Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Organic Seed Harvest Monday for May 23rd, 2011.

Our harvest for this week is organically grown Brussels sprout seeds.

These are two of our plants that I let go to seed. They are right at six feet tall. It's hard to tell in this pic, but the major portion of both plants are bent over on the left from what you see contrasted against the fence all the way down to the ground.

This is another angle showing the portion of the plants that are leaning over.

A close up pic shows how nice and full the pods are as well as how abundant they are.

After pulling them I hung the plants in my shop with a fan blowing on them to help them dry faster.

I undertook the tedious task of cutting each individual pod off the branch that it was connected to and collected them in this plastic tub.

This video shows how I got the process of seed removal going. After crushing all the seed pods I sifted out the larger pieces of hull using the top of my son's old iguana tank. The hardware cloth on it had holes that were about 5/16 of an inch square, so it kept out all the larger pieces.

This is the sifted result after all the seed pods were processed through the tank cover.

To further sort the seed from the chaff, I used a kitchen colander. I kept the seed material directly on the bottom and only sifted a little at a time. The holes on the bottom are smaller than on the sides, so you can get a cleaner product using just the bottom. I put about a tablespoonful of unsifted product in there, then rather than shake the colander, I tilted it at about 30 or 40 degrees and tapped on it. This let the round seed roll across the holes and fall through instead of shaking it and having the chaff turn at an angle and fall through with the seed. It wasn't a fool proof method by any means though. I repeated this process about six times for the entire batch of seed.

After all the work was done, we ended up with 3 1/2 ounces of organically produced Brussels sprout seeds. If each seed germinated and developed into a healthy plant, that would be more Brussels sprouts than I could eat during the rest of my life!

That's it for this week's harvest. Don't forget to check out Daphne's Dandelions at:

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK


  1. Well done...I try to let my lettuce go to seed and also I collected my basil seeds last week.
    I am not a huge grower from seed, but need to start as I am sure I can save myself some $$$ each season by not buying punnets...Suzanne

  2. Wow! I had no idea that's how you save brussel seeds. Thanks for the informative post! I haven't tried growing brusssls yet but hope to try for fall.

  3. Very interesting post! I always enjoy reading about seed saving - particularly for plant varieties I have not grown out for seed before

  4. Very interesting post VP. I had no idea what a brussels plant looked like when it went to seed.

  5. I wish I liked brussel sprouts. Nice seed harvest though!

  6. Brussel sprouts! Love them to bits but can't grow them to safe my life. Too hot summers, too poor soil, too many sprout lovong bugs is just too many enemies.

  7. That is quite the process!!!

  8. Wow, that is so impressive! Awesome. I'm growing brussel sprouts for the first time this year. Maybe I should let some go to seed!

  9. I love your harvest. I'll be collecting a lot of seeds ome this summer and fall too.

  10. Do you sell your seeds? I LOVE Brussels Sprouts!

  11. Suzanne, Thanks! I'm trying to expand my gardening to include seed saving. I too, have been spending a lot of cash on seedlings. I'm going to have to really give it a go with planting my own seeds for my vegetable plants.

    Holly, they're a slow grower so make sure you start them in plenty of time for them to produce.

    kitsapFG, seed saving produces some interesting situations that you have to try to overcome. For instance, the Brussels sprouts and broccoli seeds are so light, if you blow the chaff away, a lot of the seeds go with it!

    Robin, It has been an interesting experience. Ultimately, all you can do is the best you can. Approach it with all the relevant information you can find on seed saving, then just move forward with it.

    Shawn Ann, it could be that you tried them when they were prepared in a way that didn't appeal to you. Check out the different ways they can be prepared and try one you think you'd like.

    Heiko, the hot summer does cause problems for them. They don't take heat very well.

    marisa, Thanks! It was interesting!

    meemsnyc, Thank you! If you plan to let some go to seed, make sure you plan ahead and locate the plants in an area that will not impede your gardening progress. It takes a long time to make up seeds.

    Daphne, good luck with your seed collecting! If we (all of us) each get organized enough, we can save a lot of money and time by saving our own seeds.

    Alexis E., I don't sell my seeds, but I would be happy to share and send you 1/2 a level teaspoonful of the seed. That's a lot of seed! More than you would get in a seed packet. If anyone else would care to have some of these Brussels sprouts seeds, please email me at:
    and leave me your complete postal mailing address. I'll gladly send the same amount of Brussels sprout seeds to you as long as the supply holds out. Unfortunately, I don't think I can send them to addresses outside of the USA.

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by, and let me know if you would like some of the Brussels sprout seeds.

    Have a great gardening day!
    Veggie PAK

  12. I had never really that of what brussels sprouts seeds looked like, so that was fun to see.

  13. Kelly, I had not seen how the seeds grow before either. It was an interesting experience.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.
    Veggie PAK