Benefits of Coconut Oil

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Whether you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Benefits of Coconut Oil

by Kelsey Proctor


 October 17, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Coconut oil is one of the most convenient, versatile products to have in your house. Whether you’re eating it or making it into a hand cream, this stuff works. I invite you to read further and see how coconut oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, but also a lifesaver to have around the house.
 
Up until the past decade, healthy and coconut oil were not used in the same sentence. This versatile oil was thought of as only a saturated fat no-no. How wrong we were! Now the buzz is all about how this healthy fat can be used in cooking, beauty products, cleaning products, and more. Coconut oil has hundreds of uses outside of just cooking.

 

Coconut
 
First off: how is this new superfood healthy to consume? Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat; however, that fat is mostly lauric acid. Lauric acid consists of medium-chain triglycerides (an MCT) which are metabolized easier than longer chains found in meat and dairy products. This metabolism boost means instant energy, and can actually help you lose weight.
 
As a point of reference, Bruce Fife (C.N., N.D.), author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, recommends consuming 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, but is high in calories (about 117 a tablespoon) so consider your diet and lifestyle when deciding what the right amount is for you.
 
So, now that you know how great coconut oil is for your diet, there are a few things to look for when buying your first jar. In my fridge, I have a jar of Simply Nature Organic Coconut Oil I grabbed from the grocery store for $4.99.

 

Coconut Oil

Simply Nature Coconut Oil


Check It Out!

 

Now the fun part: ways to use coconut oil outside of just cooking!

Face Mask

Face Mask


Quick Tip

 

The Top Three things to look for when buying coconut oil:

  1. Unrefined – this means there hasn’t been any bleaching or stripping that would compromise the oil’s health benefits.
  2. Virgin (tip: unlike with olive oil, you’re not going to find a discernible difference between “virgin” and extra virgin”).
  3. Good price! There’s no reason to drop tons of dough on coconut oil anymore. It’s become such a frequently bought product that you can purchase a 14 oz jar for anywhere from $5-$10 depending on the brand and your area. My 14oz jar will last me all winter! 

Bibliography:

How much coconut oil per day?. (2019, October 17). Retrieved from
http://www.newhealthguide.org/How-Much-Coconut-Oil-Per-Day.html

Kadey, M. (2019, October 17). Everything you need to know about coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/everything-you-need-know-about-coconut-oil

Michaelis, K. (2019). How to choose a good coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-choose-a-good-coconut-oil/




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants, Recipes Tagged with: ,

Bee Friendly Pest Control

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Pest Control

If you’re interested in natural living and homeopathic solutions, chances are you’re conscious about the ingredients in the products you choose.  Learn more about making your Pesticides are one of the biggest threats to honey bees. To control garden pests and not kill off the pollinators and other beneficial insects, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Before using chemicals, try using natural methods of control.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Bee Friendly Pest Control

by David Proctor


 October 10, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Now that most gardens are going strong, so are the pests.  When you want to find a remedy for getting rid of the pests that want to eat your garden as much as you do, then you need an arsenal of weapons.

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

I came across a good article that helps explain some of the best methods for bee-friendly pest control:

7 Top Methods For Bee-Friendly Pest Control
Written by: Julie C.          Survival Gardening

“Since 1998, scientists, conservationists, and farmers have noticed an alarming trend. European honeybee populations are declining at rapid rates. Researchers believe”…..read more

One method of controlling pests is through Integrated Pest Management or IPM.

IPM is a science-based, decision-making process that integrates pest biology, environmental information, consensus building, and technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage. IPM considers site management goals and strives to minimize risk to people, property, and the environment, including pollinators. If you would like to read more, go to this link to download a pdf   Reducing Risks to Pollinators from Pest Control  by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Another good article that I will post here is by the  Great Pollinator Project

“Land managers, urban farmers, and home gardeners are often faced with pest control decisions, including whether to use chemicals and if so, which”….read more, please click the link above. 

————————-

To summarize, plan ahead for what type of plants will be grown close together. And mix it up, so the pests are not coming to a buffet.

Use methods that do not affect the pollinators while they are at work.

If you think you need to use chemicals, then read the label very closely. Apply chemicals in the evening and not to blooms, but at base of the plants and stems.

Some plants are natural insecticides, try to mingle these into your garden.

Encourage the beneficial insects to help do your work like the Ladybug and Praying Mantis. Remove pests by hand or with a misting bottle and water.

You will probably not use just one method to control pests, but just remember if it “Kills Bugs Dead” it will probably kill all bugs, including the ones that make your garden healthy.


Check It Out!

 

Companion Planting


Quick Tip

 

  • Thin out the weak plants. That will help provide more root area for the strong and not attract pests to the weak plants. Often, those pests will then move over to infest the strong ones.                                                            
  • Water at night or early morning so the plants can dry.  Plants can bake with water on them during the day and weaken them.                                                                                               
  • Set traps and/or lures for unwanted pests.  This can help control without using as much spray.
  •  Help out the good insects like Lady Bugs, Praying Mantis, and Lacewings which can be encouraged by planting herbs like basil, dill, and cilantro.  They like to lay eggs in these plants and the larva will have something to eat.                                                                                                                                                       
  • Diversify the plants in your garden to throw the pests off.  Also, mix in garlic and onions to help repel unwanted pests.                                                                                                       
  • Rotate plantings each year so one pest does not get a foothold by eating its favorite food.

Bibliography:

C., Julie. “7 Top Methods For Bee-Friendly Pest Control.” Off The Grid News. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 October 2019. <http://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/7-top-methods-for-bee-friendly-pest-control/>.

“Pest Management.” Great Pollinator Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 October 2019. <http://greatpollinatorproject.org/management/pest-management>.




 

Posted in Apiary, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

How To Make Eucalyptus Oil

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Eucalyptus Oil

If you’re interested in natural living and homeopathic solutions, chances are you’re conscious about the ingredients in the products you choose.  Learn more about making your own Eucalyptus Oil.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


How To Make Your Own Eucalyptus Oil

by Kelsey Proctor


 October 3, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


One of the best ways to control what’s in your products, is to make them yourself.

Let me introduce eucalyptus oil; an essential oil derived from the eucalyptus leaf, and used throughout history for medicinal and industrial purposes.

You can make eucalyptus oil yourself by boiling, then straining, the leaves and twigs of the leaf.

Essential oils have become popular because of the increased attention on homeopathic living.

If you don’t want to bother making your own, you can find eucalyptus oil at a drugstore or local health food store.

Eucalyptus oil can be used as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bug bites. In fact, dilute the oil with water and spray on as a natural bug repellant.

Eucalyptus oil is not just for medicinal purposes, place a few droplets in a diffuser to destress and improve concentration.

Eucalyptus oil is effective at improving allergies, alleviating respiratory viruses, and reducing inflammation in the lungs.

Eucalyptus oil is one of the active ingredients in the common topical cream Vick’s VapoRub.

However, you can make your own chest decongestant rub with natural ingredients.

You will need:
·         10 drops of eucalyptus oil
·         10 drops of peppermint oil
·         5 drops of preferred essential oil such as lemon or lavender
·         ¼ cup Beeswax
·         ¼ cup coconut oil or olive oil

Directions:
·         Melt Beeswax and coconut oil
·         Remove from heat for 5 minutes
·         Stir in essential oils
·         Cool and pour into desired containers

Continue reading below to learn more ways to utilize eucalyptus oil in your healthy home!


Check It Out!

 

How to Make Eucalyptus Oil

  1. Gather two mason jars
  2. Gather eucalyptus leaves
  3. Pour the oil over the smashed eucalyptus leaves and salt mix
  4. Strain leaves from oil by pouring through a tea strainer or cheesecloth
  5. Label the eucalyptus oil

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Eucalyptus-Oil


Quick Tip

 

10 Uses for Eucalyptus Oil

https://draxe.com/eucalyptus-oil-uses-benefits/


Bibliography:

Ellelmd. “Make Eucalyptus Oil.” WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 October 2019.

Kimberly. Kimberly’s Cup. 28 October 2009. Web. 03 October 2019.
Mercola.com. 12 May 2016. Web. 03 October 2019.




Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with:

Healthy Choices

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Healthy Choices

We need to be aware of the risk factors involved in our eating decisions. We will take a look at what we can do to help ourselves and set an example for the younger ones.  September is designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Healthy Choices

by David Proctor


 September 26, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


The latest news on our health is to take action when it pertains to our heart so we do not have the risk factors for high blood pressure. To support this:
 
The National Institute of Health (NIH) presently reports that, for people aged 50 and older with high blood pressure and at least one other risk factor for heart disease, lowering blood pressure to under 120 mm Hg reduced a combined endpoint of heart attack, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and strokes by 30% more than lowering it to 140 mm Hg.
 
In addition, deaths from any cause were reduced by 25% in those treated to reach a goal of 120 mm Hg.
 
The study’s independent data safety and monitoring board called for the study to be halted because of this significant benefit, which clearly outweighed any harm. (1)
 
I started to work on my health a little late in life.  Fourteen years ago, I started to take steps to reduce my weight, increase my stamina, and lower my blood pressure.
 
My blood pressure was not extremely high but averaged around 125 mm Hg (now: 113/72/70 as an average).
 
After taking small steps to reach these goals, I lost 50 lbs. and have kept it off for over fourteen years now. 
 
I do not diet; I just made small steps in my lifestyle that accomplished the weight loss.
 
I can also say that my blood pressure now averages about 113 mm Hg.
 
This does not take hours of sweating at the gym but a commitment to small, sustainable steps that can prolong life.

 

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure Chart

 

All this means is that I have lowered my risk.  I do not always eat as I should, or refrain from unhealthy activities, but overall the idea is to keep in a path that gets you where you would like to be and that is to be around for your family and loved ones.
 
This is the whole premise around the urban farm lifestyle, to incorporate a healthy sustainable lifestyle that helps reduce illness and aging effects that diminish our quality of life.
 
Think about the children that are overweight, pre-diabetic and prone to heart disease at an early time of life. This is changeable and doable, it just takes small steps.
 
Step 1: Start measuring your blood pressure on a regular basis. Ignorance is not bliss here.  Try to take it the same time at least weakly or once a month.  I take mine 5 days a week after I work out.
 
Step 2: Measure your waistline. This means more than what you see on the scales, your waistline is an indicator of your health, not your wealth.  Just because you can or cannot afford to eat and drink healthy, should not show up on your waist as a spare tire or food baby.  One of the best tools is a simple tape measure.
 
Step 3: Stay mobile.  You have to move; our bodies are engineered to move.  Do mild stretches, get the kinks out, and move around. You do not have to play rugby, but you need to move.
 
Step 4: Eat less and eat well.  Our plates are too big, get a smaller plate so you do not have to feel guilty about cleaning your plate or eating the portions on it.
 
Eat less and let it hit bottom, wait a few minutes before you think about seconds, then if you want seconds, always take less than the first.
 
Eat well. Eat fresh and try to stay away from processed foods.  The biggest contributor to high blood pressure is our salt (sodium) intake.  Our foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat (the bad kink). These are all three ingredients that we need to take control of.
 
Step 5: Try to lower your stress.  Stress can cause many ill effects on the human body.  Take time to do the things you enjoy and put the stressful parts of life in perspective.
 
Reconnect with friends and activities that bring relief from the everyday anxieties that come from work, commuting, and everyday stress.
 
None of these steps are easy. When you look at all the things that pull at our attention, from work to family matters, it is not easy to find the time and energy to change your lifestyle.
 
To put this all in perspective, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  This month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

BMI Calculator

Click On Image!

Think about the kids. Too many times we see our youth with weight problems.  Stop and think about what you may have on hand in your own home for your children to eat or drink. Think about their activities.
 
I can remember back in high school one of the coaches that I had, Coach Clark.  He was a great inspiration to me. I can remember when he would run races backward as we tried to keep up with him.
 
He would talk about not spending time watching TV, if he even owned one, and would encourage people to spend time outdoors playing sports or other activities.  He is the kind of role model today’s youth need.
 
We have to pick up the slack and be that type of role model.  Whether we think the youth are watching or not, they are. They want their family members, neighbors, and loved ones to be around.
 
So, let’s take the time to watch what we eat, monitor our blood pressure, and be the example that our youth need.  This will help us all to live a more enjoyable, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Do not buy food when hungry.  As you can see from the label above, this was not a good choice on my part.

Eat to live, not live to eat.


Check It Out!

NYC Sodium Shakeup

New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene passed a rule that requires some restaurants to label menu items that exceed 2,300 milligrams, the daily limit recommended by federal guidelines.
 
For ideal heart health, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
 
Here’s a look at the sodium levels in five New York City favorites!
 
New York Style Pizza: 1 slice = 689 mg 46% of daily max
 
Manhattan Clam Chowder: 1 cup = 690 mg 46% of daily max
 
Pastrami Sandwich: 1 sandwich = 2,750 mg 183% of daily max
 
Bagels: 1 plain bagel = 740 mg 49% of daily max
 
Hot Dogs: 1 plain hot dog, no toppings = 780 mg 52% of daily max
 
New York has been home to several high-profile measures to improve people’s health over the past decade, including efforts to eliminate trans fats in restaurants, calorie labeling, and even a push to ban oversized sugary drinks.
 
Their efforts have paid off, for there are many New Yorkers who are getting healthier!

Quick Tip

 

  • With kids back in school, do your part to help them watch what they eat by
    • Eating Healthily
    •  Brown Bag or Pack their lunch
    • Shop for the snacks that are best for them
    • Before going to a restaurant, check out the menu online to find a healthy one.
    • Watch the school menu and be aware of what your child is eating
    • Reduce salt intake
    • Read and compare nutrition labels
    • Watch out for the salty 6: pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, and cheese.

    Bibliography:

(1)”Major Hypertension Trial Stopped Early for Positive Benefit with Lower Blood Pressure Control Target.” Major Hypertension Trial Stopped Early for Positive Benefit with Lower Blood Pressure Control Target. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2019.

(2) “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2019.

(3) “NYC Salt Shake-Up.” Blog.heart.org. American Heart Association, n.d. Web.

(4) “The Salty Six – Surprising Foods That Add the Most Sodium to Our Diets – Sodium Break Up.” Sodium Break Up. N.p., 07 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2019.
 




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

Own Your Seeds

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Own Your Seeds

With the growing season winding down, it is time to think about which varieties you would like to save for next year to plant.  This issue will look at why we go to the trouble to save seeds and the best practices for saving seeds.

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 

 


Conserve Biodiversity With Your Seeds

by David Proctor


 September 19, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom Tomato

When you find a variety that is doing well, you may want to save the seeds so the performance and or attributes can be repeated.  You may also find a need to save the seeds due to the availability of that variety.
 
As our culture tends to plant more mono-crops and utilize fewer variations in the plant world, we are finding that variation is getting harder to come by.
 
You can find a variation with hybrids, but you will not get an exact duplication from the parent.  Heirloom and open-pollinated varieties will provide true-to-type seeds but not hybrids.
 
Heirloom varieties are becoming very hard to come by.  Heirloom varieties provide a historical link to how the food was grown in the past and they provide flavors that are not common in the grocery store and have become popular with chefs and food lovers.
 
An heirloom variety is a plant variety that has a history of being passed down within a family or community, similar to the generational sharing of heirloom jewelry or furniture.
 
An heirloom variety must be open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms.
 
While some companies create an heirloom, labels based on dates (such as a variety that is more than 50 years old), Seed Savers Exchange identifies heirlooms by verifying and documenting the generational history of preserving and passing on the seed. (2)

By choosing open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, you have the ability to help conserve biodiversity and to contribute to the stories behind our seeds.

Sliced Heirloom Tomato

Sliced Heirloom Tomato

In antique stores, we’re drawn to old maple rockers, ornately carved oak mantelpieces or delicately hand-painted china not just because of their form or materials but for the sense of history that clings to them and the way they warm the imagination.
 
They make us wonder about the hands that have held them and the people whose lives they have passed through.
 
That’s true of heirloom plant varieties too. To the gardeners who love them, it matters that ‘Mortgage Lifter’ tomato came from a man who bred his own tomato plants, selling enough of them to pay off his mortgage. 
 
At estate sales, you encounter styles far beyond whatever is the standard fashion today. So, too, heirloom vegetables offer a spectacular range of flavors and shapes.
 
They may be tarter or sweeter, green instead of supermarket red, long instead of the standard oval, ribbed or striped rather than smooth. Often, they have a depth and complexity of flavor you would never find at the grocery store.
 
What is an “heirloom”? The definition is open to dispute. But the term is usually applied to fruit, flower or vegetable varieties that were being grown before World War II.
 
Back then, what we now call “organic gardening,” based on manure and mulch, was standard practice for home gardeners, who accepted risk and variation from weather and disease just as farmers had to.

Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom Tomato

From the 1950s to the 1970s, hybrids dominated the commercial vegetable market, and the older varieties became hard to find until a growing interest in cooking and food sparked a resurgence of the more flavorful heirlooms.
 
Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated–meaning that unlike hybrids, seeds you collect from one year will produce plants with most of the characteristics of the parent plant. And that’s key to their survival.
 
A diversity of choices for the garden is as good a thing as diversity in the gene pool. (1)
===================================
 
Now how to save seeds procedures and background.
 
Harvesting Your Seeds
 
Seeds Benefit From Careful Harvesting and Drying
 
After you’ve given your plants the help they needed to produce healthy seeds, you must harvest and store the seeds properly to keep them healthy until you are ready to plant them.
 
How you treat your seeds during harvest and storage can have a large impact on their viability and vigor when planted.
 
For best results, your seeds should be harvested at the right time, properly cleaned and dried and then stored under conditions favorable to their long-term health.
 
Harvesting and Cleaning Seeds
 
Seed harvesting and cleaning techniques fall into two main categories according to whether the fruits and seeds are dry or wet when mature (actually, a third category exists of seeds which will die if dried out after maturing.
 
Dry Seeds
 
‘Dry’ seeds include beans, okra, peppers, basil and members of the Onion and Carrot Families. Cleaning dry seeds usually involves simply drying and crumbling the pods or husks, then screening or ‘winnowing’ the seeds to separate them from the chaff.
 
Wet Seeds
 
‘Wet’ seeds are found in such plants as tomatoes, eggplants, and many squashes.
 
Cleaning wet seeds require washing to clean the seeds and to separate them from the surrounding pulp.
 
In addition, in some cases, wet seeds (such as tomatoes) are best fermented for several days to remove germination-inhibiting substances from the seed coats.
Ferment Seeds
Ferment Seeds
Fermenting can also help such seeds as members of the Squash family by killing molds, mildews and other disease organisms that may be present on the seeds after growing.
 
Some families (such as the Cucumber family) include some plants that produce wet seeds (e.g., squashes and melons) and others that produce dry seeds (e.g., luffa and hard gourds).
 
See Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables for details on whether a plant makes dry or wet seeds, and whether its seeds must be fermented before cleaning and drying.
 
Cleaning Dry Seeds
 
Harvest dry seeds from their plants when their pods or husks have dried. Some seeds can be picked before they are fully dried on the plants if rains threaten.
 
Other plants, however, (i.e., Mustard family), will not finish ripening once they have been removed from the plant. Leaving seeds on the parent plant to full maturity and dryness is always preferable.
 
Once pods or husks have been harvested, store them in a dry place and wait until they are thoroughly dry. When the pods or husks are dry enough they will easily crumble between your hands.
 
Crumble the pods or husks until all the seeds are released. Then place seeds and chaff in a bowl or box and swirl or shake gently. Most of the larger chaff pieces will rise to the top and can simply be removed by hand.
 
Seeds and finer chaff are easy to separate by a variety of methods. One way is to use two screens of varying mesh, one a little smaller than the seeds and the other a little larger.

 

Dry Seeds
Dry Seeds
The first screen lets anything smaller than the seeds fall through, and the second lets the seeds through and stops anything larger.
 
Another method of separating seeds and chaff is to roll seeds down a gently sloping board, leaving chaff stranded near the top of the board.
 
This simple method works well with round seeds but is basically useless for flat seeds such as squashes.
 
A very ancient method of cleaning seeds is called ‘winnowing.’ In a gentle wind, drop the seed/chaff mixture from a height of several feet into a bucket or onto a sheet or tarp.
 
With a little skill and some cooperation from the wind (a fan in an enclosed space can be used for better control), seeds will fall into the bucket or onto the tarp while chaff blows away to one side.
 
Another, very simple way to winnow small quantities of seeds is to swirl or gently bounce the seeds and their chaff in a shallow bowl while carefully blowing the chaff away with your breath.
 
It’s a good idea to do this over a cloth or newspaper to catch seeds blown out of the bowl with the chaff. These can then be hand-cleaned or planted.
 
Cleaning Wet Seeds
 
Wet seeds are easy to clean, though some need the additional step of fermentation. Seeds which require fermentation should be cleaned after—not before—fermenting.
 
Allow the fruits to fully mature on their plants before harvesting. See Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables for details on how to judge when seeds have fully matured for particular varieties—in many, the fruits will be well past the eating stage.
 
To clean wet seeds, scoop the seeds from the fruit, pulp and all. Pour the seeds and pulp into a large, sloping bowl and add water.
 
Healthy seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while dead seeds and most of the pulp will float. Use your fingers to gently separate all the seeds from the pulp.
 
Then, to remove the pulp and dead seeds, carefully pour the extra water with the floating pulp and dead seeds from the bowl.
Wet Seeds
Wet Seeds
Pour quickly enough for dead seeds and pulp to pour off the top, and slowly enough so that the heavier, good seeds remain safely on the bottom.
 
By repeating this rinsing and pouring process several times, the seeds can be gotten very clean (getting seeds as clean as possible helps to keep them from sticking to whatever surface you dry them on).
 
Drying Wet Seeds After Cleaning
 
To initially dry your seeds after cleaning, drain them of excess moisture in a strainer. Pat the bottom of the strainer with a cloth towel to pull extra water from the seeds after they have drained.
 
 Then spread the seeds on a piece of glass or a shiny ceramic plate to dry (they will stick to paper, even waxed paper).
 
Place the glass or ceramic plate in a cool, dry shady spot for several days.
 
After the seeds are dry, they can be carefully removed from the glass or plate and final-dried before being stored in jars.
 
Treating Seeds for Viability and Disease Control
 
Seeds can transmit diseases from parent plants to succeeding generations, lowering their productivity and even completely preventing them from producing.
 
Simple treatments exist, however, for controlling many seed-borne diseases.
 
Two such treatments available to home gardeners include fermentation and hot water baths, both used on wet seeds.
 
Why Ferment Some Seeds?
 
Fermenting some wet seeds can dramatically improve their ability to sprout.
 
Fermentation removes germination-inhibiting substances from seed coats, makes them more permeable to water, and also helps reduce or control seed-borne diseases (for healthier seedlings).
 
Purposely fermenting wet seeds mimics the natural process of fermentation that occurs when ripe fruits are eaten by animals or drop to the ground and rot.
 
When we intervene to keep seeds from fermenting naturally, it becomes necessary to ferment them artificially so they can complete their natural ripening cycle.
Tomato Seeds
Tomato Seeds
Fermentation is needed for tomato seeds (in order to remove a germination-inhibiting gel), and can also benefit Squash Family and eggplant seeds, though more care must be taken with these to avoid premature sprouting.
 
Ferment Squash Family seeds for only a day-and-a-half or so, eggplants a little longer.
 
How to Ferment Seeds
 
To prepare seeds for fermenting, simply squeeze or scoop the seeds—together with the pulp that surrounds them—into a jar with a little water (about half as much water as seeds and pulp).

There is no need to include more pulp than naturally comes with the seeds.
 
Store this seed/pulp mixture in a warm place (75 to 85º F) for 1½ to 5 days (depending on the seed type and whether conditions are warmer or cooler).
 
Fermentation will be evidenced by bubbling and/or by the formation of white mold on the surface of the mixture.
 
As soon as the bubbling or mold have been evident for a day or so, pour the mix into a bowl and clean according to the directions given earlier in the section Cleaning Wet Seeds.
 
Watch closely, as seeds left fermenting too long (especially above 80º F or so) may germinate, ruining their chances for storage.
 
Once the seeds start to ‘imbibe’ or swell due to taking on water, they will have begun their internal process of germination… by the time their tiny roots have begun to emerge, it is far too late to try and dry them for storage.
 
Sprouted seeds can be planted immediately and grown out (depending on the season), but they will die if they are dried out for storage once they have begun to germinate.
 
The experience will tell you how long you can ferment seeds under your conditions before they begin to sprout.
 
Eggplant and squash seeds germinate more readily than tomatoes, so they should only be fermented for a couple of days or so.
 
Squash seeds, particularly, are quick to germinate—sometimes even sprouting in well-ripened squashes while they are still on the vine!
 
It’s not required to ferment squash or eggplant seeds, though it increases their germination rates and kills some seed-borne diseases.
 
In general, when temperatures are kept between 75 and 80º F or so, fermenting is safe and beneficial and will be safely completed before seeds begin the process of germination.
 
Hot Water Baths
 
Another way to control some seed-borne diseases is to treat seeds for a short time in a hot water bath at high enough temperatures to kill disease pathogens (about 125º F).
 
Treatment times and temperatures are specific to each species, and both must be precisely controlled in order for the treatment to be effective without killing the seeds.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save seeds for future plantings.  If you have some plants that you really like, this might be a way to save them for future generations to enjoy.


Check It Out!

 

 

An Introduction to Seed Savers Exchange 2:00
SSEHeritageFarm


Quick Tip

 

How to save squash seed:
 

  • To save seed, allow the fruit to ripen on the vine until the plants begin to die.
  • Choose only the finest specimens with the best varietal characteristics for seed.
  • Harvest the fruit and store in a cool, dry place. Further aging in storage raises seed viability.
  • The seeds may be removed when the fruit is required for cooking.
  • Scrape out the seeds and wash them in a colander to remove the placenta, the stringy flesh surrounding the seeds.
  • Spread the seeds on screens or paper towels to dry. Let them dry 2 to 3 weeks, then store in dated, airtight jars in a cool, dark closet.
  • When properly stored, squash seed will remain viable for about six years. (4)

Bibliography:

(1) “What Is An Heirloom.” Heirloom Vegetable and Flower Gardening Tips and Advice from Burpee.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.

http://www.burpee.com/heirloom-seeds-and-plants/what-is-an-heirloom-article10162.html

(2) “The Difference between Open-pollinated, Heirloom, and Hybrid Seeds.”RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.

http://blog.seedsavers.org/blog/open-pollinated-heirloom-and-hybrid-seeds

(3) “Complete, Free Seed-Saving Instructions.” Seed Saving Handbook: Learn How to Save Seeds From Common Garden Vegetables—Free! N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
http://howtosaveseeds.com/index.php

http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedprep.php

(4) “Heirloom Pumpkin Varieties and Other Squash.” Mother Earth News. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/heirloom-pumpkin-varieties-zewz1309zpit.aspx




 

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