A sneeze several years ago started me along the circuitous route toward growing seeds to save.A couple years ago I discovered a way to save small monies when ordering seeds online. All you have to do is sign up for the site, add items to your shopping cart, then wait. After a few days or so you will receive an email from the company asking you to complete your order with a nice little discount. Not all companies do this, but for those seeking rare seeds *hint-hint* wait for the second email because you will receive a larger discount. Small monies, I know, but at least you can get a seed pack or two for free.
I had heard the arguments against growing seeds for so long that I began believing them all. Don’t grow seeds, the garden books say. These various arguments all seem to boil down to one main point: that you and I really aren’t smart enough to save seeds. Our grandparents did, as did their parents; as did countless generations reaching almost back to our ancestors who first swung out of a tree, but the plain truth is that the human line has petered out a bit, and that you and I aren’t capable of growing our own seeds.
Then comes the final point, the real clincher: Seeds are cheap.
But are seeds really cheap? I hadn’t thought of it too much, only realizing that each January my seed bill grew larger and larger, while my garden stayed the same. And noticing that I now paid $2 for what I thought was a dollar’s worth of peas.
Then came that sneeze. Surprising how it snuck up on me. Surprising how loud it was. Surprising me so that my right hand snapped skyward. My right hand at that moment was holding a few seeds–$5 worth of tiny petunia seeds. The dustlike seeds shot up, then were caught in the gale of the sneeze and scattered to, in this case, the one wind.
The seeds were gone, but not forgotten. For that incident started me thinking more about seed costs. My handy calculator soon told me that, if I had managed to sneeze away a pound of those petunia seeds, instead of 1/128 of an ounce, my sneeze bill for the day would have amounted to more than $10,000. That’s much more than gold costs, and it certainly shows that seeds aren’t cheap.
Mar Rogers, Saving Seeds: The Gardener’s Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds (Storey Publishing, LLC 1990), 3-4.