A wet go of it in September, along with impending fall frosts and cooling weather, has brought exciting and immense transformation in our surroundings. Fields of the most lush green grass cover the humps and bumps of the valley floor, filbert orchards like ours show thicker floor growth than is normal and the rivers and creeks gush powerfully down their familiar runs. The demise of the main season is not only a time of great rebirth as the hearty new life of winter is reared, but also when the fruits of harvest have fully developed. These fruits bear the seed to be prepared and saved for the seasons to come.
The dead heads of many flowers like marigolds and sunflowers are loaded with seed, so long as you remembered to plant non-hybrid varieties. Any giant zucchini or cucumber left in the garden that have grown thick skinned and golden-hued contain seed that is fully mature and most useful for future use. All other veggies and grains can now be picked and cut and set inside from the elements, protected from rodents, and in line for further processing. The world of seed saving is one of those gopher holes in the garden, with a few fun tricks and plenty of nuance.