Sunday, September 27, 2015

Seed Saving: Harvesting Heirloom Yellow Crookneck Squash Seeds


Fall is here and our garden is coming to it's end.  If you are a gardener you are probably like me and are already thinking about next year's garden!

One thing that I do is to observe varieties that did well for me so that I can replant successful varieties next year!  At the end of the season I allow some of my best producing heirloom vegetable plants to grow their vegetable well beyond their maturity in order to harvest some mature seeds to save for next year's planting. 

So here I will show you how I harvested some heirloom yellow crookneck squash seeds. It's a simple process and saving heirloom seeds allows you to grow free food next year.  Isn't that a great thing?  Free food! I love that!
Heirloom Seed Saving:  How to Harvest Heirloom Yellow Crookneck Squash Seeds

Choose a mature squash that is well beyond it's picking peak for consumption. It will be large and bumpy and will therefore contain lots of seeds.

Slice the squash into sections and remove the seeds.  I try to go thru and choose the most mature, plump seeds for harvesting.
Heirloom Yellow Crookneck Squash Seeds

Work thru the gooey membrane and pull out the seeds.
Seed Saving Heirloom Yellow Crookneck Squash
Lay the seeds in a thin layer on a paper towel and allow them to dry out completely. It will take several days for this to be accomplished.  You want to make sure they are dried out completely because you do not want any moisture left remaining so that the seeds will not mold.

Once you are sure that the seeds are completely dried out, place the seeds into an envelope.  Clearly mark the seed variety and the date that they were harvested on the outside of the envelope. Store in a cool, dry place until time to plant next year!

Do you harvest your heirloom seeds too?

Monday, September 7, 2015

On the Spindle - Polwarth and Silk Blend

Spinning Polwarth / Silk Fiber

I recently purchased some 85 percent Polwarth /  15% Silk blend of fiber.  Polwarth is a breed of sheep that is a cross between merino and lincoln sheep.  Polwarth fiber is next to skin soft and has a nice staple length  that makes it easy to spin even using a hand spindle.  It has been a joy to spin!  I am hoping to get around five hundred yards of two ply yarn off of this four ounces of top roving. 

 Do you have any experience spinning polwarth? I would love for you to share your handspun so you are welcome to link in the comments!