If you grow squash in your garden, collecting the squash seeds is a cinch. Although you can dry the seeds and turn them into a nutritious, delicious treat like roasted pumpkin seeds, you can also save the squash seeds and plant them in your garden the next spring. That way, you can proudly say that you brought the squash through an entire life cycle, from harvest and back to harvest again, and it will only cost you pennies.
Pick a ripe squash from the vines in your garden. Choose the healthiest squash you can find, with firm, unblemished skin and bright color. Avoid squash that is under ripe or over ripe.
Put the squash on a cutting board and cut it in half with a large knife. Scrape the squash seeds into a large bowl.
Put the squash seeds in a strainer. Place the strainer in the kitchen sink and run water over the squash seeds as you rinse off all of the clinging pulp and fiber. Allow the squash seeds to drain.
Cover a large tray or baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread the squash seeds on the tray in a single layer.
Place the tray in a shady spot, and cover the tray with netting to keep bugs away from the squash seeds as they dry.
Turn the squash seeds over every day with a spatula so the seeds will dry evenly on both sides. Allow the squash seeds to dry completely.
Put the dry squash seeds in an airtight container, and place the container in the refrigerator. You can also place the squash seeds in a small brown paper bag and store it in the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. Use the squash seeds within the year.