This topic is really one that needs covering should there be a long term chance of survival. Pack a few in any stash you may have and you will be so thankful you did. Here is a list of the easiest seeds to plant with the greatest yield.
Now that you have a crop to work with here is what you do to harvest more seeds and thereby feed the future human race. When you seed from plants you always want to take from the biggest and best bean, pea, tomato…this ensures that you are getting the healthiest reproductive strain for your climate. In terms of getting seeds from these plants, all must be VERY dry before storing and be stored away from the sun.
Most are intuitive; Tomatoes and cucumbers however are not. It’s a fascinating process that is a little more complex because you need the seed out of the wet sack it is held in and you do this by soaking them.
Tomatoes – cut tomato in half across the middle (not the stem end). Squeeze tomato seeds and juice into a container. Fill containers with water until about half full, then set them out of direct sun. Allow the seed mixture to sit 3-5 days until the surface is partially covered with whitish mold. In warm climates, you may need to add a little more water midway through the process to keep the seeds afloat. Scrape off the white mold with a spoon, being careful not to remove seeds. Fill the container with water, then stir; the good seeds will sink to the bottom. Pour off and discard floating seeds and pulp. Repeat until the good seeds are clean. Pour the cleaned seeds into a fine strainer; rinse and drain. Sprinkle seeds onto a plate and in a dry dark place allow them to dry for one to three days, depending on the weather. Keep them out of direct sun. To make sure they dry thoroughly and don’t stick together, stir twice a day. Store dried seeds in a cool, dry, dark place in airtight containers for planting next spring.
Cucumbers – same as above
Potatoes –Each node or eye on the skin of the potato represents a potential plant. You can create more potatoes from cut pieces of a large potato or a whole small potato. Simply plant the node and a plant will sprout within 1-2 weeks.
Beets – First, wait until the beet tops have turned brown before attempting beet seed harvesting. Next, cut 4 inches off the top of the beet plant and store these in a cool, dry area for two to three weeks to allow the seeds to ripen. The seed can then be stripped from the dried foliage by hand or placed in a bag and pounded. The chaff can be winnowed and the seeds plucked out.
Carrots – same as above, but don’t pound the bag.
Spinach – Allow plant to bolt, (bolt = Stem with flowers). Once the flowers are completely gone you will see clusters of seeds. Let this stem turn brown and dry and then cut the stem off and pluck seeds from stem.
Lettuce – Allow plant to bolt and once flowers have bloomed and closed, and the little white fluff peaks out of the pod, you simply pick off the pod, open it and carefully remove the VERY TINY seeds, allow to dry and store in an airtight container.