Gardening is a challenge, but it pays big dividends.

Recently I provided you with tips for planting and harvesting vegetables from 10 different kinds of seeds. I’m going to do the same thing in this blog with another 10 open-pollinated, non-hybrid, non-genetically modified, heirloom seeds with high germination rates.

First, though, I want to remind you about how important food independence is. As you know, food and water disappear quickly from stores when a potential weather disaster is predicted, and even more rapidly when an unexpected storm strikes that knocks out power.

The next storm, natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergency could produce a crisis that lasts considerably longer than previous ones. In addition to stockpiling food and water, the best way to prepare is by growing your own food in your own garden, then saving some seeds for the next planting season and storing other seeds for the future.

Here are those additional tips I promised:

When selecting the seeds of Corn, closely examine both the plant and the ears of corn. Choose the best ears from the earliest-bearing plants.

A cool weather crop, Lettuce can be eaten early but has a long season for seed saving. Lettuce seeds don’t all ripen at once.

Let Peppers ripen beyond the eating stage before collecting their seeds, which will be ready when the fruit is no longer green.

Harvest Tomato seeds when the fruits are fully ripe. Save the seeds from the fruits of several plants.

Beets will provide plenty of seeds. In fact, what may look like a single seed is probably several seeds in a ball. When they turn brown, they are mature.

With Eggplant, when the fruit turns from firm and glossy to dull and somewhat puckered, the seed is ready to harvest.

The pods of Radishes won’t split open when they mature. When the pods turn brown, remove the seeds, which can be sown as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.

The seeds of Carrots should be harvested when they turn brown in the early fall. Seeds in the top branches will ripen before those of the lower branches.

Cauliflower seeds should be planted in the late spring or early summer. In the second year, seeds in pods will be produced on tall stalks, and they should be harvested when the pods turn brown.

Parsley plants produce an abundance of seeds. They can be harvested when they are observed maturing in the fall.

Have you had experience with growing any of those 10 vegetables? If so, maybe you have some suggestions to share. Or how about some other vegetables I haven’t mentioned? Please feel free to share your expertise. It would be much appreciated.

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