A well-known gardener has created a video to show others a great way to save seeds, which carries a host of benefits.
The seeds shown in the Instagram Reel are from a lettuce plant, a healthy and popular staple for people around the world.
Instagrammer Kaleb Wyse (@wyseguide), who has hundreds of thousands of followers, is a fourth-generation gardener from Iowa who posts Reels about gardening, food, and farm life.
In this video, Wise opens by asking viewers if they “want to know the easiest way to save seed year to year in your garden?”
He goes on to show us his great-grandmother’s lettuce seed and explains how every year he saves it.
“To do that, we let heads of lettuce come up and eventually they open up into flowers,” he says.
Upon growing to the point where the flowers are “opening up” and “looking white and wanting to dry, you know it’s time to cut them to save the seeds,” Wyse articulates.
He then uses pruning shears to cut halfway down the stalk and places the removed segment of the lettuce upside down into a paper bag, where he lets it sit for a few weeks.
After that, he shakes the bag “until all the seed falls to the bottom” and that’s how he saves the seed “just like grandma and great-grandma did.”
How it’s helping
Wyse does an excellent job of explaining how to prolong crop seeds, which has two major benefits for gardeners and for the planet as a whole.
For one, growing our own food saves us money by reducing our grocery bills since we won’t have to go to the supermarket to buy produce.
It also lowers transportation costs since it saves you that trip to the store (unless it’s walking distance from your home).
Investopedia does a great job of breaking down the numbers on how much gardeners can save on certain foods. For example, one tomato plant can produce 10-30 pounds of tomatoes. A pack of seeds, which can obviously give you multiple plants, costs about the same as buying just one pound of tomatoes from the store.
So even if you include the soil and other things you’ll need to grow those plants, the savings can be significant.
With regards to the environmental impact, close to 40% of all food is thrown away in the U.S. each year, according to Feeding America, and 8-10% of carbon pollution produced by humans is linked to unconsumed produce, per the World Economic Forum.
This is partly because food must be transported from one place to another, which requires the burning of oil and gas, releasing gases that warm the planet. Transportation accounts for 6% of the food industry’s planet-warming gases.
Lots of land is also required for the production of food, which means trees are cut down, and fewer trees generally means more toxic gases in the atmosphere.
What everyone’s saying
“This is so cool,” one commenter expressed.
“What an amazing legacy! All you’ve been taught and continue to carry on … it’s so special,” another person added.
One user commented, “That is so fantastic and love that you are keeping her memory alive in your garden!”
“Brilliant, I’m going to try this,” another admitted.
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