It Begins With a Seed

Cupped hands holding seeds

Photo by Joshua Lanzarini

Consider the miracle of the seed. These small, sometimes minuscule objects contain everything they need to produce a living plant including the DNA and the nourishment to get it started. We often compare ideas to seeds because they can be the start of something big. Seeds are so important for our survival that there are many seed banks nationally and world-wide to preserve life-sustaining and diversified crop seeds in case of a disaster.

Judean date palm

Photo by Elaine Solowey

Seeds Connect Us To History

Archeologists discovered date palm seeds carbon-dated to between 155 B.C. and 64 A.D. at Herod’s palace in Masada, Israel. After being stored for 40 more years, scientists tried planting three of the seeds in 2005. One sprouted and has been growing steadily ever since.  Its nickname is “Methuselah.” This variety of Judean date palm has been extinct for more than 1,800 years. Scientists plan to crossbreed it with a female Egyptian variety (Methuselah is a male). The offspring will be the closest thing to Israel’s main export crop from thousands of years ago.

DIY Seed Saving

Seed saving has become more and more popular with gardeners and especially with homesteaders. If you plant a big garden, you can save money by saving your own seeds. You can influence the traits of your crops by saving seeds from the most beautiful and best-tasting producers. Sometimes plant varieties are discontinued, but if you save seeds you will always have your favorites available. Find lots of tips on saving seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of heirloom seeds.

several pots with seedlings from above

Photo by Markus Spiske

It’s fascinating to watch the development of a seed into a full-grown plant and to be part of the process. You can get a jump on the gardening season by starting seeds indoors. You can also sow some flower seeds in the fall to come up in the spring. If you want to try this rewarding and absorbing activity, it’s best to start simple. You’ll be hooked on seed saving when you gain experience and knowledge.

Try these resources from your library to get you started.

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Donna Casey

I work in Circulation as a senior library associate. I love mysteries, traveling, gardens and libraries. My favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, Patricia Cornwell and Harlan Coben, but I enjoy any well-plotted mystery.