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Beans and Peas

Seed Saving

Here at the Hunter Organic Growers Society, we are committed to preserving the traditional methods of bean and pea seed saving. Seed saving is a method of preserving and storing seeds from year to year, essential in ensuring the continuation of our crops. Contact us to learn more about our seed saving workshops and events.

The method was written by Greg Murphy and published in the 95/96 HOGS Quarterly Summer Edition.

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Steps

Step 1

# 1. Choose the plants that have the most desirable characteristics for your needs, eg. the earliest maturing, most healthy and vigorous grower, an abundance of fruit with good seed pods on them.

#2 Mark the bushes you intend to save seed from with a tag 

#3 Leave the seeds on the bush until they are dry. The dry pods can be harvested on an individual basis as soon as they dry.

# 4. Open up the pods and remove the seeds. It is as simple as that.

Step 2

# 5. It is now necessary to test the seeds to determine if they properly dried; noting that larger seeds take longer than the smaller ones.

Test by biting the seed with a reasonably firm bite. No bite marks indicates the seed is ready. If not, dry a little longer and then test again.

# 6. Seeds can be dried in many ways such as in a bowl in a warm position out of direct sunlight; on paper; they can be placed in paper bags and hung in a place where there is a breeze.

# 7. Discard any seeds that are blemished or not formed.

Step 3

# 8. Bean seeds can be attacked by weevils.

It is a good idea to put the beans in a jar and freeze for 48 hours prior to storage. This will destroy any larvae already under the skin of the bean.

# 9. After you have frozen the beans make sure

you thaw them out to room temperature in the jar, prior to opening the jar and that they have dried out prior to storage.

# 10. Store in a paper bag and in a dark bottle. The method of storage of seeds is debatable.

The reason this method is suggested is that the paper will absorb any excess moisture and the jar will keep our weevils.

#11. Peas are picked from the vine when they rattle in their pods. They are treated the same way as for beans. Simple isn't it.

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