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How to save basil seeds

Picking basil seedsI added basil to my list of garden plants with easy to save seeds this year.  We always plant a whole garden bed of basil, carefully snipping off any flowers in early summer to keep the leaves small and tender.  But by late summer, we've frozen as much pesto as we want and only need about a quarter of the bed to pick fresh leaves for seasoning.  So this year I let the unused portion of the bed go to seed, and after the frost Mom and I stripped the seed heads off a few of the plants.

Due to our success with winnowing amaranth, the flour sifter had become my new favorite tool for seed-saving.  I rubbed the basil pods with my hands to break them open, passed them through the sifter, then dropped the remains from one bowl to another.  Ten minutes after going out the door, we had a tablespoonful of clean basil seeds, plenty for next year's garden.  I can't imagine why I've been buying basil seeds for the past few years!

Our homemade chicken waterer gives your flock clean, poop-free water.

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