A lot of our seed growing this year is going to be a very DIY affair. For a start, we collected a LOT of seeds last autumn. We gleaned apples, plums, pears, cherries and walnuts for eating from the trees along the roadsides. We also picked up conkers, sweet chestnuts and wild sweet peas to grow, and saved seeds from our biggest pumpkins.
I cleaned and dried them, and packaged them up in clearly labelled old envelopes – recycling and reusing in action! They seeds spent the winter in a mouse-proof container in the barn to vernalise them, so hopefully they’ll be keen to burst into life now that it’s spring.
Recycling appears again when growing the seeds. I reuse plastic containers of every size and shape. In particular, these large, croissant and pain au chocolat nasty plastic packaging boxes are brilliant as seed incubators. I use zillions of yogurt and other dessert pots too.
And we produce our own DIY compost. Our small black wormery produces lovely compost. This photo shows the top layer with the raw ingredients showing. The worms will process that into rich, smooth, peaty compost over a few months. Everything that rots can go into the wormery, apart from meat and citrus fruit. Dust, hair, paper, cigarette butts, coffee grounds – they’re all brilliant, as well as the usual food scraps.
I shall make a start on germinating my seeds tomorrow. I was going to wait for the polytunnel but it’s so sunny and warm at the moment, it’s a shame to waste the weather. We have plenty of wide windowsills so that’s where the seed nurseries will be going for the time being. Let’s hope my fingers will be green this year!