Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Harvesting My Own Dill Seed

One of my aims is to produce as much of my own seed as feasible. If you haven't noticed, buying seed is getting more and more expensive lately. And part of my idea of being self reliant calls for growing my own seed. 

So with that in mind, I harvested six big dill seed stalks a couple of weeks ago. I left them dry thoroughly in an airy spot in the shade. Weeelll, as dry as they could get considering that it's been raining frequently. But I don't want to force them to dry using added heat. Too high a temperature can kill the seed. So simple air drying is fine. here's the stalks, ready for seed harvesting. Dill seed tends to cling to the stalk, but not overly tightly. Below is a close up so that you can see the little brown seeds. 

One of the farm cats, Crookshank, was curious and checked things out. Is it edible, Mom? He actually took a big bite! 

Next, I put the dill stalks into a paper bag. Crookshank wanted to check it out too. 

Using a big spoon, I beat the bag pretty well. The idea is to beat the seeds off the stalks. I could have used any number of things to wack the bag with, but a spoon was handy and easy. Wack. Wack. Wack.....take care not to beat a hole in the bag! 

Looking into the bag I could see that I got 90% of the seed off. A few scrapes with the spoon got just about the rest off. 

Below.......Here we are, just about done. It only took a minute. There's about 2-3 dozen seeds still clinging to the stalks. 

I could have tossed the stalks in the trash at this point, but instead I walked over to the radish bed and pulled the rest of the dill seed loose. Scattering them about, they will sprout and become the next crop in this area. In the end, those seedless stalks got tucked into the soil where they will decompose and become part of the garden life cycle. Ha, another case of zero waste! 

Back to the bag. Checking inside, I see I've got quite a few seeds. Oh my, it smells great. Shame you can't smell what I'm smelling. Love that dill aroma! 

Even Crookshank found the smell appealing. I thought cats were catnip fiends, but Shank seems to have a thing for dill. 

A bowl of dill seed, how pretty. How cool! The seed is fairly clean, so I'm not going to bother processing it any further. If I intended to sell this seed, then I would sift out any dust and remove any bits of stalks. 

I ended up with 1/2 cup of seed from the 6 flower stalks. Wow, that's a good return. It would cost me quite a bit to buy that much seed. This will be enough seed to last me a while. I am growing dill year around and supplying a local restaurant, so I need to seed a little every two weeks. So all this seed will eventually get used. I'll store it in the refrigerator in an airtight glass jar. It should keep just fine that way. 

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