How to Store Seeds (Outside of Norway)

Anyone with a garden knows that you don’t always use all the seeds in a particular packet.  You also know about the free seeds with online plant orders and stocking up on clearanced seeds for the next year.  With all these seeds not in the ground, you might be wondering the best way to store them.

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There’s a seed vault in Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, where scientists have stored as many different varieties of seeds as they can.  Why in Norway?  Because if the vault ever looses power, the seeds will still be cold.  Seeds need cold to stay dormant and survive until you plant them in the ground.  It is estimated that some of the seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault could stay viable for thousands of years.  These seeds are supposed to help secure the future of agriculture and plant diversity on our planet.  If, say, a particular variety of zinnia falls out of favor with the public and companies and individuals stop growing it completely, the hope is that that particular variety of zinnia is stored in the seed vault so when people realize they want that particular variety of zinnia back, they still have it.  The seeds in the vault could also be used if a disease or catastrophic event wipes out all of a particular plant in the world.  I just hope they’re better at sprouting seeds than I am.

The best way for you to store seeds, outside of moving to Norway, is in a glass container in your refrigerator.  The fridge will obviously keep the seeds cold, and the glass jar will keep them dry.  That part is important because humidity can be a problem in refrigerators.  I save glass food jars for my growing collection of seeds.  I was even able to grow some watermelons this past year that were from seeds my dad had saved from the year I was born.  They were delicious! Moral of the story- save your seeds carefully and they will be there for you for years.

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Coriander, Not Cilantro

This makes me think of the song, Istanbul (Not Constantinople), by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon.

Coriander was cilantro
Now it’s coriander, not cilantro
Been a long time gone, cilantro
Why did cilantro get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the gardeners

Wow, that was really bad.  Sorry.  Anyways, when I first was looking at planting cilantro for salsa making I was interested to find out that cilantro is the same plant as coriander.  The leaves are called cilantro and the seeds, coriander.  My little patch of cilantro has become a little patch of coriander as the plants have gone to seed.

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If you have your own little patch of cilantro you can let it turn into a patch of coriander at the end of the growing season.  It will slowly start to die and you will see little green seeds start to form at the end of branches.  Then the plant will dry and turn from green to brown.  Once the plant has completely dried out, you can harvest the coriander.

You can pick each seed by hand or you can pick larger clusters and hang them upside down in a paper bag.  Shake it and they will fall off the branches and into the bag.  I decided to only harvest some of the seeds and hope that the rest will re sprout cilantro next year.  They absolutely should, my only hesitancy is if the patch gets taken over by weeds.

Sweet, Sweet Sugar Snap Peas

My dad’s garden had yielded lots of sugar snap peas.  Sugar snap peas are a great early crop, he planted the seeds in April and they have been enjoying the peas for a few weeks now.

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I plan on doing this next year because I love these things!  The minion and I love to snack on them raw, but you can also cook them.  Either way you need to snap the ends off and string them.  You can eat the pods on these however.

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Throw them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes or until they are the desired texture for you.  You can season them after you take them out of the microwave but they really don’t need anything, they have a lot of sweet, earthy flavor on their own.