Monday, October 26, 2020

Urban Gleaning: Seed Saving Time

In my area, this is the time to be gleaning the urban landscape and saving seeds.

I love plants and always look for unusual or beautiful plantings as I go about my life. Beginning in September, I began stopping at various public plantings and noting any seed pods or seed heads. Now I use my notes to return to areas and gather seeds from the sidewalks and streets. 

I am extremely lucky to have access to a very rare fruit tree that had a bumper crop this year. It is a steady seller on Etsy for me. Piggybacking on that rare tree, I have been adding unusual desert plants to my seed bank, and they also are now selling. I expect a big burst of sales in spring, and by that time many traditional plant seeds I've gathered, such as wisteria, will have finished drying, and be ready to plant.

Today I gathered four kinds of seeds within steps of each other: Desert Willow and its orchid-like blooms, Mexican Bird of Paradise with bright red-and-yellow-catch-a-fellow blossoms, Golden Rain Tree (we also called it Golden Chain Tree) with its pink "paper lantern" seed pods, and another lucky find, the Desert Museum Palo Verde with its yellow five-petaled speckled flowers and edible pods.


urban gleaning showing three different seed plants palo verde, mexican bird of paradise, broom

Yes, the Palo Verde has delicious seeds in the pods, much like endame. When green, the pods can be blanched and the seeds eaten plain or salted. They can also be blanched, then roasted with spices. Due to the unusual bloom activity so late in the season, trees have blossoms, fully dried pods and new green pods at the same time right now. With snow flurries expected tomorrow, I think that will end soon!

I am grateful for the bounty these public plantings are providing me, and happy that more people now get to plant these seeds and enjoy the unique plants. I trade seeds in several seed-trading groups, too. Trading is a wonderful way to get seeds you've always wanted, usually for the price of a stamp or two.

    Kind regards,

    Olde Dame Holly Rose

1 comment :

  1. I like to collect some seeds during the summer months, last year I saw some pretty snapdragons which went to seed. I collected them and they came up this year giving me even more seeds. I like to try and overwinter cuttings too.


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