I know many gardeners who would like to try seed saving, but are afraid of the commitment and skill level needed to save seeds. My advice to them…don’t be afraid, it’s easier than you think! Pick only one of the three easiest types of seeds to save and just go for it!
My favorite vegetable to save seeds from. If you are already growing a dry bean variety, like black beans, kidney beans or rattlesnake beans, just save some of the dry beans for planting the next year. If you are growing any kind of green beans, wax beans or hydrated beans, chose a few plants at the end of your rows not to harvest from, and allow bean pods to develop and dry before harvesting and shelling for seed.
Leave just one or two of each type of lettuce you grow to bolt (form a long, tall stem) and go to flower. When the flowers turn to seed heads and begin to dry, collect the seeds by hand, shaking into a cup or bag, or follow the additional instructions in the link above. Many flower and herb seeds, like calendula, basil, and marigolds, can also be collected this way.
Saving seeds for tomato plants is a little more complicated than beans or lettuce, but still easy enough for beginning seed savers. Check out the link above for a step by step tutorial on saving tomato seeds.
Need seeds for any of these plants? Become a member of the Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library to “borrow” your first seed saving seeds and share with our seed saving community or pick a variety to purchase from our online Seeds Now seed shop.