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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

How to Save Seeds from Food Scraps!

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

How can we gather and store seeds to avoid buying them at the store?


This Lesson Plan is part of the Gardening and Sustainability modules of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.


Social distancing measures put in place due to the outbreak of COVID-19 have encouraged people to grow food at home (for both food security and as a hobby). However, many stores have run out of seed, even while people are avoiding going to stores completely. An easy way to grow food at home (and stay home altogether) without buying seed is to collect the seed from food scraps. In learning to identify fruits, you can then attempt to extract seeds for future use.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Identify possible food items that have saveable seeds

  • Save seeds for planting and storage

Academic Vocabulary

fruit /fro͞ot/ noun. - in botany, the seed-bearing object formed from the ovary of a flowering plant

vegetable /ˈvəjədəb(ə)l/ noun. - parts of a plant used for food including roots, stems, and leaves


1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies:

  • bell pepper (1) · paper towel

2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to save seeds from food scraps. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.

🍅Fruit or Vegetable?! … Tomatoes are among the classic cases of confusion regarding fruits and vegetables. Indeed, since a tomato is a seed-bearing structure, it is technically a fruit by botanical standards. In the culinary realm, and in colloquial terms, tomatoes and other savory-type fruits (like bell peppers) are often considered vegetables.

3. After consuming the edible part of the bell pepper, strip the seeds from the fruit body onto a paper towel using your fingers. Remove any seeds that look deformed or damaged.

4. Place the paper towel with seeds in a warm, indirectly lit area. Let the seeds dry out for 3 days, flipping them over to the other side each day to dry further. They should feel relatively hard and void of moisture at the end of the drying period.

5. After 3 days of drying, your seeds are ready to be stored or planted. If you intend to store them, place them into a sealable, dry container in a cool, dark place. They may stay viable for a few years!

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

How to Save Seeds from Food Scraps!
Download PDF • 671KB

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