Resourceful CSA member Ray has saved the first Oak Tree seeds: from the few broad beans plants that survived last winter. They are obviously pretty vigorous as we had an almost 100% germination rate, and the young plants are now growing between black plastic on the old potato bed looking incredibly healthy.
Many market gardens don’t raise their own plants- rather they buy in young plants from a nursery. Thanks to The Oak Tree’s origins in the transition movement, we want to be resilient in the face of rising fuel prices and climate change, so we haven’t gone down that route. While raising our own seedlings is cheaper, it is more time consuming. But it does mean we have the opportunity to develop strains of seeds that suit our particular site and climate.
I used to do this when I grew veg on a smaller scale, and I have seen the benefits of developing seeds suited to a particular site: they are more resistant to extremes of weather, yield more, and crop earlier/later according to the plants you chose to collect seed from. So Ray’s seed saving this year could be the start of a whole new adventure at The Oak Tree. Thanks Ray!