My thing was when we first started gardening was to save seed. Some things are easier to save seeds from, i.e. cabbages, caulis, broccolis, kale. Things like lettuce are reasonably easy to save as well. I do try to save as many as I can. The ones I have difficulty in saving are things like capsicum, I don’t do so well. I get them from Kings seed down in Katikati. I get given a lot of seeds as well from different people. I’ve got seven different types of tomatoes, one that I got from a nephew inlaw, green tomatoes. A few years ago Isabelle gave me some Italian tomatoes, so…
Is that important for you, to know the whakapapa of the seed that you get given?
I think that’s all apart of what Hua Parakore’s all about. Knowing about where the seed comes from so that it has some integrity in ensuring that they are safe seeds and that they’re easily dependable and you know that they’re going to grow again, ‘cause they’ve come from someone else and they’ve got them from their own seed stock. So it’s about integrity, dependability in terms of sustainability of the two.
Is there any special process you do when you do plant your seed or before you plant your seed in the ground? Do you do anything special with them?
Saving them is almost an art within itself because you have to have the right conditions to be able to save them and you always take the best to save. They need to be kept in a dry environment or away from bugs and rodents. And I label them, so every time I have seeds saved I label them. The best way is on a piece of tissue. Say if I got tomatoes for example, I put them on a piece of tissue and I dry it and then keep them. When it comes to actually planting them, tomatoes are smaller things and are not so easy to start. Things like corn and potatoes are easy. You just put them back in the ground. But in terms of planting again, they take a lot of care. Not everyone is patient when it comes to growing seedlings. You have to have a special hand and patience is a part of it.
no Geneva Hildreth, Nga Puhi