Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Experimenting with seeds and roots

A couple of weeks ago I found a great sale on strawberries.  I put several quarts in the freezer and dehydrated several quarts.

These strawberries were dehydrated in my Excalibur at 135 degrees for 13 hours.  When I took the trays out to put them into jars,  I noticed a whole bunch of dried seed on the table where I had placed the trays.   I decided to experiment.  

I dampened a paper towel, raked the seeds from the table onto the towel, folded it up, placed it in a closed Ziploc bag and put them on top of the refrigerator. 

I didn't really expect anything as I thought 135 degrees would kill a seed but look at this.  They are very hard to see but I have about 6 or 7 teeny, tiny strawberry plants.  I'm going to place the entire paper towel on the top of a pot with potting soil, keep it damp and see what happens next.

My next experiment was with some popcorn that was vacuumed packed with my Food Saver in 2008.  I had originally purchased the popcorn in a huge bag from Sam's Club to put away for snacks and I also read it makes great corn meal when ground.

I did the same thing with 10 kernerls of corn as I did with the strawberry seed.  Today is the 4th day and 2 have sprouted so far.  One rolled under the refrigerator so I have 9 experimental seeds now.  I don't know if the one I dropped sprouted.  

 Cute little future popcorn from 5 year old seed!

This past fall we bought peanut hay for our goats.  Some of the bales still had peanuts still clinging so I saved a ziplock bag of them.  This morning I shelled them and got about 8 ounces of seed.  I'll get these planted in the garden today if possible and see what happens. 

My other experiment was with onions.  I am like mmpaints at Self Sustained Living..... Why didn't I think of this?  I've tossed roots of things like onions, celery, carrots and such in the compost pile.  At times if they are on the outer edge they will begin to grow.  I usually turn them back under or pull them up for the goats and chickens.  I never thought about letting them grow so now I am reclaiming my onions and as soon as I buy more celery...I will be using this method as well.

When you cut the root area off of an onion.  Make a spot in your garden and gently press it into the soil.

Cover with soil
I am putting my onion roots in my back to Eden garden so I pulled wood chips over the top.  I'll post on this again when I see some action going on.  You can read the entire process at Self Sustained Living.

Are you reclaiming any of your food?  Experiment now and see what works for you.  You may need it later!


  1. Mamma Bear,

    I did celery and it's growing fabulously. I also did parsnip tops and they grew really nice until someone decided not to water my cans in the window :-(

    There are so many things one can do with clippings. I can't wait to hear more about your onions. I love what you did with the strawberry seeds and corn.

    1. Sandy...I have never ate Parsnips. Are they like a turnip? too bad about losing your new baby plants.

      I experimented with my cabbage but it got too warm before I could see what happened. After I cut the head off to the ground I took a sharp knife and made an X in the stem showing above ground. I had 4 or 5 baby cabbage heads start to grow from the one plant. This winter I will know to do it sooner. I read this on someones blog but I can't remember who so I can't give them the credit. I will for sure think twice about things getting tossed into the compost pile now. My goats and chickens may not be too happy either!

  2. I do scallions now, after learning about this. I don't buy them anymore unless they come in my bi-weekly veggie bin delivery.

    1. DFW...I haven't bought any scallions lately but the next time I do they will be going into the garden. I would love to never have to buy onions, scallions and celery again! The stores here thing the onions and potatoes are gold plated.

  3. Interesting I thought Strawberries had evolved past the seeds actually being viable and only the runners produced new plants now.

    Anyway nice catch!!!

    I have gown onions and garlic with leftovers before bu thats about it.

    1. Preppy...I have seen strawberry seeds for sale on the web before but have never thought about ordering and growing any from seed. Although there were a lot of seed and only a few sprouted, I was still amazed that they sprouted after being exposed to 135 degrees for 13 hours.

  4. I am going to try strawberry seeds from strawberries and some that someone gave me in a package.


Search This Blog