Farmers are getting ready to plant the seeds for their winter crops and the Association of Local Varieties or AVL is promoting volunteer days when people can help with the extraction and drying of seeds for the farmers.
In recent years many farmers have started sowing local seeds that were forgotten about when imported varieties became trendy.
“At the end of July and throughout August, the vast majority of seeds are extracted from winter crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, onions, parsley or carrots,” explains AVL technician, Maria Massanet. “Seeds are also extracted from summer fruits, such as salad tomatoes or peppers. In September we continue with peppers and eggplants and from October until December it’s ramellet tomatoes, melons and pumpkins. To make the most of the fruit and have a good stockpile takes a lot of work, which we are able to do thanks to the volunteers who help us to clean the seeds.”
Once the seeds are dried, they are given a germination test to see if they have good viability. Those that do are packed up and distributed to people who want to buy them and bulk orders are also available for large producers.
AVL now has a network of 18 farmers throughout Mallorca and periodically, courses on multiplication, extraction, cleaning and conservation are organised for them.