As I await spring and prepare my soil for warmer weather, I collect my thoughts as I collect seeds of all kinds. It is a restful and contemplative activity, my mind slows and hands work steadily to free seed from their host. I compose myself and feel a deep connection to all who have come before me and all who will come after me. They too will touch the seeds from this plant and this tiny seed I gently free from its hold will grow tall and strong and sustain generations to come.
Collecting seed is an act of gratitude, an act of praise and an act of deep spiritual connection to the earth.
This week I collect: (clockwise from top left), delicious organic gogi berries soaking so that I can harvest the seeds tomorrow, sweet papaya seed, lovely peppery-rocket seed, lemon seed, green pepper seed and coriander seed.
The smaller pip was placed on the windowsill today, this came from the smoothest avocado I have tasted in a long time. I haven't been able to identify the varieties yet and when I went to look them up ...wow! there are over 500 varieties and I am not wading through them. I'll speak to my local grower to find out which I have, next time I am there.
harvesting seed and preparing for drying is slow work. This is an activity which for the most part will not be rushed. The papaya so far has been the most time consuming of all. I dried out trays of seeds a few weeks ago which all stuck to the drying paper and eventually had to be discarded. It is strange to think that in the past I would not have given a second thought to throwing out seed. Now that I understand their value, I would not consider it.
I discovered that to dry papaya seed, one has to remove the gelatinous covering; this is not as easy as it sounds. The covering is easily broken, like popping bubble wrap, but the coating is attached at one end and small pieces left behind still attached are not easily noticed until a day later when they begin to ferment and create a nasty brown gooey stain. It took three days of washing and drying each seed individually before I had completely eliminated all the goo. The results are tiny, spiky jet-black seeds which have dried beautifully.
This is my first attempt at seeding plants and drying seeds and I really enjoy the activity. It has been a spiritual awakening of sorts for which I am most grateful. I look forward to the day when I see the full cycle and I am ready to harvest seed from my own plants again.