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Waste Not, Want Not

by Judy Wolfram


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It’s August and almost the end of the growing seasons. I’m sure that you got enough bounty to can or freeze your winter supply, but did you ever think about next year or the birds?

You can do both by collecting, drying and saving your seeds. Wash your tomato, pepper and zucchini seeds, dry them on paper towels, and store them in glass jars with tight lids in a cool, dry place. About the middle of March, you can bring them out, buy some potting soil and plant the seed in any containers that you have saved over the winter for such a project. Place the containers in the sunniest windows of your home and water them lightly.

In order to mark what is what, buy some inexpensive plastic (preferably white) knives, write what veggie it is and place it in the appropriate container. A magic marker will do the job just fine.

If you grow potatoes, save the small ones in a cool, dry place and plant them next spring. They won’t do any good if they are hybrid.

If you feed the birds, plus an occasional chipmunk (one that the cat must have missed), I can help with bird seeds. Save your cantaloupe, acorn squash, pumpkin, watermelon, grape and apple seeds. Wash and dry them on paper towels, then mix them together and store them in a glass jar with a tight lid in a cool, dry place until fall. Mix them in with the seed you buy to give the birds a treat. I have never tried orange, lemon or grapefruit seeds, but they might work also.

Now we have a vegetable garden and happy birds, all for very little money and some “elbow grease,” as my mother used to say, and a happy end to summer.

My thought for the month is: Don’t forget to share your end of the garden goodies with those who don’t or can’t have a garden.

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