Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alternative Seed Sources

Not everyone can, or is comfortable with shopping online, so sometimes getting the seeds you want can be a challenge.

The trip to the local home improvement store garden center, or the seed rack at the local hardware store sometimes is less than satisfying. Sometimes you just want to expand your horizon when it comes to the crops you grow on your own little plot of ground.

Enter your local supermarket and natural food store.

Many of the corporate chains have joined the bandwagon when it comes to offering "organic", vegetarian, and even vegan foods to their customers. In many stores, one will find an isle or two with organic foods including things like wheat berries, lentils, barley, wild rice, etc. Usually the seeds are in bulk bins.

They haven't been processed and are raw. That means, in many cases, the seeds are viable.

It's true. I'm running a test right now on stuff I bought out of the bins at the Raley's in a neighboring city.

So far, the wheat, lentils, quinoa, navy beans, barley, soy and flax have germinated and are growing! The only disappointment is the sesame seeds, but I haven't given up hope as the seeds have only been in the starter peat cups since Sunday. Three days, and these things are growing!

Frankly, I'm amazed at their progress. Especially since it is the middle of January.

The Raley's I visited is somewhat limited on the seed foods they have available. I'm going to have to visit a Whole Foods or one of the larger natural food stores when I get over into the San Francisco Bay Area the next time. I want to get some amaranth, rye, millet, and maybe some oats!

Now granted, the navy beans aren't exactly hard to come by. The local hardware store had packages of seed for about $2.00. It felt like maybe a dozen in the package. I bought an entire pound of the navy beans for $2.54. I'm not even going to attempt to count what is in that sack! So, it might actually be more cost effective to buy some of your seed from the organic food section of your local grocer!

Don't forget to check out the fresh organic vegetable isle for seeds as well! You can buy wax beans and similar and save the seed from a few while making your evening meal. I've saved the seed out of many peppers that I have bought.

I'd really like to try growing wild rice, but unfortunately where I live it isn't practical. If you live near a stream, pond or lake, you might want to give it a shot!


Anonymous said...

Good idea! I bought some cranberry beans to try to germinate. The sesame seeds might have been toasted before packaging - were they labeled raw? Same for the oats. Wish I were closer to stores that sold amaranth & other grains.

Catman said...

Hey Stephanie,

Well, when I get some amaranth and some other grains, I'll let you know. A one pound bag is alot of seed. I'd be happy to share!

Catman said...

Oh, and the sesame seed isn't toasted. It's labeled as being raw....so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Brother, I like the way you think!!!
buy organic-- probably supporting,at least to a degree, a local farmer/gardener--- cook a meal AND save seed!

Any seed having trouble, try a bottom heat source (I used a 'recycled' waterbed heating source once, adjustable thermostat and all). Especially needed if you are "starting' seed in a garage or cooler area.

Glad to hear of your successful "experiment"!

Great post, Bulls.

On the morrow...

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Er... CATMAN... sorry 'bout that! sure you understand...(blushes...)

Bullseye said...

Would have never thought of that man, great idea. I'll check the organic isle at Kroger and see what I might come up with. This is great information Catman. Thank you brother.

Catman said...


No problem guy! My wife reads everyone's blogs and she gets confused.

She says we all sound like we're related.

Catman said...


My pleasure. Gotta find a way around all the roadblocks Monsanto and the government keeps throwing up trying to make us all dependent on them!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post CM...now here's a link you might fancy...how to grow rice in a bucket, it works!

I've added the link for you on my blog under the "how to" section:)

Ken said...

...great post...thanx for the links Brother...

Catman said...

Hi Molly,

Thanks, I'll have to head over to your site when I get home from work and read about growing rice in a bucket. I just hope it doesn't become a breeding ground for skeeters (mosquitoes). We have enough of those little bastards already.

Catman said...

Thanks, Ken.

I hope all is well over there on your home front!

Anonymous said...

Molly beat me to the bucket idea. It was a 4H project in the past. Just put a goldfish in, maybe one of those mosquito dunks or a frog & the mosquitoes should be gone. otoh Crowley's Ridge AR has a mosquito recipe contest at one of their festivals - grow your own contest ingredient. lol