The Final Seed Collection: Artichoke and Leek Heads

Credit: Carolyn Herriot

By October most of the seeds have been harvested from the garden and dried to prevent them from going mouldy. The artichoke and leek heads come into the greenhouse to dry before cleaning. Once dried, the artichoke heads will be smashed lightly with a hammer to release the hard brown seeds at the base of the bracts.
leek heads
Leeks contain two hard black seeds in each inflorescence, which when dry, can be freed by rubbing them between two rubber-gloved hands. This ‘oniony’ activity can bring tears to your eyes! I then use a hairdryer, on a cold setting, to blow the chaff and debris away, leaving only clean leek seeds behind.