Impromptu Seed Saving

Finally!… I was able to get into the garden today. As dank and mouldy as everything was I managed to do some tidying up. And while I was rummaging in the undergrowth I found something which made me smile. A Coriander plant (I think you call it Cilantro in the US) that had apparently gone to seed in the Summer was now sporting bunches and bunches of perfectly dried seeds, ready for the harvest. A tiny miracle really.

They’re so intricate with their small ridges and bumpy exterior. Some of them are split but I think that’s okay. They seem pretty dry so I’m saving all of them and hoping for a bumper Coriander patch come next year. Well worth putting my wellies on for!

11 Comments on “Impromptu Seed Saving

  1. how lovely!! What a treat for you. . . . I have some cilantro (and I did not know that that’s what ‘coriander’ is also called – is it truly?) growing in my garden. . . . it had gone to flower, but I never checked for seeds. I’m heading out!

  2. Oh, or you could grind them up and cook with them! We do call the fresh herb cilantro in the U.S., but the seed/spice is called coriander.

    (Hi! I just started reading your blog. Love your photos.)

  3. The whole cilantro/coriander thing has been explained to me thusly:

    -If you’re using the leaves, it’s cilantro
    -If you’re using the seeds, it’s coriander

    I usually try to stick to this distinction, but not always.

  4. Yes I found the same thing a few weeks back. Although I save some for the kitchen, I also threw a bunch of the stuff in the compost bin. I hope they’ll selfseed themselves in the garden for years to come :)

  5. Hi.
    I’ve always thought of the leaf plant as cilantro and the seed producing plant as coriander. I’ve also noticed that they are supplied that way too, although I’ve never had any luck growing it for leaves. . . it always seems to bolt and go to seed anyway.
    I’d be tempted to roast the seeds, then crush them in a pestle and mortar. the smell is just so mmmm. it would be nice to cook a meal with home produced spices.
    Have you ever tried to grow cumin for its seeds? Its my favourite spice and I have a packet ready to try for next year.

  6. The split isn’t an issue at all. In fact you should put them in a bag or sack and thrash them to remove that shell before storing. I am not sure why but I know that is what your suppose to do. Then store them in a paper bag or envelope. In a cool dry place. In other words your suppose to remove the part you find interesting. :)

  7. I found it impossible to walk past my plants without popping a seed or two in my mouth and crunching them between my front teeth. It’s a wonderful explosion of flavour. Fresh and zingy.
    Kay x

  8. I stumbled across this site when I googled recipes for green tomato chutney (duly made and very good too).

    A few years ago I bought some angelica plants from a lovely lady on Ebay. Along with the angelica came a packet of coriander seeds – a ‘freebie’. There were hundreds of the little blighters, but I carefully sowed them and, a few months later, I had bunches of fresh coriander coming out like no tomorrow. At the end of the season, I harvested the left-over seed pods, took the outer layers off and stored them in an airtight jar in a cupboard. In turn, the harvested seeds were passed on to friends and neighbours. We still have growing coriander as a result.

    Btw – in the UK coriander is always coriander – whether it’s leaf or seed or even crushed/powdered seed. I live in the West Midlands – an ethnically and diverse cultural area and blessed with 100s of Asian and Indian corner shops. A whopping bunch of coriander costs about 70p if you need to buy some.

  9. I’m deliberately sloppy about tidying up coriander when it goes to seed, and find seedlings coming up all over the place surprisingly early in the spring. I’m rubbish at growing it deliberately, but at least I get to enjoy an early crop!

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