Some seed is more developed than others. Some blooms further along than others so as I cut them I got better and better at making sure only mature seed was included. Steve says even if there is some underdeveloped seed in the bottom of the tub when I'm done, it's light enough to be winnowed out.
This is special seed to us, not only because we've grown it and loved it for so many years but right when we began to learn about seed saving, Kinko went off the market - no seed - no growers. Well, I had seed! I sent some back to Bill McDorman of Seeds Trust to send to his grower and then whipped out a bag of perfect roots from the fridge - we intended to eat them when we left for Seed School. When we came back, we held them until the ground thawed - March 14th and planted 117 roots in for seed! It took all spring, summer and fall and now my tiny living room has tubs of seed heads waiting for me.
It was a day before a storm - again the pressure to beat the snow was with me - storms sure help me get things done!
Into the kitchen it comes - check out this pic - you can see loose seed in the bowl - but you can also see how much seed comes on one flower head - amazing! Such abundance! Genetic vigor has been addressed - if you save seed from only one carrot root - you have the genetic vigor of one carrot. When the bees and bugs fly from plant to plant, mixing the genetics of each root - and then all of the seed is mixed together - genetic vigor remains. Carrots are famous for inbreeding depression - losing their vigor - so we were thrilled to have over 100 plants to work with. Hopefully the Native Seed/SEARCH will be pleased with our efforts as well.
I can't stop staring at them. And photographing them. Soon I will be boxing them up and shipping them off into the hands of famous seed gurus. Wow - it's been fun. Especially after such a poor year for us in the gardens - this carrot seed was the highlight of my harvest for sure. It's a lot of food my hand is holding - from one bloom!
Be sure to look at past blogs to see us planting in the roots, admiring the flowers and now - bringing in the seed.
I hope you enjoy seeing this process - nature rocks!!!