Blue Ribbon Beans

{Handmade Christmas, part ix}

Before you put away your sewing machine, here's the perfect thing to put in a little bag made of scrap fabric. Since you were so clever to save your seeds from your summer garden, why not pass them on? Shared seeds are the gift that keep on giving, and keeping heirloom varieties growing in your community is a smart way to protect our seed supply. Plus, every successive season you save seeds, you're more likely grow veggies better suited to your garden's climate than they were the year before.

My favorite thing about seed saving is naming them. Experts like Mike McGrath, host of Public Radio's You Bet Your Garden, claim that if you save the seed of a specific variety for a decade and grow it in the same climate, you earn the right to give it a name. I took that liberty a little early, and am pretty proud to pass on my blue ribbon beans. I can't wait to see them spring up in my neighbor's garden when the snow thaws. Oh, don't forget to add the year of the upcoming season, to remind gardeners to put them in the ground.

P.S. I told you my sewing machine broke, so I cheated. This little satchel game with a gift card from Anthropologie. Recycled giving = green, and in a pinch is as good as handmade!

P.S.S. It's completely covered in white outside!

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.