Why bother growing your own seeds when there is so much other work to do in the garden?
Today I begin a series to answer the question Why Save Seed?
First up, will saving seeds save you money?
How Much Does Seed Cost?
On a small scale market garden, you might
- spend $500 to $1500 an acre on seed
- generate $20 000 – $40 000/acre. (or more!)
Let’s take an average of $1000 of seed to generate $30 000 on an acre.
That means your seed cost is about 3.33% of your gross sales.
Is saving 3.33% of your gross sales worth the effort of saving seeds?
How Much Work Is Saving Seeds?
Growing your first seed crops is exciting and fun and can be very satisfying but it isn’t easy.
Seed saving also takes time. Your first seed cleaning attempts can leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed. It can take a ridiculous amount of time to get your seeds as clean as you find in a purchased seed packet.
When you’re starting out, saving seed might cost you more in labour than if you simply bought the seeds.
It is best to start small when you start saving seed. Save only one or two seed crops at first. Slowly integrate seed saving into your farm so you can build up your seed skills and lay a foundation for future success.
Once you’ve become a seasoned seed saver, seed work becomes easier, quicker and much more profitable. We’ll definitely be talking about this in future posts!
How to Actually Save Money Farming
If you want to save money, look at your farm systems and focus on
- Integrating your staff into your farm,
- Improving and clarifying harvest techniques,
- Reducing transit times between crops and tasks, and
- Evaluating and better prioritizing how you fill time.
Any of these actions is likely to be more profitable for your farm than saving your own seed.
If Saving Seeds Is Not About Saving Money, Then What Is It About?
That’s a great question.