I save seeds I find in the wild. I save seeds from my garden. I buy seeds. I get seeds for free from expos and other events. But I only have a 20x6' garden. And half of that garden is taken up with permanent plants like raspberries and blueberries. So my experimental space is limited. Or at least it was....
Now that we've bought the 40 acre farm - I will have unlimited space. Actually, I have 2 acres dedicated to garden/orchard (10 acres are designated as wild prairie, 7 acres are pasture lands for animals, and the rest is forest/lake). But 2 acres feels like unlimited space!!!
Do you know how many different squash and watermelon seeds I have???? And those babies take space.
Here's the rub...I don't have a fence at the farm and it's a wilderness paradise. So many animals.... In my experience, if you plant exactly what you want, the animals will come eat it all. If you plant way beyond what you want (thinking there will be plenty to share,) the animals will still come eat it all.
We are going to test that theory. I am going plant all sorts of things at the farm - without a fence! I know that planting peas or beans is just asking for it, but I have a little more faith that pumpkins, squash, and melons can put up with some browsing. Maybe not. We're going to try anyway!
Wasteful, you say? Maybe. But seeds don't last forever. And I need to grow them on so I can collect new seeds and hopefully some quality produce.
I will be planting many trees too. I may keep those here until they are big enough to move to the farm - then I'll be caging them individually. My orchard is going to be ringed with a temporary fence (or individually around each tree) so I can start getting growing sooner than time/money will allow me to make a proper fence. Do you know how expensive fences are?? Holy crap! Anyway, lots of growing and lots of experimenting to come.