Saving seeds after fermenting

by Hana

Hello, I am very curious as to whether you found the seeds to be fertile after having left it to ferment for a month. I am processing a large amount of American Persimmons, and would love to know whether I need to sort out the seeds before a longer ferment to keep them viable or whether it can be left like your idea in this article to make the separation from the pulp easier. Many thanks!

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Dec 02, 2022
Do seeds crave alcohol ?
by: Caroline

Hello Hana

thanks for your interesting question. Sorry to get back to you after so long. I had some problems.

I don't really know the answer and cannot speak with an authoritative voice as I've been so humbled by nature on my own little plot. Everything I do is an experiment. An experienced food gardener told me not to ferment pumpkin seeds once. But my fermented pumpkin seeds showed 110% germination !!! What did follow was a persistent mildew problem leading to the absence of cucurbits in my garden for years. Perhaps she was right. The fermentation would have been excellent for growing microgreens though.

Gardening like medicine deals with natural phenomena and is thus profoundly complex. Our human knowledge doesn't scratch the surface. Everyone delving into this art finds out new things constantly.

If I were you I'd continue to experiment as you are doing, continue to share your questions and findings on platforms like this. Write your own. Do not be discouraged if no one else 'knows'. Expect this. Share what you find as you explore this deep deep thing. There will always be new gardening frontiers.

Perhaps as a thought experiment paint a picture of what happens in nature. A small fruit falls from the tree onto the earth. Its flesh soon disappears, drying, molding in the air and eaten by worms, birds and what have you. A large fruit falls to the earth and rots. In its deep interior without oxygen, fermentation occurs. The seeds at its heart must have evolved to cope with some fermentation, and in some cases prefer it. During fermentation alcohol and then acids are formed. The seed is surrounded by nutrient rich rather sour liquids.... How long would the fruit take to decompose, when would the new seed sprout from it ? Feel your way into the life of every unique plant. Experience has taught me they are all so different in their needs. I used to try and make rules. Then absolute failure at growing food rooted it out of me.

Morag Gamble leaves rotting pumpkins in her garden to seed themselves. A pumpkin gets mighty rotten... there is so much flesh... it makes sense that pumpkins like to ferment a bit.

Perhaps time the ferment to be as long as you imagine the fruit takes to rot and change its chemical state to a more compost like one. I've a sort of intuition that months is a bit long for a berry, most fruit may rot in few weeks, but a large fruit that falls and is captured under snow... that may be able to ferment slowly for months... what do you think of this theory ?

regards and good luck with your beautiful experiment

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