Have you ever eaten an exceptionally delicious watermelon, squash, or tomato and wondered if you could save a few of the seeds to plant the following year in hopes of reliving the experience? With the Travaasa Farm in the midst of its second growing season, we are doing just that. Many of our crops have begun to fully mature and produce seeds since their initial planting last spring and we are excited to watch as they continue to produce quality seeds to use again.
Most farms in the United States purchase seeds from off property seed farms. Often times, these “hybrid seeds” have patents on their featured traits, as well as the seed itself, making them unique to a single growing season. Even if the seeds from the hybrid offspring are saved to plant again the following year, the result will never quite be the same as the original crop because the replanted seeds only possess recessive traits, making it impossible to imitate. For Farmer Kim, farming is not just about harvesting a crop, but actually seeing a plant move through its full life cycle and personally playing a role in fostering the seed selection for next year’s crops. There is so much abundance in nature. Paying close attention to the plants and raising them with a little extra love will help produce hundreds of desirable seeds to use again in the future.
There are a lot of exciting hybrid seeds worth cultivating, and saving seeds is not always straightforward, so it is understandable why so few farmers save their own seeds. However, farmers, gardeners, and travelers have traditionally saved their prized seeds from open pollinated and heirloom varieties to sustain themselves and their families by handing down seeds to the next generation. Over time, these recycled seeds and plants become well adapted to the land through the process of natural selection. Here on the Travaasa Farm, we are continuously experimenting with open pollinated seeds to save and replant in the future as a part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability.