While browsing a seed catalog back in the Fall, I impulsively added black sesame seeds to my order. They caught my attention because I’m drawn to dark colored fruits, vegetables, seeds and flowers. I’ve always dreamt of growing a garden of strictly dark varieties and imagined how my market table would look piled with Bull’s Blood beets, Purple Haze carrots, Purple top turnips, Opal basil, Purple-Podded pole beans, Black Beauty eggplant, Red Giant mustards, Red Russian kale and of coarse all the dark heirloom tomato varieties. Maybe one day… In the meantime I’m trying to be mostly practical and frugal in the garden, growing what tastes and yields the best. Space is limited and the goal is to grow as much food for the CSA members as possible.
Non the less my artistic side peeks through every once in a while and I justify to myself growing small experimental sections of unpractical things like Purple Majesty ornamental millet and Black Seeded sesame. Usually, because seeds for these rare varieties are expensive, I buy the smallest packet with the hopes of growing a few plants to collect their seeds for next year. This hobby indulges not only my artistic interest but also my curiosity of seed saving.
Right now I’m collecting the dried seed pods from a measly dozen sesame plants I managed to start from a sample packet. Each 3′ plant has grown between 4 to 6 branches, each of which grew a pair of pods at every node. They are drying one pair at a time so in order to save as many seeds as possible it’s important to check the plants daily. Little by little, like coins in a jar, they will add up.