The Seed Thread

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The Seed Thread

 

A recent post in the Agriculture/Permaculture thread reminded me of a thread that I've long been intending to start.  It's still planting season here in USDA zone 5b, so, I'll try to be concise, and kick this off with little fanfare. . . . .

With regard to the rationale for saving seeds, here's my response to a recent post in the Agriculture/Permaculture Thread, regarding prepackaged "survival seed kits":


With regard to prepackaged "survival seed kits", I would maintain that, while they are better than nothing, there are several vulnerabilities in this plan:


• The chosen varieties cannot possibly be appropriate for all climates.
• If your stash is somehow damaged or stolen, your whole plan is
caput.
• Survival depends on your successfully raising a productive crop on the first attempt.


To expand on that third point, it would be a more sound strategy to plant a nonhybrid, nonGMO garden now. This has the advantage of having an existing petroleum-driven economic structure to assist you with the work or building the garden and soil amendment. Additionally, you would be developing the necessary agricultural skills, while you presumably still have a safety net for sourcing food. Meanwhile, you can collect seed from the most productive plants, thereby gradually developing seed that is specifically adapted to your soil and climate. To further ensure your security, you can share that seed with your community, thereby creating a reservoir of seeds that you can tap if something catastrophic happens to your stash.

 

So much for the rationale. . . . . Here's some guidelines for posting in this thread:

  • If you have harvested seed that you're willing to share, exchange, or sell, please post the following:
    • The common and Latin name of the plant (if known), in the subject line, please.
    • Your USDA zone (e.g. USDA 5b), or the zone applicable to your region of the world.
    • Moisture, drainage and rain conditions in your area (e.g. arid, semi-arid, etc., as well as boggy, sharp drainage, etc.).
    • Soil conditions in your area (e.g. sandy loam, clay loam, etc.).  pH, especially if extreme, would also be useful. 
    • Any characteristics of the plant that make it particularly desirable (e.g. spinach that is resistant to bolting in heat, or green beans that are particularly productive). 
  • If you have purchased seed that you're willing to share, exchange, or sell,  please post the following:
    • The common and Latin name of the plant (if known), in the subject line, please.
    • Any claims made for the performance of the plant.
    • How your experience with growing the plant compares with the claims of the seller.
  • If you are searching for a particular seed, please post the following:
    • The common and Latin name of the plant (if known), in the subject line, please.
    • If you are simply searching for a type of plant with specific qualities, then state those (e.g., spinach that does not bolt readily, green beans that are not susceptible to mildew).

If you do not have the full contingent of info described above, please do not hesitate to post your seeds anyway.  Alternatively, you can post your location, and leave it to the reader to go to other resources to determine the soil type and climate.

Also, if you discover that a particular variety of nonhybrid, nonGMO plant is particularly well adapted to adverse conditions, please post it here, even if you have no seed to offer.  For instance, last year the US midwest suffered a particularly severe infestation of Japanese beetles.  If you grew several varieties of raspberries, and one was relatively untouched by the beetles, please post that information here.  In this sense, this is also an information exchange.

I have a few hundred seeds in my stock, and will post them as time allows.  I suspect that this thread will largely lie dormant until fall, after we have completed the year's garden chores.  I am initiating the thread now, so that folks will have the concept of seed saving in the back of their minds, so that they can plan to let a few radishes, lettuces, and broccoli go to seed for this winter's seed exchange.  

Please also feel free to post any general comments or suggestions about seed keeping and exchanging, as well as trusted sources for nonhybrid, nonGMO seeds.  Toward that end, here's one of my favorite sources:  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:  http://rareseeds.com/.

Well, as that danged carrot-eatin' varmint says, "That's it folks!"  Happy Gardening!

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Re: The Seed Thread

Hi C1oudfire (and others)-

   Good thread!  If one's serious about achieving a sustainable lifestyle, I believe you need to be serious about perpetuating the source of your food.  So I am a recent initiate into the world of heirloom seeds!

   Here's a site in Central NY that sells Heirloom seeds and is a proponent of seed saving.  I found it when I was searching earlier this spring for sources of heirloom seeds.  It is Ommas-Aarden, Dutch for "Grandmother's Earth", at http://www.ommas-aarden.net/heirloom.htm .  I have found that the information provided on each pack of seeds is quite good. I'll let you know this fall how well their seeds produced.

    Here is their story (below).  If you go to their site, they list all the different seeds they offer, as well as the level of expertise needed to [I think] save their seeds. 

The Ommas-Aarden Story

Researching the damage caused by genetically altered seeds, and headlines like...
"Industry Aims to Strip Local Control of Food Supply" helped us decide to take responsibility for our own food source; and to help others take responsibility for theirs. So Ommas-Aarden Heirloom Seed was created. Our ability to grow our own is in jeopardy, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden. I searched for a name that signified an earlier time. My mother-in-law raised her children on this land and her grandmother name is Omma, (Dutch for Grandmother) and 'Aarden' is Dutch for earth.  Ah, - Grandmother's Earth - perfect !


I have saved seeds for the last 20 years. I can certainly teach others how to do it too. Since I didn't want to waste my time on nutrient-low foods, I looked up the healthiest foods and found this site, whfoods.com; it taught me where my energy should be spent in my own garden. Saving seeds is easier than you might think ! There were so many seeds when I harvested, I couldn't possibly use them all, so I thought I would sell them, and teach people about the nutrition each variety holds. I designed the seed packet to have all the information needed to save seed and a little nutritional information to nourish the mind.

Heirloom seeds come from non-hybrid (open-pollinated) varieties of vegetables. Growers can save their own seeds from heirloom seeds, as opposed to most modern hybrids which produce sterile or unreliable seeds. The term heirloom is used because the seeds for many of these varieties were saved by hand for generations. Farmers of the past dedicated their entire lives to producing seeds for plants that would grow well in their local area, only to have them go extinct due to commercial interests. On average, food travels over 1,000 miles to get to your plate. 70 to 90% of the food in any store is *GMO ! It's time to turn this around and get local. The more I learned, the more I knew this was the path for me.

GMO companies like Monsanto are part of the pesticide industry and they have been aggressively buying up seed companies for more than 20 years. I don't want to rely on them for my seed... I don't know if the seed I buy from them isn't genetically modified, or hybridized past the point of healthy. I question what they have done. I know their priority, and it's not health, either yours or mine. Large corporations aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have lowered organic standards. We will not stoop that low. Seeds are treasures and seed diversification is essential if we are to withstand food viruses such as the one that caused the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in the 1840s. With proper storage, most seed can last indefinitely. We need to take back responsibility for our food source and our health. Fortunately, this is neither difficult nor time consuming.
Together we will take back control over nutritional integrity. It can't get more local than when you grow your own - from your seed. No more worries about the food grown for the masses being tainted because when you grow your own, that concern is minimal. The fresher your food source, the more nutritious it is. When you grow with your own seed, you and your family don't have to rely on anyone to provide something that you can provide yourself.

What seed we don't grow here in Lewis County, New York, we buy or trade with other small family organic farms. Pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers annihilate soil. The food grown in these conditions isn't healthy.  If the minerals aren't in the soil, they won't be in your food. We believe heirloom seeds go hand in hand with organic gardening and organic farming. The more people know about how to grow their own food and save seed,
the better. Nutritional information and seed saving how-to come with all vegetable seeds that we sell. Our goal is to offer the best varieties for you to begin your own seed saving adventure.

We encourage you to save the seeds from individual plants that meet your standards.
We adhere strictly to the Safe Seed pledge, returning to the earth with seed from an earlier time, before corporations took control over and advantage of our food sources.

Ommas-Aarden Heirloom seed. -- We must work together to assure the future of our
food source. Remember -nutritional information and seed saving instructions comes with all vegetable seeds.

*Genetically Modified (GMO) seeds are patented and require a license fee and a contract to use certain pesticides. Some GMO crops are designed to produce sterile (terminator gene technology) seeds. GMO seeds mix both plant and animal matter in ways that nature never intended. Recent studies showed that GMO crops have 10% lower yields, and create genocide on the cycle of life."

   Another source of heirloom seeds I found was http://www.localharvest.org/.  You can search for a supplier of seeds within a certain distance of your location.  I believe the idea is to give you a better shot at getting seeds produced closer to your local area.

 

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Re: The Seed Thread

Hi c1oudfire, Great idea for a thread, I have been slowly trawling through the Agriculture/Permaculture thread (found it late) and have found it fantastic. I really just want to flag this thread to keep an eye on it. Is there an easier way than actually posting?

Anyway, I thought I would also share some links for heirloom seeds here in Australia.

http://thelostseed.com.au/

http://www.diggers.com.au/

I am glad to say that after 9 or so months since seeing the Crash Course, we have now sold our Apartment and are moving to a rental house with some land where I can start planting an organic garden with heirlooms seeds. so much to learn and so much to trial. But I feel much happier about the direction my family is taking. Thanks for all that people have been sharing on this site, it is such a valuble resource for me.

Jon

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Re: The Seed Thread

 

Hiya Pinecarr!

I can always count on you for great contributions!  Thanks so much for all of the great links!  They're all on my "favorites" menu now. . . . I had visited the Local Harvest site before, but it is certainly improved with the interactive map that makes it easy to find local sources of healthy food.  And I loved the Ommas Aarden site, as well . . . . . I'll be checking them out when it's time to order seeds this fall.  Thanks again, bud!

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Re: The Seed Thread

 

Hi, Jon;

Thanks to you, too, for the great links.  I especially liked The Lost Garden, where I picked up a few new books on gardening (I think I'm bordering on garden book addiction, of late!    Anyway, thanks for "tagging" the thread . . . . . It's perfectly fine with me, as it's the best way to follow a thread reliably.  Thanks for contributing!

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Re: The Seed Thread

Hello c1oudfire and all,

thank you very much for this thread and the shared informations. A good source for heirloom seeds in germany is the company "Dreschflegel" www.dreschflegel-saatgut.de

One question: what is "usda zone" ? Where can I get more information to compare zones? I live in the upper north of Germany near the Danish border - and think that the climate here is comparable to f.e. Massachusetts? Do you have any idea?

Best greetings

yours Regina

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southern exposure seeds US mid-atlantic

http://www.southernexposure.com/index.html

is an heirloom seed company specializing in the US mid-Atlantic region. They are proponents of herloom varieties and seed saving. We bought our seeds from them this year and are having good luck so far, especially considering I am a newbie gardener.

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Re: southern exposure seeds US mid-atlantic

Thank you Steve!

The catalog is full of a lot of useful information.  I sent the site to the food storage group.

Thanks!

Cat

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Re: The Seed Thread
spectrabil wrote:

Hello c1oudfire and all,

thank you very much for this thread and the shared informations. A good source for heirloom seeds in germany is the company "Dreschflegel" www.dreschflegel-saatgut.de

One question: what is "usda zone" ? Where can I get more information to compare zones? I live in the upper north of Germany near the Danish border - and think that the climate here is comparable to f.e. Massachusetts? Do you have any idea?

Best greetings

yours Regina

 

Hi, Regina;

Here's a website with maps of the various hardiness zones around the world, including the one commonly used in the United States, the USDA hardiness zone map: 

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/Maps/Maps_EuropeHZMap.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/HardinessZoneMaps&usg=__ItCLcRPo4PESqLpB8S2EXzJhIKg=&h=777&w=1098&sz=236&hl=en&start=3&um=1&tbnid=NiR40VEtlcCLGM:&tbnh=106&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3DEuropean%2Bhardiness%2Bzones%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4GZAZ_enUS272US272%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1.

Generally speaking, hardiness zone maps help gardeners and horticulturalists predict the likelihood that a plant will survive the lower temperatures of the winter soltice.  So, for example, in my zone, (I'm on the cusp of USDA zones 5a and 5b), I can expect a minimum winter temperature of -10 to -20F (-23 to -28C).  Growers and garden writers here often indicate the USDA zone for any given plant in their publications.  This acts as a guideline for deciding whether, in terms of hardiness, a plant is appropriate for my locale.  It should be noted that these are guidelines only, and that, depending on other conditions and microclimates, these zones can be "pushed", quite a lot, in some cases.  But it is a place to start, if you're considering a plant with which you have little experience. 

Knowing your zone, and how it translates to other hardiness zone systems can be very useful when reading literature published in a distant location.  For instance, as a budding garden designer, I often read publications from England.  When the prose in those publications indicates that a plant is "fully hardy", it certainly doesn't indicate that it will make it through the winter here in northern Illinois, where temps drop to subzero Farhenheit routinely.  I prefer publications that use the more objective hardiness zoning systems so that I may extrapolate whether the plant will do well in my location.

For the purposes of this thread, the main thing is that one gives some indication of cold hardiness . . . . . I would have no objection if you simply stated the usual low winter solstice temperature range for the area in which you are growing the plant.  It would also be useful to state the reputed cold hardiness of the plant, and indicate whether you have noted any discrepancy between your experience and the published claims.

I don't want this to get too burdensome for folks who aren't conversant in the concept of hardiness zones, but any information you can provide will help users determine whether the seed will be useful for them, which will save time and effort by helping to ensure that seed travels in the directions in which it can be most useful.

 

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Re: The Seed Thread

I like to plug this website, if there are any other desert gardeners out there: 

www.nativeseeds.org

They are a company out of Tucson, and specialize in seeds native to the desert Southwest. I'm growing some amaranth, some black beans, a native watermelon and some lemon basil (smells sooo wonderful) from them. They have a wide variety of eclectic seeds.

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Re: The Seed Thread

Thanks for starting this thread.

As a matter of fact, I just bought that book yesterday! I'm just starting my garden this year, so seed saving may not be in my future this time around, but beginning the prep and thought process helps be a lot.

-Brandon

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Re: The Seed Thread

  I  , Like  some others , too  want to get my gardening skills  going better before I use the Heirloom seeds  I have  purchased.   With Bee hive on the place the cross pollination seemed likely .    I have a large family and they will eat anything out of the garden  ... does anyone have an Idea on how many  seeds to buy and save ?   I did get the 'Seed to Seed' book   but would so like one gardening book that tells a person ...( for zone 5 )  first start your seeds in the greenhouse now. 2 plant peas, potatoes . cabbage by this date .  3rd Tomatoes , beans etc. by this date .    Our garden is doing great this year ( except the broccoli bolted )but  how clearly will I be thinking when TSHTF  !    Please tell me your favorite gardening book  as I am the kind of person that learns best by reading  not hearing .

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Garden books

Hi Diana,

This is my first year of having a "real" garden.  Dogs and I are using the square foot gardening method, so of course we got, Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. 

The other book that I seem to have in my hands constantly and has the answer to most of my questions is, The Vegetable Gardener's BIBLE by Edward C. Smith.  I can't say enough good things about this book.

Cat

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Re: The Seed Thread
Diana wrote:

  I  , Like  some others , too  want to get my gardening skills  going better before I use the Heirloom seeds  I have  purchased.   With Bee hive on the place the cross pollination seemed likely .    I have a large family and they will eat anything out of the garden  ... does anyone have an Idea on how many  seeds to buy and save ?   I did get the 'Seed to Seed' book   but would so like one gardening book that tells a person ...( for zone 5 )  first start your seeds in the greenhouse now. 2 plant peas, potatoes . cabbage by this date .  3rd Tomatoes , beans etc. by this date .    Our garden is doing great this year ( except the broccoli bolted )but  how clearly will I be thinking when TSHTF  !    Please tell me your favorite gardening book  as I am the kind of person that learns best by reading  not hearing .

 

Hi, Diana;

Here are my two favorite "beginner's" books with step-by-step instructions for starting veggie gardens.  Between the two, you will have a solid collection of garden plans, useful tables, and garden chore calendars . . . . .

How to Grow More Vegetables than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land than You can Imagine:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Grow-More-Vegetables-Possible/dp/0898154154

 

The All New Square Foot Gardening:

http://www.amazon.com/All-New-Square-Foot-Gardening/dp/1591862027

 

Hope this helps . . . .

 

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Re: The Seed Thread

I don't have any seeds to share at this time, as my WA garden is dormant this year because we're moving to AK. It's pretty unlikely that we'll get a garden in AK this year, but maybe next year. So I'll have to post my info next fall if I'm lucky... although there probably aren't too many semi-arid, glacial silt, zone 1-3 gardening folks around :)

Here's another good site with the minimum average winter temps for each USDA Hardiness Zone so that others outside the US can attempt to translate this info for their locale.

I've found excellent nonHybrid, nonGMO seeds acclimated to the Pacific Northwest (zone 6-8) at:

Terrirotial Seed Company - they do have some F1's for hybrid vigor, but no GMOs

Abundant Life Seeds - they are all organic & biodynamic, no GMOs and only a small amount of F1s

I also highly recommend visiting a public garden in your area. Land grant colleges are excellent information sources since they specialize in food species not just ornamentals. But, if you go to a land grant college garden, just make sure you specifically visit their organic/heirloom garden since they are heavily funded by the Agri-Corps and most of their data & test beds are going to be hybrids & GMO at this point. Natives almost always grow best, but you can find surprisingly compatible plants from other areas. Just make sure that you check your area's invasive/noxious plant lists so that you don't plant a problem!  (we have this issue with blackberries in my area)

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Saving in USDA Zones 1-3
PlicketyCat wrote:

I don't have any seeds to share at this time, as my WA garden is dormant this year because we're moving to AK. It's pretty unlikely that we'll get a garden in AK this year, but maybe next year. So I'll have to post my info next fall if I'm lucky... although there probably aren't too many semi-arid, glacial silt, zone 1-3 gardening folks around :)

 

Glad to see you posting on this thread, Plickety . . . The exotic nature of your location is, in my mind, all the more reason to post your knowledge and harvested seed, as others, though they may be few, in similar conditions will have few commercial resources for info and seed stock.  We'll look forward to seeing your material as you get up and running. . .

 

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Re: The Seed Thread

C1oud - I, too, get frustrated with the various hardiness scales, including the USDA ones!  One thing I noticed as a major failure was that two areas could be in the same zone based on winter temps, but had completely different summertime profiles!  So, I kept finding species that grew in similar zones, but won't grow in my area because my summer temps didn't get as high and my soil isn't warm enough. And let's not even get into my 22+ hour photo-period (no eggplant for me!) or <100-day growing period. Frustrating!!  Yeah, your hardiness zone is only the first step... useful data, but no guarantee :)

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Re: Saving in USDA Zones 1-3
c1oudfire wrote:
PlicketyCat wrote:

I don't have any seeds to share at this time, as my WA garden is dormant this year because we're moving to AK. It's pretty unlikely that we'll get a garden in AK this year, but maybe next year. So I'll have to post my info next fall if I'm lucky... although there probably aren't too many semi-arid, glacial silt, zone 1-3 gardening folks around :)

 

Glad to see you posting on this thread, Plickety . . . The exotic nature of your location is, in my mind, all the more reason to post your knowledge and harvested seed, as others, though they may be few, in similar conditions will have few commercial resources for info and seed stock.  We'll look forward to seeing your material as you get up and running. . .

 

Well, I expect monster cabbages and other cole crops; and meager tomatoes and peppers. Bolting isn't something most gardeners in Alaska have to worry about unless it's a light-bolter instead of a heat-bolter. And we have minimal problems with insect pests compared to the rest of the country. Of course, our soil is frozen solid 6+ months of the year as pay back. Should be an adventure!  At the very least, Nickbert can use my info, and a few people in Greenland, Iceland and Norway LOL!

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Re: The Seed Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:

C1oud - I, too, get frustrated with the various hardiness scales, including the USDA ones!  One thing I noticed as a major failure was that two areas could be in the same zone based on winter temps, but had completely different summertime profiles!  So, I kept finding species that grew in similar zones, but won't grow in my area because my summer temps didn't get as high and my soil isn't warm enough. And let's not even get into my 22+ hour photo-period (no eggplant for me!) or <100-day growing period. Frustrating!!  Yeah, your hardiness zone is only the first step... useful data, but no guarantee :)

 

Hiya, Plickety;

I don't know where progress on it stands, but I remember reading something about the USDA also developing a heat scale for plants, as well . . .  Still, your conditions are so unique, that any conventional scale will have limited applicability for you, and will require a lot of "translation", and, unfortunately, a lot of experimentation.  (Read: You're gonna have to kill a lot of plants, my friend!).  That's why I'm looking forward to your input here . . . Where else are we going to find someone with both the gardening skills, and the entertaining communication skills to keep us posted about gardening on the edge  You'll be our Alaskan gardening correspondent in the field! 

BTW, I just picked up a book that might interest you.  I'll keep you posted on how well it reads . . . It's Defiant Gardens -- Making Gardens in Wartime, by Kenneth I Helphand (great name for a gardener).  Somehow, the irrepressible hope of building gardens during the most crushingly desperate conditions appeals to me . . . . I'm hoping that the memoirs of those who have done so will offer some pearls of wisdom for all of us, as we face the unknown . . . .

 

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Potatoes

Just a quick reminder-

Potatoes can be used for seed for about 2 years, but after that they seem to have blight problems. I once read where potatoes must be propogated in high altitudes.

Other stuff I will have:

Giant pumpkins for the seeds, many winter and summer squash. Aztec (Black) corn, Plants I can share: Chocolate mint (invasive if not grown in pots but I grow them in the paddock areas to chase bugs away and it definitely is a flea repellent). Purple, Yellow & green string beans, Edomone Soy beans, and the usual garden variety of beets, broccolli, cauliflour, cabbage and spinach. . oh and of course, zucchini up the wazzot.

We will also be grafting the earliest apple (Stellas) which are sweet, crisp and juicy. They mature in Late Sugust - Early Sept in Zone 4. These will be ready for sale in 2010 or 2011. We will be specializing in early producing fruit trees like plums, cherries and such.

I have wheat grasses, hull-less oats and bird seed to grow for feed availble (sunflowers, thistles, soybeans and corn are mixed and grown and harvested in bundles that we feed the birds). We do this with sweet potatoes and sugar beets - shred & dry for the goats too. We use it like most people do grain feedings and we have good hay for them and the birds.

I'm looking for water chestnut corms!

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Re: The Seed Thread

I'll be checking this thread out periodically. Thanks for the great resources.

Seed saving will be my next step in food security. I also need to learn about preservation of the harvest.

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Re: The Seed Thread
jerry_lee wrote:

I'll be checking this thread out periodically. Thanks for the great resources.

Seed saving will be my next step in food security. I also need to learn about preservation of the harvest.

Cool.  Thanks for checking in, Jerry .

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Re: The Seed Thread

Hi All,

Thanks for starting this threat.  I bought the seed "bible" Seed to Seed by Ashworth recently.  It looks like a great resource, but doesn't beat other interested folks to talk to.  For anyone in New England looking for a seed bank to join, in my area of Massachusetts there is Red Gate Farm (http://www.redgatefarm.org).   This is an article about it by the guy who started it:

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/2870/

I met a guy last year who grows out 800 variteties of potatoes every year to keep those varieties alive.  He is up in Maine http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm and saves about 3-4,000 vegetable varieties every year.  

This site http://www.savingourseeds.org/index.html has a lot resources too.  It is by the same guy who started Southern Exposure Seed Exchange  http://www.southernexposure.com/index.html a great place to get heirloom seeds that you can start saving.

Anyway, thanks again for this thread.  I'll be checking in and sure to have some questions and stories once the fall harvest hits.

Thanks,
David

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More Great Resources
DavidLachman wrote:

Hi All,

Thanks for starting this threat.  I bought the seed "bible" Seed to Seed by Ashworth recently.  It looks like a great resource, but doesn't beat other interested folks to talk to.  For anyone in New England looking for a seed bank to join, in my area of Massachusetts there is Red Gate Farm (http://www.redgatefarm.org).   This is an article about it by the guy who started it:

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/2870/

I met a guy last year who grows out 800 variteties of potatoes every year to keep those varieties alive.  He is up in Maine http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm and saves about 3-4,000 vegetable varieties every year.  

This site http://www.savingourseeds.org/index.html has a lot resources too.  It is by the same guy who started Southern Exposure Seed Exchange  http://www.southernexposure.com/index.html a great place to get heirloom seeds that you can start saving.

Anyway, thanks again for this thread.  I'll be checking in and sure to have some questions and stories once the fall harvest hits.

Thanks,
David

 

What great links, David!  Thanks for contributing.  It's just amazing how many obscure organizations and businesses are involved in this activity.  It really is inspiring. . . .

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: The Seed Thread

Back to my "exoctic climate" -- I have found that combining "Seed to Seed" by Ashworth with "Root Cellaring" by the Bubels is going to be the only way I can get some of my perrenial and biennial plants to even seed at all. I'm going to have to dig them up each fall and stock them into my root cellar for spring replanting. Some *might* make it through the winter if I cold frame and mulch them deep enough, but I don't think I'll take the chance... it's hard to overwinter a plant when it's -20F (or lower) for more than 3 months in the winter!

On the flipside... this is an excellent way for people in hot/dry climates to keep their cool-loving perennials & biennals alive as well. My sister in TX uses her root cellar in the summer to grow cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower under gro-lights to keep them from bolting in the heat.

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Re: The Seed Thread

 Thank you so much C1oudfire ,   I am rather proud of how well our garden is producing .  We are eating lettuce, peas, and beets now .

But a story that goes along with seed saving .. about 10 years ago we ordered Colorado peaches  to put up . After canning and freezing 5 lugs  we just threw the pits and peels in the compose pile . The next year we had  so many little trees come up .  We planted the trees and gave  trees away . We  have had peaches the last 5 years!  Every year we throw more pits out and get more tiny trees . We have provided many people with free little peach trees.  Well I had no Idea that they were so pricey or I might have been tempted to sell them instead .  After pricing them at the local farm supply I may be sticking plums , cherries ,and other fruit in the compost pile.   I am running out of ground  to put  fruit trees .

   I am excited ...A friend is now going to show me how to take cuttings off the grape vines  to get more of them started   and yeah my pineapple tops have baby pineapples .. 

Some of us  take much pleasure in the simple things !

 Diana

 

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Re: The Seed Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:

Back to my "exotic climate" -- I have found that combining "Seed to Seed" by Ashworth with "Root Cellaring" by the Bubels is going to be the only way I can get some of my perrenial and biennial plants to even seed at all. I'm going to have to dig them up each fall and stock them into my root cellar for spring replanting. Some *might* make it through the winter if I cold frame and mulch them deep enough, but I don't think I'll take the chance... it's hard to overwinter a plant when it's -20F (or lower) for more than 3 months in the winter!

On the flipside... this is an excellent way for people in hot/dry climates to keep their cool-loving perennials & biennals alive as well. My sister in TX uses her root cellar in the summer to grow cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower under gro-lights to keep them from bolting in the heat.

 

Hi, again, Plickety;

I just love your ability to assimilate information, and tailor it to a solution for your specific circumstances.  And, I'm intrigued by your strategies for pushing the envelope in extreme climates.  Please continue to keep us posted on your strategies. 

I have been rolling ideas around in my noodle for building an effective root cellar on our property . . . . The problem is that we live on low ground where the water table is not far from the surface.  Any ideas from the engineers/architects in the house would be most welcome in solving this problem.

 

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Full Moon
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Re: The Seed Thread

 Is there a Root Cellar  forum ?     Let me  know how yours progresses . ...  I want one very soon .

Problem #1 $$$$  , problem #2  fighting husband for same piece of ground , #3  it has to be in a convenient place  or I will not use it  .

 I remember my grandma's house was built into a hill  right off the kitchen further into the hill was her cave . How great was that !! Alas  the house was bulldozed down a few years ago .  

 Well  my first step is taken... I have bought the book and put a bug in my brothers ear .  This guy thinks WAY outside anyone's box .

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Re: The Seed Thread
Diana wrote:

 Is there a Root Cellar  forum ?     Let me  know how yours progresses . ...  I want one very soon .

Problem #1 $$$$  , problem #2  fighting husband for same piece of ground , #3  it has to be in a convenient place  or I will not use it  .

 I remember my grandma's house was built into a hill  right off the kitchen further into the hill was her cave . How great was that !! Alas  the house was bulldozed down a few years ago .  

 Well  my first step is taken... I have bought the book and put a bug in my brothers ear .  This guy thinks WAY outside anyone's box .

 

LOL, Diana, to your territorial battle, and to your brother's limberness of mind!  And, I think you're right. . . . . this site needs a root cellar forum, so, unless you want the honors, I'll put that on my list of threads to start. 

Oh, wouldn't we all love to have a natural cave on our premises!  Indeed, how great was that?  I may end up with some kind of mounded design, or something with a lot of drain tile diverting runoff around it . . . . I need to delve more deeply (pun intended) into the books describing the engineering, before I can conceive of a plan that will work on my challenging property. 

For you, Diana, and for others who like to think outside the box, I just started the Gardening En Extremis aka The Defiant Garden Thread, here:   http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/gardening-en-extremis-aka-defiant-garden-thread/20464.

Thanks again for your witty post.

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: The Seed Thread
c1oudfire wrote:

I have been rolling ideas around in my noodle for building an effective root cellar on our property . . . . The problem is that we live on low ground where the water table is not far from the surface.  Any ideas from the engineers/architects in the house would be most welcome in solving this problem.

 

Probably the best way to do this is to dig out trenches past the bottom your root cellar and install french drains out to a main storm drain or gravel pit (just like they do with basements). If you add a waterproof membrane and parging on the outside, this should keep your root cellar from flooding. Of course, you might have to add a tray of water to keep the humidity up since you can't leave the floor open dirt without flood risk.  Using ICFs would work really well if you have access to a concrete pump truck.  

If the drain system doesn't work for you, you can also try pumping the ground water from gravel around your cellar into a graywater irrigation system instead. Just have to keep the excess water from getting into your root cellar or from hanging around to cause frost heave in the winter.

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Cloudfire
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1813
Re: The Seed Thread
PlicketyCat wrote:
c1oudfire wrote:

I have been rolling ideas around in my noodle for building an effective root cellar on our property . . . . The problem is that we live on low ground where the water table is not far from the surface.  Any ideas from the engineers/architects in the house would be most welcome in solving this problem.

 

Probably the best way to do this is to dig out trenches past the bottom your root cellar and install french drains out to a main storm drain or gravel pit (just like they do with basements). If you add a waterproof membrane and parging on the outside, this should keep your root cellar from flooding. Of course, you might have to add a tray of water to keep the humidity up since you can't leave the floor open dirt without flood risk.  Using ICFs would work really well if you have access to a concrete pump truck.  

If the drain system doesn't work for you, you can also try pumping the ground water from gravel around your cellar into a graywater irrigation system instead. Just have to keep the excess water from getting into your root cellar or from hanging around to cause frost heave in the winter.

Wow, Plickety, that's a really solid, comprehensive plan . . . . You know, I think I may be able to make this work!  Thank you, so much for taking the time to consider this . . . . We've got our plates full right now, but maybe this fall . . . . I'll let you know how it goes. . . .

 

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