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  • Michael Inman

25th march : Save Our Seeds! Saving seeds at the Salisbury Centre.

Today was a Gloriously sunny day!. Last week I found out through Jonathan a local community artist about the Salisbury centre close to the centre of Edinburgh's South Clerk St whom work with the community and the environment, and recently set up a series of sustainable talks and projects.

Today I joined in with exploring there community seed libary and talks based on seeds, how we can learn, collect and save them ourselves and potentially create our very own seed libraries - So perfect for what im looking to do at the Craigmillar now centre.

The talk was set within the incredible gardens that where already buzzing with life and was a fascinating journey starting at why seeds are important to understanding how seeds are created in the first place. Its fascinating to think that some plants only need themselves to produce a seed through pollination whilst others need more variety. Hybrids where two very different plants cross pollinate could even lead to totally different seeds and future plants! so there is so much more to seeds than simply waiting for autumn and picking them off the plant.

To think to that how a plant is pollinated too whether you decide to pollinate the plant yourself for a specific seed or whether naturally it occurs by wind or insect or bird as in some cases abroad is crucial to what seed is produced, only adds more to the fascinating science of seeds.

There was also a wonderfully interesting exploration of different kinds of seeds within the garden, for a important question is often where is the seed?. some plants like Calendula marigolds for instance wich ill be growing in the dye garden produce tough almost insect looking seeds right at the base of the old flower head. some seeds are expected to be eaten by birds for instance too, so gentle rubbing with fine sandpaper might be a requirement for some stone seeds to replicated the birds stomach digesting its hard outer seed shell. As with the amazing science of seeds, we also learnt a lot of practical tips in keeping a seed libary, for instance the best storage conditions are cool, dark, dry and clean and that seeds like many other things in life have a life expectancy, at the centre they keeping seeds for 1-5 years for after that its uncertain whether the seed will be alive or not. To help see the health of a seed collection too, there is a check we can do where we select a couple from the batch and cut them open. if they are hollow or empty that means there is no food supplied in the seed and that its died but if its dense and full that would mean a healthy seed.

Overall the whole afternoon was wonderful at the centre and I honestly learnt so much about seeds and plants! its really opened my eyes to how things work but also to how exiting and fun a process of seed collecting can be. If honest now im quite exited myself to be establishing our very own seed libary at Craigmillar Now.

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