About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Seed saving

Saving seeds from one crop to plant next year seems like an obvious thing to do if you're inclined towards self-sufficiency. It's not always straightforward, though. I usually save peas and beans, even though it means sacrificing a part of the crop, but this year it was so wet at the time the beans were ripening that they never dried out, and then they got eaten by something that no doubt appreciated the soft, soaked beans. I'm not sure it would have helped bringing them into the conservatory to dry, as the damp is everywhere.

I did bring leek seed heads into the conservatory, though. These have the added complication of being biennial, like parsnips (which I also saved this year), so a few need leaving in the ground for a second year if you want seeds.

Parsnip seed heads, drying. I haven't dared look to see what state they're in, yet.

My approach to flower gardening is mostly to try and move wild flowers into the flower bed. This year, in amongst the brambles by the fence, one honesty plant appeared. I'm fond of honesty for both the purple flowers in summer and the silvery seed disks at this time of year, as well as for the name (I demand honesty in my garden!).

Honesty, slugging it out with the brambles

I collected a few of the disks the other day and was surprised to find I had as many as 25 seeds in there.

I'm sure I only picked a few disks. So many seeds!

I was going to just throw them on the ground, but when I looked at the place I planned to throw them, it was already occupied.

There's far more grass in other parts of the flower bed, but even so, this is a little crowded

I went out today and dug up a few of the weeds, then scatted my honesty seeds and a bit of leaf mould on top, for good measure. Given that they're wild flowers, I'm reasonably optimistic that something will come up next year. I'll let you know!

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