I organized two free virtual seed saving workshops for any and all who wished to participate, and gave out goodie bags of seeds and other beginner seed saving supplies to local participants. A seed saving expert and experienced workshop facilitator (Rhiannon) taught about 60 participants over the two sessions all about how to save seeds for vegetable and herb gardening.
I wanted to do this project because the pandemic has resulted in an increased interest in gardening and growing food; many seed suppliers have seen threefold increase (or more) in demand for seeds for gardening, and these suppliers have been unable to keep up with the demand. I feel that more gardeners should be participating in producing and saving their own seeds, if they want to be able to garden into the future.
I’ve met with several knowledgeable community gardeners in past growing seasons who’ve mentioned that while they love to garden, they’ve never learned to save seeds, and that they buy new seeds and plants each garden season. This can get very expensive, and it’s kind of a shame when plants produce seeds so abundantly if allowed to do so! Saving seeds from your own gardening / growing efforts also helps to produce more plants that are suited to local microclimates…over the generations, they are shaped by local conditions and can really thrive.
Seed saving involves deciding which types and varieties to plant, which plants to allow to flower and go to seed, and how to save and store those seeds (to plant later). Many people are not confident enough in their knowledge of plant reproduction and the seed saving process to try saving seeds, even though ANYONE can grow and save seeds with just a little bit of practice!
Having a seed saving workshop virtually (online) was a new experience for me, since I’m used to doing things hands-on in the garden, and learning with others in person. I was surprised at how enjoyable it was, and how our wonderful seed saving instructor was able to make the session engaging and fun by doing a lot of ‘show-and-tell’ with plant samples, real seeds, as well as photos and slideshows. I used eventbrite to let people register online for the sessions, and get updates leading up to the session.