Saving Seed

We often save seed from vegetables in our veg patch, especially for things (such as some kales) that are difficult to source elsewhere. Also, we know that they work well in our climate.

I know that there will be variations in plants grown from saved seed because of the open pollination but we have never had any problems,

However (you knew there would be a “however” didn’t you?) I have struck a possible problem so am asking all you experts for your knowledge/experience.

A few years back, we had some absolutely delicious round courgettes (seed from Kokopelli) and saved some seed from them, sowing it in subsequent years. Everything went well but this year , my partner had what looked like an allergic reaction to a couple of meals on different days - or perhaps a mild poisoning reaction, I wouldn’t know. The only element in common to the two meals was the said courgettes. Is it at all possible there could have been any cross-pollination with something toxic? As you can tell, I know s*d-all about plant biology :roll_eyes:

No idea… could be cross-pollination…

according to this link… you can do the taste-test…

“ A taste-test is a safe thing to do to detect if you have an affected plant which will be extremely bitter slice the top off the fruit and simply touch your tongue on it.”

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Some of the fruit (in particular, the skin and seeds) contains a higher amount of a toxin called cucurbitacin. This can be the result of natural regression if the hybrid seed line wasn’t stabilized (if possible, go for F2 or F3 or later generations) or through cross-pollination from wild regressed varieties (rarer, but still possible).

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I just knew courgettes were bad for you, another excuse for not liking them :face_vomiting::rofl:

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That and the risk of E. coli poisoning from not washing them before use… :wink:

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Well at least that’s something we can discount! We are assiduous in the washing :smiley:

Interesting information, thank you, @RicePudding and @Stella ! This doesn’t seem to happen with things like kale and cabbages because people have been saving the seed for those for generations…

Do you remember the bitter courgette recall? Cross polination can produce nasty things!

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I don’t remember that but it’s very interesting. Sounds like a random but occasionally occurring problem. We have 4 plants from one batch of seed so we’ll do a taste test on all of them to see. Thank you very much :smiley: