COMMON VEGETABLES SAVED FOR SEED
POACEAE ( GRASS FAMILY)
Homegrown sweet corn has a especially
sweet flavor. The best way to enjoy it is to eat it as soon as it is picked, before the sugar has turned into starch.
The crop needs lots of sun and is wind-pollinated, so grow it in blocks , rather than rows, to aid pollination.
LILIACEAE (LILY FAMILY)
OFFICINALIS) PERENNIAL. DIOECIOUS ( MALE AND FEMALE PLANTS. POLLINATED BY INSECTS.
This crop requires a lot of
patience. Asparagus can not be harvested for 3 years, or one more if the roots are planted. Female plants produce red berries,
which should be gathered in the fall befor the first frost. For small quantities, put the berries in a clothe bag, then
crush them by stepping on the bag . Put the mass of seed-pulp into a pail or bowl of water and wash it. The pulp and unwanted
light seeds will float to the top and should be discarded. The seeds at the bottom are saved. Dry the seeds for about 3 days
by spreading them out and turning them over occasionally, then store them.
Pollinated by bees. Seeds form in the second year.
Plants are cultivated as for harvesting
the first year. Even in northern climates the plants do not have to be stored but may be left in the ground. The second year,
the individual plants will send up single stalks four to five feet high, each capped with an enormous ball.( it is an umbel,
and has hundreds of flowers). Pick the umbels in the fall, and dry them well. The seeds are contained in capsules, and brisk
rubbing of the heads is needed to extract the seeds.
ONION ( ALIUM CEPA ). BIENNIAL. POLLINATED BY BEES. SOAL-BLACK
SEED FORMS IN THE SECOND YEAR.
To insure the purity of variety, onions must be isolated from other
varities in the 2nd year of growth by a distance of a quarter mile. However, the gardener does not need to worry about onions
being grown for eating the 1st year), since cross-pollination can only occur between flowering plants.
CHENOPODIACEAE ( GOOSEFOOT FAMILY)
summer vegetable can also be stored for winter. The leaves can also be eaten and they can be grown in the house or a greenhouse
for eating in the winter. In the winter you would need a sunny window in a cool place for the beet leaves.
beet produces the rosette of leaves the first year, but the second year produces a seed stalk several feet
high. This has branches, along which tiny blossoms appear, followed by the the beet seed, actually seed balls containing enough
seeds to produce up to 6 plants.
SWISS CHARD ( BETA VULGARIS, CICLA GROUP).
The stems of this broad-leaved vegetable , can be eaten cooked, as well as
the leaves can be eaten just like lettuce.
These vegetables have perfect flowers ( having both male and female parts)cross
pollinated , by the wind.
Swiss chard and beets are vey similar, except the swiss chard is grown for its foliage, while
the beets are grown for their roots and, increasingly, for the immature plant, from which both roots and foliage are eaten.
BRASSICACEAE ( CABBAGE FAMILY )
It is possible to harvest cabbage throughout the entire year in some climates and if the correct varieties are sown and
transplanted at the correct time. Cabbage gives you a large amount of produce for the amount of space.
There are savoy
and red cabbage , green cabbage, purple cabbage, and chinese cabbage.
FABACEAE, BEAN FAMILY
JACOB'S CATTLE BEANS
An old time bean from the New England states. These
beans have long been the bean to use for baking & soups. It can be used as a snap bean.
popular summer vegetable has attractive flowers and foliage and is suitable for growing in a border.
Our favorite is
Old Homestead (Kentucky Wonder Pole bean. This bean goes back to 1897. It is a pole bean with 6' to 8' pods that are very
tender when cooked & have a great flavor.
Commonly known as " butter beans".
These seeds need warm and conditions to germinate, and can only grown successfully in warm climates.
Lima beans are a
good bean for your food storage. You can make Lima Beans & Ham, & many other other low cost meals.
SOLANACEAE ( NIGHTSHADE FAMILY)
The nightshade family are fruiting crops, although these crops are technically fruits. The seeds of these plants encase
a fleshy pulp. They are usually classified as vegetables because we eat them as such.
The tomato is a versatile
vegetable. Tomatoes are considered the most important crop. Anyone can grow a tomato in a pot or on a patio.The various forms
include plum, salad, large beefsteak, cherry and yellow tomatoes.
Our favorites are: beefsteak, roma , red
fig, riesentraube, and cherokee purple.
The tomato is a must for Italian or Mexican meals.
The sweet pepper is available on an assortment of bright colors. The red peppers are just
like green peppers left to ripen on the plant longer. They have a sweeter taste.
CUCURBIT ( GOURD OR CUCUMBER FAMILY)
Melons require plenty of water & new faster-maturing varieties are grown
under cloches or in the open in a warm area. The heavy fruits, which are juicy and sweet-flavored, can be supported by nets
as they mature. Melons have to be mostly eaten fresh as they do not store. I have tried some recipes for melon relishes but
they are the best eaten fresh.
Cucumbers require a well manured
soil. They can be grown in the greenhouse or outside. The cucumber seeds we like are: White Wonder, Lemon Cuke, Parisian
Pickle , & Marketmore.