Thinking Ahead to Spring . . .
Taking a few minutes to save seeds can save money and produce fabulous results in your garden!
“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. -Matthew 13:3-8, ESV
I have come to LOVE saving seeds. I rejected it at first because I found it intimidating. I didn’t know if drying and saving would even work. I wasn’t sure if the seeds would survive in the basement over the winter, if I would even remember I saved them when spring came, or if I was prepared to help them all grow at their different planting times, depths, and well lit areas. But once I started, I realized that seeds are designed to do this.
After I got over how complex all the details of saving and growing are; I just focused on the seeds. And once I focused on the seeds, I saw the world as a different place. Suddenly, it wasn’t something I had to control and hyperventilate over. The planting and growing of seeds is a beautiful process that I only have to play a small part in. And there are flowers EVERYWHERE, just waiting to be harvested and given new life.
The Bible has a lot to say about seeds. In the verse above, “seeds” represent the gospel of Jesus (the good news that Jesus died for our sins and provided a way to be reconciled to God by having faith that Jesus is God in the flesh, our Savior AND Lord). As Christians, we are commanded and encouraged to be the seed spreaders.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9, ESV
After God saved me 2 years ago, saying I was on fire with the gospel was an understatement. I was even annoying my fellow Christians; although I think I still do at times. I had no trouble sharing the gospel with everyone because I was so excited about Jesus and what He had done for me! I couldn’t believe that after all this time I wasn’t going to heaven like I thought; and now I can know without a doubt that I am. Not to mention the way He changed my whole view of the world, reconciled my marriage, and gave me purpose and a new heart. And I want everyone to have that! I thought if I could explain to them the pieces that I had been missing, that I could, in a way, get everyone saved myself! Wrong.
And I think this let down is something a lot of Christians experience. After enough crazy looks, rejection by friends and family (sometimes even Christians), and (no matter how much you share) seeing little to no results, new Christians can experience a burnout. And after awhile you stop being so excited, stop talking about it so much, and the fire gets small. But as long as you are genuinely born again and baptized with the Holy Spirit, I guarantee that your fire can NEVER completely go out. God is in you! You have the red hot coals of forgiveness and grace crackling beneath your fear and disappointment. And I tell you, life is so much better when you are on fire with Jesus (sitting alone at lunch) than when you are smoldering the flames (in your large group of friends).
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him . . .” – 1 John 2:4
I know it can be scary. Like the verse above, our seeds can land anywhere. And it feels like a lot to lose at times. But I tell you, stop focusing on the planting and growing, and just focus on the seeds!! Flowers are everywhere, waiting to be harvested!
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” –Luke 10:2, ESV
If apprehension overcomes you at thought of doing this, there are things you can do to be prepared. We need to be studying and praying daily, filling our hearts and brains with the truth of Jesus. And when you are consciously living in that gratitude and under that grace, the Gospel will naturally flow out of you in conversation and deed. God says that His Word will never come back void; it’s powerful enough to break the hardest hearts.
“Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” -Jeremiah 23:29
And sometimes we think that sharing the gospel is just an option; that if we are not “evangelically gifted” that we are not responsible for this. Wrong again.
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” -Romans 10:13-14
And really, at the end of your life, what else is going to matter but the sprinkling of the “saving” seeds. Like my dad used to say, “The only thing you can take with you when you’re dead is your friends and family.” (I’m aware I talk about dying a lot, I think it’s genetic.)
“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” – Acts 20:26-27
I encourage you today, don’t focus on the complex details of the planting and growing; that’s God’s job. Focus on the “saving seeds”!
“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3:7
You would be shocked at how easy this is to do yourself. Get the biggest bang for your buck from annuals and perennials. Buy annuals once and grow them year after year after year. Now, the best reason to save the seeds from your perennials are to spread them to different areas of your yard or perhaps you have ground cloth down and your plants can’t reproduce easily on their own.
This is a bouquet of zinnias my mother-in-law gifted me with. When they saw their last good day . . .
I cut their heads off . . . and dried them on a paper towel.
As I did with the bouquet of sunflowers my brother Chad gave me on my birthday.
Now it will take several days, maybe even a week depending on the size of flower, for the heads to dry completely. Then put them in a paper bag or envelope, label and date them, and tuck them in a cool dry place until next spring.
You have to be sure they are completely dry before you bag them or they will mold and spoil. 😦 Ask me how I know.
But you can save the seeds from almost anything that will grow in your planting zone. These are spaghetti squash seeds I saved from a farmer’s market squash. Rinse them, dry them, stuff in them in an envelope.
I will not be able to have a huge vegetable garden next year, as we are still under construction here. But I have managed to save a few of my favorites and some unique varieties from people sharing produce at work. Yes, eat one and save one for dissection! Like the yellow pear tomato- so cool! I had to keep it.
Purple Joe Pye Weed . . .
Purple Cone Flower . . .
Zebra Grass . . . yes, just clip those pretty tops off!
And a bundle of Black Eyed Susans I grabbed from the church parking lot. I’m not sure if this is considered a sin or not, but there was an abundance just sitting out there . . .
And don’t underestimate them as a nice little gift for friends. My great friend, Anna, packed up some of her Asiatic Lily pods for me. And make sure to mark who they are from so you can show them the results of their gift next year! Chad thought it was pretty cool that I keep reusing his birthday bouquets.
It’s fall time kids! But don’t give up on your yards yet.
Keep in mind that spring will be here again soon and you have plenty of time to be ready!