Thursday, July 17, 2008
Expired garden seeds...
While going through some garden seeds from last year, I pondered over the expiration dates. Do seeds REALLY expire?
I searched for the information in my gardening books --- although seeds don't really "expire" some do lose their vitality. It really depends on how well they are stored.
I've been reading a lot about how genetically altered hybrid seeds are not good for cultivating. This is why I'm so interested in heirloom gardens. Due to hybrid marketing, plants are becoming more and more extinct.
Seed Savers is a wonderful place to find rare seeds and to share and learn with other heirloom gardeners - http://www.seedsavers.org/
One of the headlines that really captured my attention was the 2000 year old date palm that was excavated in Masada - a cliff-side fortress in Israel where the Jews had killed themselves to avoid capture by the Roman soldiers.
The date seeds were found in storage rooms, stockpiled by the Jews as they hid from the invading Romans. 40 years ago these seeds were discovered and placed in a drawer until scientists decided to have them germinated.
This extinct Judean date palm sprouted and has been named, Methuselah.
I won't be tossing away any of my "expired" seeds after all. I figure if science can revive a 2000 year old date palm, I can plant seeds that I had purchased in the year 2000.