sow.

What did you learn about seed saving that you did not know? How can seed saving be a liberating experience for you? What are your thoughts on Gandhi, Coleman & Ulager’s points about seeds and farming? How does this influence how you approach your food consumption and gardening? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.