A few weeks ago I had the honor of going to Daybreak Flower Farm in Loganville, which is owned by the wonderful Gail Zorn and her partner, Andrew. Gail and I are both board members of the Georgia Farmers Market Association, and we both have a passion for saving seeds.
She invited me out particularly to collect seeds and cuttings, and when I excitedly agreed to come I had no idea just what a tremendous gift she was to give me.
Saving seeds is a magical process for me and I often save seeds from my plants at the homestead. However, flowers are still fairly new to me and Gail is a goldmine of information. I ended up coming home with 13 different varieties of flower seed and cuttings from some gorgeous mums.
Gail's partner, Andrew, is a vegetable grower but his love of all plants is obvious. He also gave me some saved seeds that I am eager to try out in the spring.
The seed saving process is mostly simple, but there are definitely some things that one needs to be aware of. Cross pollination is one of the biggest concerns and sometimes special precautions must be taken to prevent it. See, cross pollination will create seeds that are not like the plant they came from. Just like crossing a Black Labrador with a Poodle creates a Labradoodle puppy (in other words, a really cute mutt), crossing plant varieties will also create something...else. While hybridizing is a fascinating subject, that is not what I'm aiming for here.
As we go through this year, I'll spend some time writing about seed saving including isolation techniques, distances, varieties, and the like. If you'd like to join along, I'd love that; and maybe we can trade some seeds when we're done with it!