Monday, October 5, 2009

Adventures in seed saving and other fun fall activities

*lukewarm* Yea, sustainability.

Erm, AHEM, I mean, woohoo! ;)

This bit of cold water on the happiness that is my garden stems slightly from seed saving, a bit of a messy time consuming process for some seeds (like Malabar spinach), but still a very important and cost saving process.

(red stem Malabar Spinach)

My slight gripe is that I forget teeny tiny little spiders really enjoy chillin' and making a home on the tiny flowered racemes of plants such as basils, lemon balms and perilla.

Whilst gathering perilla seed for the giveaway (still up and going if anyone wants it or the malabar spinach!) I was cutting a bunch of the perilla recemes to trying to get just enough seed for one packet and avoiding any spider webby looking bits as well as possible.

Despite my efforts when I started seed extracting, little spiders started scurrying around EVERYWHERE.

I'm not nervous about spiders themselves; I'm just nervous about getting bit because I have unfortunately pretty bad reactions to mosquito and spider bites (serious burning, itching and swelling to grapefruit size bites sometimes).

And I really hate Benadryl, so bites (as I probably have ranted before) are a problem and I really DIS-like squishing spiders, even if there are million of them running around me because hey, spiders are pretty good.

Needless to say, I thought to myself as I was being nibbled on, "Ouch. ouch. ouch. They're. tiny. little. things. They'll probably---OW, produce tiny little bites?"

So yes, the bites were little.

Until 2 minutes later, where they were about 10x what they were before and I headed for the neem oil, which doesn't relieve itchiness immediately, but when it starts working, it really works.

Seed saving tomatoes are a snap at least, every time you eat one you can eat the fruit and squish out the gelly inside to add to water and let it ferment. Then clean, dry, and save.

Okra and beans are easy too, sweet "let 'em dry on the vine/stalk!" and then bust 'em open to get to the seeds AND save.

(Scarlet Runner bean)

It's just those herbs, those darn, darn herbs with their leeeetle flowers that attract leeeeeeeetle bugs, which THUS attract leeeeeeeetle predators (aka spiders) that get to me. *shiver* I can still feel tiny spiders crawling all over me!

(Purple Perilla, AMAZING no tiny spiders made a cameo here. Anneliese, I SWEAR I got all the spiders off before I mailed you your packet of seed!)

Anyways, fall is a stupid busy time, more than spring is I often forget.

Gotta (1) seed save, (2) re-pot outdoor things for inside, (3) plant perennials in the coolness of fall, (4) plant fall/winter vegetable garden, (5) take cuttings for propagation, (6)  Divide any spring flowering perennials, (7) Offer to rake people's leaves for composting!!!

AHHHHHHHHHH! *runs around collapses*

Happy Autumn to you and don't die of overwork!

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