The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Freezing seeds to kill insects

Freezing seedsIf you have room in your freezer, you can store all of your seeds there to extend their longevity, but I froze my kale seeds for a different reason.  While harvesting, I saw lots of insects wriggling around, and I've noticed in general that bigger seeds (especially corn and beans) are prone to insect damage if you take them directly from the garden to a seed storage box.  Even though the insects I noticed at first glance in my kale harvest were benign, I decided to head off the problem in my big stash of seeds.

Freezing seeds is extremely simple, but you can do it wrong.  The potential problem is getting your seeds wet, either by putting them in the freezer in a paper package, or by defrosting them incorrectly.  As you can see in this post's second photo, cold seeds coming out of the freezer pull moisture out of the air, but that isn't an issue as long as you wait to open plastic containers until they're thoroughly thawed.  Condensation(The air inside the container should be low in moisture, so you won't see condensation on the inside as long as it stays sealed.)

For basic seed-saving tips to make your homestead more self-sufficient (and cheaper) without much work, check out the September volume of Weekend Homesteader.  We don't save all of our own seeds, but enjoy saving the easiest ones like tomatoes and beans.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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