By Jannie Vaught
Being born and raised in a farming and gardening family, now it is called “homesteading” my grandparents and parents always saved seeds and plant cuttings. This was as normal as cooking dinner. They walked the Trail of Tears, with seeds, and were relocated to central California after the dust bowl. My Uncle Coy Vaught farmed with a mule team and worked the land with the family. They grew food crops, watermelon and corn then went on to cotton and finished until sold with grapes. Some were rented land or sharecropped or working the vineyards for big wine companies. Although when I was born I had fully grown and married cousins, I was the tag-along kid. But tagging along in field, garden, and kitchen gave me a hands-on skill that taught me , even though I couldn’t reach the counter and used a box to stand on. I rode in truck and wagon with the hand tools, I wasn’t about to be left behind. This is how my seed saving started. I would watch them prune the grapes and collect seeds from the hedgerows of pomegranate trees, work with my Aunties and cousins in the garden when they came in from the field. We ate together at the table the boys stood if there were not enough chairs. No one complained but laughed and teased. This simple life gave me the understanding of the basic importance of “if you have seeds and root stock you have a crop” And there will be food on the table for all. Yes, it is a “Bigger picture”.
You are saving for the future. Just as my grandparents and parents did I will continue to collect and save seeds. This way of life has been the reason for wanting to save and share seeds. I began seeing Seed Libraries on the internet. Where seeds were donated and packaged and checked out and new seeds returned were beginning to be popular around the country. And when I approached our Library Manager Tommie Myers about having a Seed Library in our local library she was supportive and with her skill, we developed a Back to Basic seed library and book section to our library. When we bring seeds out this way we give the seeds a chance to be planted and developed in various environments for their future and to build diversity in their genetic files. Seeds are not a selfish item. Stored too long they wither and die, but spread about into nature they thrive and keep flowering and making more seeds for all the families to come. Through the years I have studied using Seed Savers books and reading all and any information I can lay my hands on to keep learning how best to save specific seeds, and how to store and then grow.
It is a life long adventure bordering on addiction possibly, but if you have to have an addiction this is a good one to have. I still study daily and look for information to keep filling my files, and have found a large community of fellow growers who are just as crazy about seeds and growing as I am. Why I save seeds are for all the tomorrows for families and growers that come along. And they may find happiness at their dinner table with the platters full of fresh food to feed their tomorrows. And if you find a seed in your pocket, your a seed saver also. Growing green and finishing with the last of the pepper seeds for 2019.
Growing Green with Jannie