Gardening Journal – Seed Saving with Pa Kettle

Friday night we brought dinner to my father-in-law (whom I affectionately call Pa Kettle) and after dinner we took a stroll in his garden. This stroll is a nightly routine and better entertainment than most comedy clubs. The kale has gone to seed, so he showed me how he dries the seeds for planting in the fall. His process is quite simple.

Break a stem off from the kale plant and strip the seed pods from it. Be sure to swing your open pocket knife around and gesture wildly while telling stories. Ideally, no one should lose an eyeball while collecting seeds, but as he says “you just don’t never know about things”.

Place the pods in a paper bag (best for breathability) and close the bag. Hang the bag in a cool, dry place until the pods become brown and papery. If you don’t have a cool, dry place for seed saving, just hang them in the dark, damp garage. This method has worked for him for decades.

Gently break the pods open to release the seeds. The seeds should be dark in color. When opening the pods, compete to see who gets the most. Winner gets bragging rights until next season. Your seeds are ready for planting.

This method works for most any “salad” seeds. Pa Kettle also saves cress seeds using this approach.

Cress seed pods

Now, go walk around the garden and admire everything else that is growing.

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