Category Archives: Safety

The Basics of Seed Storage

Merry Meet All,

I talked the other day about the safety of our food supply. To avoid purchasing seeds from companies like Monsanto, and doing damage to your garden, consider creating and saving your own seeds. When you grow veggies, flowers, and herbs this year, during the harvest, store the seeds to save for next spring.

This also works well if you know you purchased organic plants in the first place. If you didn’t, then continue with organic practices.

Keep seeds dry and cool. Never store seeds, herbs, roots or bark in damp jars, as that causes it to mould. Keep seed packets in Mason jars. I disagree with storing seeds in plastic, as chemicals leach from the plastic into the seeds and herbs. Be sure the Mason jars are sterile and have tight-fitting lids. The refrigerator is a good place to store seeds and the pantry cupboard. Simply store the seeds in the jar and leave in a dark area out of direct sunlight.

Seeds from self-polinated, not hybrid, plants can produce the exact same crop as last year. If the plants are pollinated by bees, the plant will not grow to be the same plant in the next season. Also, hybrid varieties do not always breed true.

Plants are either perennial, biennial, or annual. Annual plants such as lettuce and tomatoes flower and mature seeds in the same year.

Biennial plants such as carrots and beets are harvested in the summer but do not produce seeds until next year. Biennials do not produce seed pods till the next year. Perennials bear seeds year after year.

Do not use heat to store your seeds. They need to be kept cool and dry. Here are tips on saving vegetable seeds.

For vegetables such as tomatoes, squashes, and melons, gather the seeds when they are fully ripe. Scoop out the seed and store in a well-ventilated place. Beans and peas can be left on the vine till they are dried. Corn should be left on the vine till the kernels dent. Potatoes and onions can be stored in open boxes or other mesh bags where the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Other types of seeds can be gathered when the fruit is fully grown. Remember to collect seeds from only the healthiest plants. By doing that, you will create a special sub-variety of crops that are adapted to your climate.

Remember to label and store the seeds -once clean, as soon as you have harvested your bounty. Also, some of the seeds may closely resemble each other. Know what you harvest and store them separately.

You can store seeds in paper envelopes and Mason jars. Be sure to label the jars and envelopes. Be sure the jars are clean and bone dry.

How long do seeds last? This chart will tell you

Aspparagus 4 years
String beans 2 years
Broccoli 3 years
Cabbage 3 years
Carrots 4 years
Cucumber 5 years
Lettuce 5 years
Onion 2 years
Peas 2 years
Pumpkin 6 years
Radish 3 years
Spinach 5 years
Squash 4 years
Tomato 3 years
Turnip 3 years

Some seed storage fluctuates depending on how, where, and when they are stored.

Now you know to select seeds from organic companies and store seeds for a delicious crop of veggies to bring to your dinner table. Mmm I can already taste it!! Tomorrow we will look at storing flower and herb seeds.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under importance of organic seeds, organic, preservation, Safety, seeds

The Debate of being a solitary or a coven member Witch

Merry Meet All,

I am a practicing solitary Witch as you all know. However, I do from time to time, participate in some local rituals and events. The most recent was the Ostara Ritual held at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Halifax. I had a wonderful time at the event. It is what happened after that is going to be the topic of this post.

I could outline the benefits here of working with a coven versus practicing as a solitary. But there are loads of posts already about that. I am talking about taking precautions with the coven you have joined, if you have. Not all covens are formally structured. Some covens are well structured. There is nothing wrong with how covens are structured, as each one is different and that is fine. Each has its own needs or strengths and weaknesses. But sometimes a more formal structure would be beneficial. There may be some power players or people within the coven who can make life miserable for you. I urge you to be cautious in who you meet in the covens. Sometimes life is a learning experience and a hurtful negative experience, as I recently experienced, is the outcome. This is not your fault but just because you are a Witch or Pagan or heathen does not necessarily need to mean jumping into the hungry lion’s lair or doing something you would later regret. Someone I met really hurt me and caused me pain and it was all totally unnecessary and could have been avoided had this person not felt the need to backstab me, and believe untrue negative things about me. I was really badly treated and I did not deserve it at all. So take the time to get to know coven members. You may have to see these people again and maintaining positive energy and being able to look your coven members in the eye the next day is a great bonus. The High Priestess or Priest may listen to your concerns but we are all adults, I am assuming, and not getting any younger. It would be nice if everyone acknowledged that fact but sometimes that is not the case. It is unfortunate. Breaking someone’s heart, no matter who it is, is not cool. That can work both ways.

I once performed an intuitive reading for someone where I learned a lesson. It was a good lesson and proves we never stop learning on this plane of existence. The lesson was that we need to find the person, and that is not limited to one type or whatever, that can care about us and love us in the way that we understand that we need to be cared for and loved. I repeat- we need to find the person who or could try to find the person that can love us back in the way we understand that we need to be cared for. That implies a more spiritual and committed type of caring. But isn’t that what you would want for yourself and someone else? I don’t know about any of you, but at my age and after all my hardship with men and negative experiences, I seriously doubt I will find the person who can care for me- and me care for that person- in the way I understand. Love, real love, is great. Some people are meant to find it and some are not, and I am beginning lately to feel that I am not. I know the way I need to be understood and I feel about as understandable as a seal/griffin/ platypus creature all in one. You get the picture. I know what is best for me and other people may just know what is best for them. That is the way the Universe works.

We are all responsible for our energy. We all have to take personal responsibility. So this is where being a solitary can be beneficial if you do not get on well with other coven members for whatever reason. Shit happens, as they say, but the resolution you reach for determines the outcome. When you practice by yourself, you are in total control and can do what you want when you want to and how you want to. Personally, I prefer the freedom. Yeah me, the #1 freedom lover. It seems I do a lot of things by myself but I have the courage to and I take pride in that. It must have to do with my personality.

Finding what works for you is good. Consider joining a study group before leaping into a coven. Study the path of witchcraft so you know if it feels right for you. If you join a coven, you are committed and should think hard before leaping into the flames, so to speak. Covens do not advertise in the Yellow Pages so it can be hard to find one, even harder to find what feels right for you. Never believe you have to enter any questionable sexual relationship to study to be a Witch. That is an outright lie. I never did and I studied my path just fine. That is a power trip. You should never have to compromise something sacred to you to do anything. Ever. I cannot emphasize that enough.

Clearly it is important to think carefully about things before you do them. Seems simple enough, right? But when you are in the heat of the moment, it is not so simple. That is where problems manifest into snarly troubled waters. And the lifeboat is way out of reach. So be careful in everything you do. I wish I was. A stitch in time saves nine!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under caution, Covens, power, responsibility, Safety, solitary, studying, witch