So things are all aflutter here, for tomorrow is Seedy Sunday, Kapiti’s seed swapping extravaganza. The kitchen is covered in seeds, the table is covered in seeds, the floor is covered in seeds, I’m covered in seeds and yet there are still rows of little seed packets ready to go on the swap table.
Due to ‘complications’ in my schedule this year (wonderful, wonderful complications), many harvested seedlines were stashed away in tins higgledy-piggledy without proper organisation. All the seed I look after gets labelled and stored away in old Milo tins over winter to make sure they’re safe, sound and stay viable. Some seed has just got to me, like the wonderful lemongrass you can see above. After seed is collected each year it needs to be cleaned.
For fleshy fruit like tomatoes or pumpkins, this may mean soaking in a bucket and partially fermenting it (smelly process) to get the seed nice and clean, drying and packing. For most plants though, cleaning seed means drying and passing through a series of screens to get rid of as much other plant material (chaff) as possible. For this I use a fantastic interchangeable sieve I found in an Indian grocery store in Petone. I work the plant material through the series of mesh sizes. Breeze is also a great tool and I’ve spent many hours walking around in the backyard with a bowl of seeds, separating out the chaff and letting it blow away with a careful flick of the bowl.
Before being stored away (usually) all the seed is completely dried and labelled with exactly what variety it is and where it came from. All of this is noted in a spreadsheet as it can be tricky to keep track of 80+ sidelines I hold.
So booking the hall, organising a speaker and letting everyone know that the event is on is only part of the organisation that goes into a Seedy Sunday. Cleaning, sorting and packaging seeds is the other side of it – a side I really do enjoy. Must be something about taking pleasure from the small things in life.