Planet X Town Hall

Socrates & R.R. Book - PERMACULTURE, and methods for gathering food and water => All Seed Topics Here => Topic started by: Socrates on December 13, 2016, 10:32:32 AM

Title: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on December 13, 2016, 10:32:32 AM
1500 year old cave bean (http://www.rareseeds.com/1500-year-old-cave-bean-/)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on April 14, 2017, 12:16:19 AM
When i first started working on a seeds (http://b2012overleven.runboard.com/t205) thread (in 2009), i did not know what my situation would be in 2017...

I am currently working about 50 hours/wk delivering newspapers and the like; this nets me about € 1250/month... At the moment, this collegue of mine with a wife in the Philippines is off on 'vacation' there and i have taken over his route; it is a lot of extra work for me, but i do it because i have negotiated with him that i will take over his route if he supplies me with cocao and coffee beans/seeds from the Philippines...

He'll be back in 3 weeks; 10 hours extra work/wk for these seeds. Why do i bother?
Well, cobalamin tonic (https://oneradionetwork.com/atoms-blog-articles/lets-go-get-a-cup-of-coffee-or-cobalamin-tonic/) supposedly offers a source of Vit. B12 as well as  many other advantages; ingredients:
- coffee
- raw cocao
- maple syrup
Coffee has been demonized by popular publications, but we all know about propaganda en disinformation... There's a reason both chocolate and coffee are enjoyed the world over.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on April 15, 2017, 05:09:40 AM
Under Preparedness (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=6559.0) and Surviving the Changes (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=349.0) there are topics on SEEDS, but just like having posts on animals under The Divine Feminine (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?board=219.0), i believe this just causes confusion on a message board with hundreds of threads [imagine being new to the forum and going out to find info on animals or seeds; where would you look...?] Both animals and seeds belong under 'agriculture' or "permaculture" or "growing, finding or otherwise acquiring food, energy or resources"...  ;D

So... seeds. You can follow the above links and perhaps i'll find the time to sort through them and make a concise list of great finds posted there.
For now i'd like to remark that at permies.com (http://www.permies.com) [the by far most active and inclusive permaculture forum online] there are many people who go into all manner of seeds, strains and species in great detail. We don't have to go there here @ Planet X Town Hall since Permies already exists... Having said that, it can save everyone some time and effort to be able to find good resources here, so that's worthwhile. I have certainly experienced that not all seeds are easily resourced or ordered and sometimes you can use all the help you can get.
And there other issues concerning seeds, ones most people might never imagine; like, did you know the seeds of tropical fruits tend to not keep for a long time? So you can, for instance, order banana seeds but they may never sprout, even if you kept them super dry and cool. Good to know!
Just so, there are other tidbits we might all share and it's not necessarily about lists of worthwhile species (like the kind of info people get into @ Permies).
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 16, 2017, 05:44:56 PM
Hi Socrates,

In my own experience, which may differ from other people's, it's been most worthwhile to plant only seeds of plants that will come back from the roots every year, with a few exceptions.  As mentioned in the Northern Perm thread, that can mean studying to find unusual species that are analogs of what we find at the grocery store. Once you have established rootstock, it can be damaged above ground in many cases and still come back up from what survived below ground - a seemingly good fit for getting through all the abuse from Px to life in the aftertime.

Beans are one critical genus in particular that have not been well cultivated to come back with much vigor on their own, but they save so easily that if we keep a little seed bank aside in a jar or whatever, we can just use the Plant and Replant method in that case.  Toensmeier and his colleagues from the Mount Holyoke experiment in Massachusetts (see Food Forest Farm website for details) have tried to encourage the one cold hardy perennial bean, phaseolus polystachios, to be more vigorous, but have temporarily given up, if I understand recent correspondence from them correctly, in answer to a query from me.

What is your own experience?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on April 16, 2017, 06:23:55 PM
What is your own experience?
How do i put this delicately...  ::) In my own experience life is full of curve balls and a few good seeds i can carry with me seems a safe bet.
Rootstock sounds great and i recognize your reasoning in this, but it must also be founded in surviving in place; so i would be considering it a post-TEOTWAWKI option/tactic.

I am taking full advantage of modern technology and ordering the most interesting species through Ebay and the like. I have zero experience with said species/varieties but i get excited by the idea of ordering seeds of something like some big black bamboo (http://organicblanket.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Black-Bamboo.jpg), nickel-sized corn (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/ba/73/7c/ba737c15f07ee26109d7d8ab2cde9124.jpg) or sequoia  :D
Obviously, though, there are different seeds for different scenarios. But i prefer to work from worst-case and have loads of interesting seeds in case it turns out i have time and place for them.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 18, 2017, 05:35:39 AM
That's wonderful Socrates!  You're right that rootstock is not something that would fit easily into a bug-out bag :)  In fact, a lot of it would resent being transplanted, and might look pitiful once you tried to do so. :(

The seeds that you are choosing sound exciting.  I do plan to bring some Native American plant seeds forward with me.  Curcubits (pumpkins, squash, etc) are difficult to grow in our cool-humid northern climate due to multiple disease issues and a shorter growing season, so one of my favorite seeds to save will be the Seminole pumpkin, which has no known diseases.  Am studying the germination rate on each type of seed that I bring forward though, as some of my choices are notorious for a poor showing, and extra seed will be needed in order to bump up the number that will sprout.

Am noticing on all the seed websites that watermelon seed now comes with disease warnings and even an affadavit that must be signed, in some cases, by the buyer, not to hold the seed company responsible in the event of a local disease outbreak.  Would love to learn if anyone knows of a disease free melon cultivar of any sort.

Hope you'll tell us more of your seed vault collection as it grows, Socrates.  May all of your crops be blessed.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 18, 2017, 05:40:36 AM
Here's a pic of Seminole pumpkin:(http://)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on May 03, 2017, 01:07:06 AM
Again... I can not believe this forum does not already have a topic on "seeds".
There IS another SEEDS subject, started by yowbarb in February of this year, and it's under "Surviving The Changes".

Thanks, ilinda... My SEEDS Topic (started in 2010 originally) goes on up to this year...  ;D

I just moved it to the new "All SEED Topics/Food for Survival" Board. I set up this new board and renamed my seed Topic.
Yowbarb, etc.  
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 17, 2017, 09:25:57 AM
Reposting Ilinda's comment from another thread:
Quote
Here's a good book relevant to above topics:  The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe.  She's a Ph.D. geneticist by training, but her book is for everyone and very understandable, and of course the emphasis is on organic growing.  In a nutshell, she says there are five foods one needs to grow/cultivate for survival:  corn, squash, beans, potatoes, and ducks. 

Ilinda, I'm just now reading this book, and really enjoying it.  Already raising ducks, so I'm mentally tweaking her 5 foods list into a list of 5 staple crops, and adding grass hay as one of my 5 essentials, to be managed with a scythe ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEOpGkTVMC4 ).  Tall Kentucky fescue seed was recommended to me several years ago by the owner of Rohrer's Seed in Smoketown PA, and it has served us well.  The roots go down as deep as the plant height, and chickens can't scratch mature thatches of it up and kill it. 

As far as Deppe's discussion of corn, I had to do some research on flint corn, and was pleasantly surprised that it is a smaller Native American variety that was a valued crop in the U.S. in Colonial times, but has since been replaced with larger, sweeter and more commercially lucrative types, leaving the flint corn non-GMO, conserved by small farmers.  Dent corn and sweet corn are the current focus of genetic modification, with the lion's share being dent (field) corn.  Popcorn and flour corn (another type conserved by Native Americans) have also managed to escape the notice of big agribusiness, and thus of genetic engineering.

Disambiguation: http://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-types-of-corn/279825.html



Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 17, 2017, 06:25:53 PM
Under Preparedness (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=6559.0) and Surviving the Changes (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=349.0) there are topics on SEEDS, but just like having posts on animals under The Divine Feminine (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?board=219.0), i believe this just causes confusion on a message board with hundreds of threads [imagine being new to the forum and going out to find info on animals or seeds; where would you look...?] Both animals and seeds belong under 'agriculture' or "permaculture" or "growing, finding or otherwise acquiring food, energy or resources"...  ;D

So... seeds. You can follow the above links and perhaps i'll find the time to sort through them and make a concise list of great finds posted there.
For now i'd like to remark that at permies.com (http://www.permies.com) [the by far most active and inclusive permaculture forum online] there are many people who go into all manner of seeds, strains and species in great detail. We don't have to go there here @ Planet X Town Hall since Permies already exists... Having said that, it can save everyone some time and effort to be able to find good resources here, so that's worthwhile. I have certainly experienced that not all seeds are easily resourced or ordered and sometimes you can use all the help you can get.
And there other issues concerning seeds, ones most people might never imagine; like, did you know the seeds of tropical fruits tend to not keep for a long time? So you can, for instance, order banana seeds but they may never sprout, even if you kept them super dry and cool. Good to know!
Just so, there are other tidbits we might all share and it's not necessarily about lists of worthwhile species (like the kind of info people get into @ Permies).
Excellent reminder for everyone about seeds and their longevity.  Parsnip seeds, for example, are the shortest lived seeds I know of, unless they are refrigerated.  Now not everyone can keep their garden seeds in a fridge, especially in hard times.  These parsnip seeds, if unrefrigerated, must be planted every year.  I try to keep some in fridge, but still I also try to plant every year to have a new seed supply.  Hopefully I can post a pic of my two crops this year:  one is the seed crop and the other is the eating crop for 2017.  They look TOTALLY different.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 18, 2017, 06:07:30 AM
Would it be appropriate to include non-GMO seeds in this topic, or would that be best posted in a different location?
Title: Re: GMO
Post by: Socrates on May 18, 2017, 08:31:55 AM
My goodness!  :o
Is anybody thinking about posting GMO seeds here...?!

Last i checked, no crazy people active here...
Title: Re: corn
Post by: Socrates on May 18, 2017, 08:36:43 AM
(http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=6424.0;attach=21454;image)
Maybe i don't have to Google it myself... Does anyone know about the different kinds of corn and their characteristics/advantages/etc.?
I have all kinds but just assumed corn = good.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 18, 2017, 12:09:02 PM
Hi Socrates,

That's where I was heading with the last post.  In the U.S. we have some serious problems with corn seed, yet it's a staple crop.  It didn't become an issue until the 21st Century, when GMO seeds were patented and released for mass production farming, before the germ Bt was tested on humans.  Since corn so easily cross pollinates, we can no longer feel completely assured by such marketing terms as "open-source," "heirloom," and "organic."  A decade ago, a questionable practice was introduced into the retail seed supply called "The Safe Seed Pledge," in which retailers virtually awarded themselves a non-GMO label if they swore that they would not knowingly sell seeds contaminated by GMO crops.  This was a weasel word that allowed sellers to skirt around testing their seeds and pretend to care about the topic while really just boosting their profits.  http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/MDY2JSPBRC.pdf

There are a few tools we can use to increase our chances of getting pure seed.
1. Know first-hand, if possible, where it came from.  Use seed that was passed directly to you, without an intermediary, by someone who has grown a particular corn cultivar for a couple of generations and kept their crop isolated by at least a half mile ideally from GMO corn crops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_drift

2. Or look for the Non-GMO Project symbol with the orange butterfly, meaning that the supplier actually physically tests a specific percentage of seeds. https://www.nongmoproject.org/

3. Or look for a "100% Organic" certification.  The word "organic" by itself without the percentage designation isn't enough in this country. https://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/

4. Opt for a variety/category of corn that agribusiness hasn't taken an interest in, and maintain safe distances.  It can still become contaminated, but the slender shape of flint corn, for example, is somewhat reassuring that it has retained its original genetics.

Once we have pure seeds in our own hands, then we in turn must be responsible to protect our crops from contamination by maintaining distances from the crops of neighboring growers.

Here are a few generally respected seed suppliers that are marketing themselves as being things like organic, heirloom, open pollinated, etc., but if you study their websites carefully, you will find weasel words regarding GMO-free certification (while in some cases speaking loudly against GMO's):
Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds/aka Rareseeds.com, Sustainableseedco.com, Victoryseeds.com, Sand Hill Preservation Center, Adaptiveseeds.com, Seedsavers.org

Here is a seed company that certifies certain specific strains of corn only: Fedco of Maine sells only non-GMO sweet corn.  Its other strains of corn are not certified.  At least they are very clear about it.

Here is a seed company that certifies all of its corn varieties:
Highmowingseeds.com has double certification, being both 100% organic and a certified Non-GMO Project member.  More companies listed here: https://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/verified-products/results/?categoryId=1675003486

A few unscrupulous, but slick and green-sounding companies will post the orange butterfly logo of the Non-GMO Project on their website as a link to more information about it, while not actually being affiliated with the Non-GMO Project.  We can avoid being fooled by noting that they boast having signed the "Safe Seed Pledge," indicating that the very most that they are willing to do is ask their own seed suppliers for a statement of assurance. 


Title: Re: genetic integrity
Post by: Socrates on May 18, 2017, 04:22:07 PM
Once we have pure seeds in our own hands, then we in turn must be responsible to protect our crops from contamination by maintaining distances from the crops of neighboring growers.
Yet another reason to head for the hills... [i.e. literally].
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 18, 2017, 04:30:06 PM
Would it be appropriate to include non-GMO seeds in this topic, or would that be best posted in a different location?
It's a given (for all of us, presumably)  that we are never talking about planting GMO seeds.
Title: Re: corn
Post by: ilinda on May 18, 2017, 04:33:26 PM
(http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=6424.0;attach=21454;image)
Maybe i don't have to Google it myself... Does anyone know about the different kinds of corn and their characteristics/advantages/etc.?
I have all kinds but just assumed corn = good.
Organic gardener/geneticist Carol Deppe has written a book that discusses the different corns in detail, and it is too much for my brain to remember it all.  The book is The Resiliant Gardener and although I read it, it's more like a reference book and I plan to re-read portions again.

She discusses five crops that one needs for surviving hard times.  She knows her corns.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 18, 2017, 04:39:15 PM
Hi Socrates,

That's where I was heading with the last post.  In the U.S. we have some serious problems with corn seed, yet it's a staple crop.  It didn't become an issue until the 21st Century, when GMO seeds were patented and released for mass production farming, before the germ Bt was tested on humans.  Since corn so easily cross pollinates, we can no longer feel completely assured by such marketing terms as "open-source," "heirloom," and "organic."  A decade ago, a questionable practice was introduced into the retail seed supply called "The Safe Seed Pledge," in which retailers virtually awarded themselves a non-GMO label if they swore that they would not knowingly sell seeds contaminated by GMO crops.  This was a weasel word that allowed sellers to skirt around testing their seeds and pretend to care about the topic while really just boosting their profits.  http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/MDY2JSPBRC.pdf

There are a few tools we can use to increase our chances of getting pure seed.
1. Know first-hand, if possible, where it came from.  Use seed that was passed directly to you, without an intermediary, by someone who has grown a particular corn cultivar for a couple of generations and kept their crop isolated by at least a half mile ideally from GMO corn crops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_drift

2. Or look for the Non-GMO Project symbol with the orange butterfly, meaning that the supplier actually physically tests a specific percentage of seeds. https://www.nongmoproject.org/

3. Or look for a "100% Organic" certification.  The word "organic" by itself without the percentage designation isn't enough in this country. https://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/

4. Opt for a variety/category of corn that agribusiness hasn't taken an interest in, and maintain safe distances.  It can still become contaminated, but the slender shape of flint corn, for example, is somewhat reassuring that it has retained its original genetics.

Once we have pure seeds in our own hands, then we in turn must be responsible to protect our crops from contamination by maintaining distances from the crops of neighboring growers.

Here are a few generally respected seed suppliers that are marketing themselves as being things like organic, heirloom, open pollinated, etc., but if you study their websites carefully, you will find weasel words regarding GMO-free certification (while in some cases speaking loudly against GMO's):
Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds/aka Rareseeds.com, Sustainableseedco.com, Victoryseeds.com, Sand Hill Preservation Center, Adaptiveseeds.com, Seedsavers.org

Here is a seed company that certifies certain specific strains of corn only: Fedco of Maine sells only non-GMO sweet corn.  Its other strains of corn are not certified.  At least they are very clear about it.

Here is a seed company that certifies all of its corn varieties:
Highmowingseeds.com has double certification, being both 100% organic and a certified Non-GMO Project member.  More companies listed here: https://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/verified-products/results/?categoryId=1675003486

A few unscrupulous, but slick and green-sounding companies will post the orange butterfly logo of the Non-GMO Project on their website as a link to more information about it, while not actually being affiliated with the Non-GMO Project.  We can avoid being fooled by noting that they boast having signed the "Safe Seed Pledge," indicating that the very most that they are willing to do is ask their own seed suppliers for statement of assurance.
Also if you get to know the actual people behind the scenes at some of the small seed companies you have a better idea of where they stand.  I have seen Glen Drowns the co-owner of Sand Hill Seed Preservation give presentations at the annual gathering at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, and the guy is totally against GM.  One problem is if testing isn't done, though, being against GM isn't enough, considering wind-driven pollen drift.

Another factor is where the corn is grown.  In the open in the plains states, there is very good possibility of contamnation with GM pollen.  If grown in an area of the Ozarks studded with billy-goat land with steep hills and hollers, with lots of forests surrounding, there is a good chance of absence of GM.

My one friend in Delaware plants her organic/biodynamic corn very early or very late in season to avoid the nearby GM pollen from all the GM farmers nearby.

BTW, thanks for posting this, as you brought up some new points!

As soon as I can get some corn planted, I'll post a few pics of hopefully finished crop.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 19, 2017, 05:00:01 AM
Quote
My one friend in Delaware plants her organic/biodynamic corn very early or very late in season to avoid the nearby GM pollen from all the GM farmers nearby.

Ilinda, what a great idea, especially for Southern growers who have warmer soil in spring and autumn! 

Looking forward to pics of your crops :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 19, 2017, 01:42:45 PM
Adding the Restoration Seed Company as one of the good guys for corn seed preservation.  They have gone the USDA certification route, rather than the Non-GMO Project path.  Same end result - unless one wants the government out of their garden altogether.  They do accept some non-certified seed from their growers as well, on the grounds that they're afraid special cultivars will become completely extinct otherwise.  Look for USDA symbol to tell the difference.  https://www.restorationseeds.com/collections/corn
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on May 21, 2017, 12:15:59 PM
R.R. Book, Excellent!
Thank you...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 21, 2017, 05:17:56 PM
This is the first in a series of seed-saving articles.  The first one will only have one pic, as I tried a few minutes ago, and failed miserably, to post anything, as jpegs may have been too large.
Ok, here are radish plants that are going to seed.  You can see the rather large seed pods, which will turn brown eventually and become brittle, at which time they are ready to pick and save in a cool/cold, dry place.

Radishes are biennial, although they usually bolt in the same year as opposed to most other biennials.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 21, 2017, 05:30:44 PM
This is the second part of a multi-part series on seed saving.
Seed saving is more than just gathering a few seeds, whatever is handy, and stuffing them in a ziplok bag and waiting for next gardening season.

Saving seed means alloting space in your garden (which is probably bursting at the seams anyway) for your seed crop.  Plus it also means a bit of time involved in weeding (at least once) your seed crop, which is taking up valuable space.  But if you want seed, this is what you do.

Most garden crops are either biennial or annual.  The biennials usually grow their crop one year, then return the following spring to produce their seeds.  All the brassicacea (cruciferous) veggies do this, and some others as well, including parsnips and beets.

For example with parsnips or beets, the experts say to save 6-12 of your best roots, storing them in damp sawdust or damp sand (not wet) during the winter, in a location where it's cold but not freezing.  Then the following spring, re-plant the beets or parsnips when danger of hard freeze is over The pic attached shows beets as they are beginning "to bolt" which means to go to seed.  The beet seed tops will get taller as the season wears on a bit, and they may reach 3' or more.  Flowers are not vibrant as in many other crops, but seeds do get produced.  Be patient.

As most people know, it is best not to harvest anything from the seed crop, except the seeds when dry.  All the leaves are busy metabolizing, etc., but the plant needs all its energy to go into producing seed. 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 22, 2017, 05:57:10 PM
AFter unsuccessfully posting a pic of parsnip seed plants, I re-sized another parsnip pic, so this is an experiment.
The attached pic shows how small the first year parsnip crop is compared to the 5' tall seed crop plants, seen at the far end of the row.  In this jumbled mass of greenery, the only thing weeded is the parsnips from from to back. 

Once the parsnip seed crop flowers, then seeds form and dry, it will be about July or so here in MO, so there won't be a lot of time for hot season crops to fill that space, but fall lettuce or fall peas are a possibility.


Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 22, 2017, 06:04:03 PM
The attached pic shows the quite tall parsnip seed crop with their yellow flower heads.  Some are already 5' tall and growing. ( In the foreground are Fava beans which are another cold season crop, and this year they are an experiment.)

Because you only need to save and plant 6-12 of your best beets or parsnips for seed the following spring, you can usually squeeze them in somewhere, so I put both parsnips and beets at one end of the bed, with food beets and food parsnips at the other end.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on May 22, 2017, 07:46:51 PM
Great posts, R.R. Book and Socrates. :)
Socrates I sent you a msg...an idea...
Let me know,
Barb T.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on May 22, 2017, 07:48:28 PM
ilinda - wonderful posts and images. Looks like you are walking the walk. :)
Great stuff - growing that much food...
I love root veges.
- Barb T.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on May 23, 2017, 04:23:53 AM
Saving seed means alloting space in your garden (which is probably bursting at the seams anyway) for your seed crop.
Reality check for people interested in growing their own food: Marjory Wildcraft (http://thegrownetwork.com/) teaches that a whole 3/5 of your land needs to be about growing soil, i.e. not food.

I personally feel that scavanging for soil is a real option [check out any forest], but that also involves a lot of carrying soil around all the time...
In traditional horticulture, which was practiced for millennia [!] before authoritarian social/political developments caused agriculture to be all the rage..., the edges of food forests were used for growing specific crops.

#whatisagarden...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 23, 2017, 05:11:13 PM
Saving seed means alloting space in your garden (which is probably bursting at the seams anyway) for your seed crop.
Reality check for people interested in growing their own food: Marjory Wildcraft (http://thegrownetwork.com/) teaches that a whole 3/5 of your land needs to be about growing soil, i.e. not food.

I personally feel that scavanging for soil is a real option [check out any forest], but that also involves a lot of carrying soil around all the time...
In traditional horticulture, which was practiced for millennia [!] before authoritarian social/political developments caused agriculture to be all the rage..., the edges of food forests were used for growing specific crops.

#whatisagarden...
One of our neighbors sometimes has experienced hay being ruined by an unexpected rain at the wrong time, after which he asks hubby if he wants to buy the spoiled hay.  We're absolutely delighted to buy spoiled hay--we're getting his topsoil at basement bargain rates.

Another source of good soil is after horrific storms we find large trees uprooted up in the woods, so we bring that soil down and place it in the garden, to prevent pelting rain from washing away all that wonderful soil that has formed under these huge trees.  It is amazing the amount of soil attached to the upturned tree roots.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 23, 2017, 05:16:05 PM
And last but not least attached is a pic of one of our prize parsnip roots for seed.  We're always torn between wanting to eat the best, but know that's not what seedsaving is all about. 
Title: Re: other folks' ignorance...
Post by: Socrates on May 23, 2017, 07:16:53 PM
One of our neighbors sometimes has experienced hay being ruined by an unexpected rain at the wrong time, after which he asks hubby if he wants to buy the spoiled hay.  We're absolutely delighted to buy spoiled hay--we're getting his topsoil at basement bargain rates.
I once bought a huge tub of honey for just 25 bucks; it had become wet and was starting to ferment... You mean turn into MEAD! I just added more water and had a great quality mead for months.

Common ignorance is killing the world, but yin always turns to yang and vice versa... Their failure is our success. They refuse to hear change so people who do are the Darwinian winners... It is what it is.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 25, 2017, 05:47:26 AM
Just discovered by accident that Carol Deppe owns her own seed company, here: http://caroldeppe.com/Seed%20Catalog%202017.html .  She has an unusual kind of pumpkin with seeds that don't have a shell on them that are ready to eat raw or roast.  For tougher skinned winter storage squash, she recommends dropping them from a good height, saying that if its done just right, the squash will break into equal halves.

Loved your parsnip pic Ilinda!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 25, 2017, 06:41:01 AM
There is a woman not far from me who lives among the Amish and has for many years offered special strains of seed conserved for generations on specific Amish farms as private family heirlooms.  In addition, she has traveled extensively and found unusual seed to save and bring home with her, growing out limited quantities on her small homestead and sharing them with the public.  Her website makes interesting reading: http://www.amishlandseeds.com/legumes.htm
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 26, 2017, 07:47:58 PM
Found some promising potato seed, though the danger of blight in this location is notorious.  Many seed providers are sold out already.  These seem to me worth a try:

"Island Sunshine" from Woodprairie.com. The highest level of tolerance to tuber Potato Late Blight, Bred by the Loo brothers, organic farmers from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Great flavor.  Woodprairie Farm sells USDA certified organic seed with every seed lot lab tested to eliminate GMO's.

"Desiree" from Potatogarden.com (Roninger's) Prolific  yields  of  excellent all-around cooking  potatoes.   Very resistant  to  common  diseases.  An  easy and  very reliable  gourmet potato to grow

"Pink Pearl" from Potatogarden.com These oblong tubers grow on vigorous plants with high tuber set and high yields.  Resistant to late blight, good keeper.

"Butte" is a somewhat rare russett that has "20% more protein and 58% more vitamin C" than other cultivars, according to Wikipedia.  It is resistant to late blight and nematodes, but vulnerable to bacterial Verticillium wilt.  Seems to be sold out everywhere except places like Etsy.

"Ozette fingerling"; Sage Hen Farm says that it has "high resistance to late blight."  Territorial Seed Company says that fingerlings yield 15-20 times the amount originally planted, while regular potatoes might yield only 10.

"Romanz" from Sage Hen Farm, which sounds in possible danger of extinction from their website.  High resistance to late blight.  Noted for rich flavor.

"Strawberry Paw" from Sage Hen Farm, Very recent Cornell release.  High resistance to late blight

"Sierra" russet is resistant to Verticillium wilt while most other cultivars are susceptible.  It is also resistant to early blight, hollow heart and storage rot but can't be stored long due to short dormancy.  It crops on less soil nitrogen and in more crowded conditions, but produces some odd shapes.  http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/5852/SR%20no.%20859_ocr.pdf

This is not a scientific observation, but it seems that most of the disease-resistant potatoes I've seen are red.  Maybe something in their flesh protects them?





Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on May 27, 2017, 12:38:52 AM
Wow! Great info, you guys.
 :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 27, 2017, 11:59:00 AM
Don't know how many of you remember the Foxfire magazine and book series (not to be confused with the web interface) :)  They are the photojournals of a remarkable educator and his students studying old off-road Appalachian ways on a very personal basis with the mountain folk back in the late 1960's.  The most surprising aspect of the priceless project is that the output is not a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation...it is the product of learning experiences of 9th and 10th graders from a high school in Georgia.  For those of you reading this overseas, we are talking about 14, 15 and 16 year olds.

My favorite book in the series is number 4: fiddle making, springhouses, horse trading, sassafras tea, berry buckets, and most of all, gardening.  Here's what the mountain folk had to say about sowing potato seed:

Ednie Buchanan: We always planted potatoes on a dark moon in April, but some folk'd plant 'em in March or even February.  We'd cut the potatoes from last year that we saved for seed into a couple of pieces each.  Had to be sure there was two good eyes in each piece.  Well, we'd already have our rows ready and fertilized with manure, and just plant those pieces.

Ada Kelly: After we planted the potatoes, we'd work 'em and ridge the soil up some as the vines grew.  We found that if we made a small ridge, we'd get big potatoes.  We always put ashes on our potatoes, and it made them grow really well.  We'd dig new potatoes around the time the vines were blooming, but wouldn't dig up the whole patch until all the vines had died down. 

Below is a photo of "Aunt Arie" Carpenter digging potatoes with a root fork, from Aunt Arie, a Foxfire Portrait by Foxfire Press.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 28, 2017, 06:47:45 PM
Here are a couple more pics of crops we grow.  I have grown collards for decades and have used my own seeds, so one could say they've become acclimated to this locale, and are now a landrace of this area.

Collards are one of the most versatile crops around, resistant to extreme heat, plus can tolerate well below zero deg. F. for extended periods, although it helps to layer a bit of old hay/mulch on them at the beginning of winter.

Collards in my opinion are as good or better than kale or any of the other greens.

One pic shows the second year plants of this biennial in flower.  Other pic shows the seed pods that will turn brown and provide thousands of living seeds.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 29, 2017, 12:41:52 PM
Beautiful pics Ilinda!  I didn't realize collards produced seed pods like that - wonder if they're edible?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 29, 2017, 04:49:36 PM
Beautiful pics Ilinda!  I didn't realize collards produced seed pods like that - wonder if they're edible?
I suspect they would be when young and green--think of "Rattail Radish", which I've never grown, but have seen it in some of my seed catalogs.  For those who don't know, rattail radish is grown for its seed pods, not the radish root underneath!  I imagine many/most of the brassicas would have edible pods, and if you are flush with seeds and don't mind "losing" a few to a meal, you might really get a jolt of protein and taste you weren't anticipating.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 29, 2017, 05:14:59 PM
 
Quote
...taste you weren't anticipating.
:P

Am gonna have to look up Rattail Radish - you keep pulling new ones on me Ilinda!
Title: Re: SEEDS...: potato seed
Post by: R.R. Book on May 30, 2017, 04:17:12 AM
Considering the emphasis that Carol Deppe placed upon potatoes as a North American staple crop, we are entering a point of no return that is also a window of opportunity.  Seed potatoes saved over from last year will likely not be viable another year without first being allowed to break dormancy and produce a crop, from which fresh seed potatoes then can be expected to be productive in 2018.  In other words, I don't believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) that we can just save last year's potato seed in a bug out bag, or even in a root cellar, for very long.

A couple of strategies present themselves.  We can tuck viable potato seed in the ground or in tubs of soil everywhere we can think to put them outdoors, allowing sunlight to grow them out.  Even if the Px debris field wipes out the tops, there is a good chance that they will have produced at least a small seed crop underground (assuming that Socrates' worst-case scenario of no soil left is not universally true).  From this remnant, we can begin stocking the bug-out bags and root cellars.  Same procedure to be done in 2018, in case the timing of the debris field passage is a little off. 

An alternative, and perhaps a parallel strategy to be used in conjunction with the above, is to procure a type of potato that is an invasive weed in the South, but a plant-and-replant type of rootstock in the north: the air potato or any analog of it.  Air potatoes are outlawed in the South due to vines that overcome virtually everything in their path.  Southerners will sell them on Ebay to Northerners though - look for Dioscorea bulbifera.  In the North, plant those, and they will become the mother potatoes.  They will crop both underground and in on-vine bulbils, similarly to other Dioscorea species.  However, this one looks and tastes just like a normal potato, while other Dioscorea are more of a sweet potato analog.  Either the bulbils or the mother potatoes can then be conserved in soil in the root cellar (or bug out bag) over the winter and replanted in spring.  They do need a sunny location during the growing season in order to crop well.  I no longer grow these due to unimpressive crop in our shady location, but others may have better results.
Title: Re: SEEDS...Potato seed distances to avoid cross-pollination? Clarification
Post by: R.R. Book on May 30, 2017, 02:57:30 PM
According to this article, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/potatoes-cross-pollinate-63464.html , since what we refer to as being "potato seed" are really tubers, then no sexual reproduction is taking place, rather it is cloning.  Potatoes have both male and female flowers on the same plant, and self-pollinate, but the seed that is produced will not come true to type, and is not what we plant for cropping.  Neither is cropping dependent upon above-ground seed production.

So the good news is that, unlike corn that requires either different cultivars being planted at different times of the year so as to avoid hybridizing, or being planted at a distance of a half mile, we can scrounge up (at this late date) samples of all the promising varieties that we can find, and sow them closely together, just being sure to mark which is which.  Even having different cultivars growing out this year in separate flower pots close together on the porch would be enough to bring forward separate cultivars for seed saving.
Title: Re: SEEDS...Potato seed distances to avoid cross-pollination? Clarification
Post by: ilinda on May 30, 2017, 06:38:57 PM
According to this article, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/potatoes-cross-pollinate-63464.html , since what we refer to as being "potato seed" are really tubers, then no sexual reproduction is taking place, rather it is cloning.  Potatoes have both male and female flowers on the same plant, and self-pollinate, but the seed that is produced will not come true to type, and is not what we plant for cropping.  Neither is cropping dependent upon above-ground seed production.

Somehow I think we might use the potato seed that seems to grow on some varieties of potatoes, but rarely on others.  For those who've never grown potatoes, look at your crop periodically for what appears to be a small green tomato growing on the vine(s).  This contains potato seed, and while it's true it won't "breed true" if planted, it is a way to develop new potato varieties.

Think of the worst case scenario of PX.  Then think of looking for those little green tomato-looking-things this year on your potato plants (I certainly will, now that we're talking about this important subject), and how it might be wise to carefully save them and allow them to dry on a countertop, out of the sun and away from heat, and you will find some small seeds inside the little green-tomato-like thing.  These are valuable if you don't have any more actual spuds and would like to grow some.  It will take a while, but at least you/we would have seeds from which to start.  I've not thought of doing this for the reasons we now talk about, but if I can find any on the Purple Peruvian potatoes I'm growing this year, will report it here.  I've not seen them on this variety, that I can remember.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 30, 2017, 06:43:31 PM
Quote
...taste you weren't anticipating.
:P

Am gonna have to look up Rattail Radish - you keep pulling new ones on me Ilinda!
I looked in my Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook and found one listing this year from a person in California.  Here is what she says:

Rat's Tail Radish
"No root to speak of, grown for the young green seed pods which are spicy and good pickled.  Tall, bountiful plants that bear all season.  (Just two will keep you oversupplied with pods.)
Some variation in flower color (white or pinkish) and pod texture.  Pods green and 3" long."
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 30, 2017, 07:13:11 PM
Thanks Ilinda, you are a wealth of gardening information!  Now we'll all be watching for the little tomato thingies on our potatoes :)  I seem to remember seeing something akin to that on my (female?) asparagus tops, but that's a whole 'nother family.

Potato seed availability update: I just bought a pound of what little "Butte" is still available on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/265718007/1-lb-butte-seed-potatoes?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_b-craft_supplies_and_tools-floral_and_garden_supplies-greenery_and_gardening-plants-fruits_and_vegetables&utm_custom1 

There are still 5 pounds remaining, and from what I've seen, it will be gone after that.  It needs a longer growing season, so should probably go to a Southerner unless folks (like me) are only hoping for small seed potatoes potentially viable for 2018.  I did find two more cultivars available on the market still that are supposed to have very good disease resistance: Elba (also needs a long growing season, so good for the South) and Yukon Gem, an improved  daughter of the old Yukon Gold.  Yukon Gem only needs a medium-length growing season and is available in the Northeast at Wood Prairie Farm, and at Seeds of Change in the Southwest, both companies that seem to be highly conscientious.  Both Elba and Island Sunshine, a long-season disease resistant cultivar mentioned earlier, are also available at WPF, and I noticed that for some reason they seem to be under-emphasizing Elba's reported disease resistance noted in trials - maybe because it's still fairly new.

Including a photo of the Rat's Tail Radish that Ilinda mentioned:
Title: Re: SEEDS...: disease resistant and fertile potato
Post by: R.R. Book on May 31, 2017, 12:30:46 PM
Quote
Somehow I think we might use the potato seed that seems to grow on some varieties of potatoes, but rarely on others.

After Ilinda's post on potato propagation by actual seeds, I went back and had a closer look at the "Daughter of the Soil" article posted a while back, and found that one cultivar stood out for being both fertile (capable of producing seeds) and disease-resistant: Desiree.  It also crops heavily.  Although most potato seed still available on the market at this late date seem to be susceptible cultivars, Desiree is still available for purchase at Potatogarden.com (Roninger's), Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, The Natural Gardening Company, and Orchard Depot. 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 31, 2017, 02:15:53 PM
Thanks Ilinda, you are a wealth of gardening information!  Now we'll all be watching for the little tomato thingies on our potatoes :)  I seem to remember seeing something akin to that on my (female?) asparagus tops, but that's a whole 'nother family.

Potato seed availability update: I just bought a pound of what little "Butte" is still available on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/265718007/1-lb-butte-seed-potatoes?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_b-craft_supplies_and_tools-floral_and_garden_supplies-greenery_and_gardening-plants-fruits_and_vegetables&utm_custom1 

There are still 5 pounds remaining, and from what I've seen, it will be gone after that.  It needs a longer growing season, so should probably go to a Southerner unless folks (like me) are only hoping for small seed potatoes potentially viable for 2018.  I did find two more cultivars available on the market still that are supposed to have very good disease resistance: Elba (also needs a long growing season, so good for the South) and Yukon Gem, an improved  daughter of the old Yukon Gold.  Yukon Gem only needs a medium-length growing season and is available in the Northeast at Wood Prairie Farm, and at Seeds of Change in the Southwest, both companies that seem to be highly conscientious.  Both Elba and Island Sunshine, a long-season disease resistant cultivar mentioned earlier, are also available at WPF, and I noticed that for some reason they seem to be under-emphasizing Elba's reported disease resistance noted in trials - maybe because it's still fairly new.

Including a photo of the Rat's Tail Radish that Ilinda mentioned:
Wow, that pic shows rather long Rat's Tail Radish pods, longer than 3" and certainly interesting looking.  I know people who grow okra so they can pickle the pods.  The radish looks much easier, and no doubt faster, and when pickled, maybe there's not a whole lot of difference to the casual eater.

Yes, I, too, see the female, red berries on some asparagus plants and not on others, and it's my understanding that those are the fruit/berries of the female.  The good thing is they seem to open up and spread a bit, presumably by birds, and you will end up with several more asparagus plants, which you will find hither and thither in the garden.  So do not despair--just transplant them into your asparagus bed where there are missing patches or add on to your bed.

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 31, 2017, 02:58:53 PM
Both of those things are great to know Ilinda!  Will especially look into rattail pickling...

Adding that Makah Ozette fingerling potato, a North American landrace on the Slow Food Ark of Taste conservation list, seems to be sold out everywhere but here: https://www.amazon.com/DIRECT-ORGANIC-POTATOES-Ozette-Fingerling/dp/B01M4P2XEP

It has high resistance to late blight, and is a good keeper.
Title: Re: SEEDS...: 9 types of British sprouting broccolis for staggered harvesting
Post by: R.R. Book on June 02, 2017, 01:38:32 PM
Thanks mostly to British breeding experiments, it is possible to get on Ebay and purchase, very inexpensively, several different types of sprouting broccoli seeds for a year 'round harvest, and for hedging our bets against starvation. Sprouting broccolis do not refer to what we think of when we say alfalfa sprouts - rather they are fully grown plants from seed that tend toward perennializing if shoots are constantly harvested at the appropriate time and not allowed to go to seed.  Northerners appear to get much more mileage from these plants than Southerners.

Some of you may remember the Nine Star Perennial Broccoli that mostly disappeared from the market, unless you live in the UK. 

Here are the current varieties and the approximate harvest schedule, which probably varies according to planting time and climate:
Rudolph: December - February
White Eye: February - March
Red Arrow: February - April
Early Purple: February - April
Early Cardinal: March - April
Purple: March - April
White Star (aka Late White): April - May
Late Purple: April - May
Summer Purple: June - October

If anyone knows of other types of sprouting broccoli (non-calabrese) seed still available, please share with us!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 02, 2017, 05:17:31 PM
Both of those things are great to know Ilinda!  Will especially look into rattail pickling...

Adding that Makah Ozette fingerling potato, a North American landrace on the Slow Food Ark of Taste conservation list, seems to be sold out everywhere but here: https://www.amazon.com/DIRECT-ORGANIC-POTATOES-Ozette-Fingerling/dp/B01M4P2XEP

It has high resistance to late blight, and is a good keeper.
Yesterday I tasted a radish seed pod and then later a collard seed pod.  Vey interesting and I'm certain these can be eaten, especially when a bit greener, as these are starting to turn color a bit and are at the end of their green stage.  But just think of the protein content--seeds--and they might look really appetizing in a stir-fry or salad, or whatever.  In fact our discussion right here has made me decide to never grow snow peas again, and instead concentrate on the seed pods of the brassicas, as they're much easier to come by, and don't require a trellis, etc., etc.

Also, a few years ago I grew the Ozette potato, but was disappointed in the size of harvest, plus size of potatoes.  Yes, they are a fingerling, which means not huge tubers, but what I really liked about them was in the review I read, it said how they have different genetics from most modern-day potatoes and there is more variation within a harvest.  So I DO think they are still worth experimenting with.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 07, 2017, 06:30:06 AM
Socrates, Is the 1500 year-old cave bean that you mentioned the same thing as the Anasazi bean?  If so, since Baker Creek Heirlooms is sold out, maybe folks might be able to find it under another name elsewhere?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 14, 2017, 11:59:26 AM
Tomorrow will be garlic digging day.  The garlic bed in the pic shows two varieties of garlic, the one in the foreground has obviously matured earlier, as the plants are leaning over, a true sign they are ready to be dug.  Another sign would be the turning yellow of the tips. 

Notice, though, interspersed among the several hundred garlic plants are the volunteer Purple Peruvian Potatoes, growing from the smaller potatoes I inadvertently left when harvesting potatoes last year.  Update will follow to show the Purple Peruvian potatoes that survived the winter.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 14, 2017, 02:27:28 PM
What a beautiful garlic patch Ilinda!  Do you prefer to braid and hang yours, or use another storage method?

I like your cinder block raised bed - seems like it would be easy to get just the size and shape you want.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 15, 2017, 03:23:06 PM
What a beautiful garlic patch Ilinda!  Do you prefer to braid and hang yours, or use another storage method?

I like your cinder block raised bed - seems like it would be easy to get just the size and shape you want.
Thank you.  After digging, I lay each plant out horizontally for several days, then hang them in bunches of about 10-15, and hang them on a hook near the ceiling.  Also, early on in the drying process, I segregate those "perfect" ones for planting in October, from the rest which are for eating.  I even make big signs such as, "DO NOT EAT--SEED GARLIC", and "GARLIC FOR EATING".  Sometimes I even segregate the seed garlic in a different room or building just to make sure nobody grabs seed garlic for eating, as the seed garlic is the biggest and best.

I like the block bed for some things, but have found that in digging garlic, for example, one must be very careful not to back up, fall over, and kill oneself by after becoming entangled in uneven clumps/clods of soil, piles of vegetation, the shovel, trowel, etc., etc.

But it will help with the peanut crop to be planted in a day or two because after planting peanut seeds, I immediately cover that bed with hardware cloth to prevent crows, other birds, raccoons, and who-knows-what from digging them up.  I've had serious problems with wildlife eating the peanuts, and the block wall is a hindrance, but not cureall.

Do you braid your garlic?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 15, 2017, 03:30:09 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Yes, braid it and hang it up in the pantry.  Will take a cue from you now and use the best ones for replanting, rather than the runts!

Oh the stories I could tell about near accidents in the garden...we'll have to do a thread on natural medicine for tetanus some time!  :-X

Wonderful too that you grow peanuts - we have a familial allergy and have to steer clear.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 21, 2017, 01:48:49 PM
More tidbits on seed potatoes.  I began (finally) planting potatoes today and imagine my surprise when I opened the storage container (old cooler) only to find not only had the potatoes sprouted nicely, but many had already produced potatoes larger than any I've ever seen on seed potatoes.  Apparently they can't wait to get started!

Will carefully plant these red beauties this evening, after having planted Purple Peruvian this morning, although they certainly didn't look like this.

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 22, 2017, 11:46:49 AM
Ilinda, what variety are they?  Will they be ready before your first frost, or does it really matter?  We usually get our first frost by mid-October, though maybe just a light 40 degree one, rather than a killing frost (35 degrees F for non-gardeners).  I was pretty late getting potatoes in the ground this year too, and did order some Purple Peruvians since you had spoken so highly of their performance. :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 22, 2017, 01:49:23 PM
I wish I knew the variety, but if I take a finished sample after harvest, to the friend I bought them from (at eating stage), she will probably remember.  We bought many pounds of potatoes from our farmer/gardener friend and she usually knows the types of potatoes she grows, as some people have preferences.  I really should do this because this is a keeper type potato.  But I don't recall looking for those little "seed balls" (resemble small tomatoes) on them during growing season, and now that is something that interests me.

Our first frost is usually in October, so I figure it's cutting it close, but when frost threatens, I'll either cut off the tops and mulch heavily, or if time permits, just harvest before the frost.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 23, 2017, 06:17:52 PM
I wish I knew the variety, but if I take a finished sample after harvest, to the friend I bought them from (at eating stage), she will probably remember.  We bought many pounds of potatoes from our farmer/gardener friend and she usually knows the types of potatoes she grows, as some people have preferences.  I really should do this because this is a keeper type potato.  But I don't recall looking for those little "seed balls" (resemble small tomatoes) on them during growing season, and now that is something that interests me.

Our first frost is usually in October, so I figure it's cutting it close, but when frost threatens, I'll either cut off the tops and mulch heavily, or if time permits, just harvest before the frost.
Called our farmer friend about the "red potato" and she said it's Pontiac.  She has grown it, along with Kennebec, for years and says she receives many requests for both varieties.  She said my hubby told her that "red potato" was the best tasting potato he's ever eaten. 

Further, she was surprised when I told her of the size of the potatoes growing while still attached to the original potato, and said she had never seen them get very big at all, until planted.

  My best guess is that when you are very late in planting, and the spuds "know" it's time, they begin the process anyway, whether they have soil around them or not.  Their first nutrition must come from the original potato or so it seems.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 10:08:43 AM
From this article, Pontiac sounds like an heirloom dating back to the Great Depression, with good keeping qualities: http://potatoassociation.org/industry/varieties/red-rounds-potato-varieties/red-pontiac-solanum-tuberosum .  Fedco says that Kennebec is a good Northern potato able to grow under harsh conditions, as well as being good keepers that are resistant to late blight and leaf hoppers ( https://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/?item=7270 ).  Sounds as if you found two more worthwhile cultivars to bring forward, Ilinda!

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 24, 2017, 05:11:45 PM
From this article, Pontiac sounds like an heirloom dating back to the Great Depression, with good keeping qualities: http://potatoassociation.org/industry/varieties/red-rounds-potato-varieties/red-pontiac-solanum-tuberosum .  Fedco says that Kennebec is a good Northern potato able to grow under harsh conditions, as well as being good keepers that are resistant to late blight and leaf hoppers ( https://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/?item=7270 ).  Sounds as if you found two more worthwhile cultivars to bring forward, Ilinda!
Farmer friend did say Pontiac is an heirloom potato.

While we're on the subject of potatoes, I must mention another of my favorites--Caribe.  OMG, this is wonderful for several reasons. 

It has a beautiful blue/purple skin with white flesh.  It grows to nice size, depending on soil fertility and conditions, but I've grown some really nice bakers before.  And here's the best part of all:  it matures in 62 days.  Yes, from planting to harvest, it is about 62 days.  I didn't believe it when I read that, so carefully noted my dates and found that yes, you can harvest it that early.  It must somehow be a faster grower than many other potatoes.  Oh, and it tastes great--IIRC not watery, but with substance.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 05:50:25 PM
Looked up Caribe (pronounced Ka-ree-bay) on WoodPrairie's website, and read the customers' reviews: resistant to Colorado potato beetle, disease resistant, consistent producer in spite of adverse conditions, huge size, capable of a second crop in a single year, and heavily bearing.  Ilinda, if it crops in 2 months, then there is still time to order and plant it.  Thanks for the heads up!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 25, 2017, 03:56:52 PM
Now that we're on the subject of Caribe, I too might have to order some as, even a July 1 planting would mature here, unless some truly bizarre early frost, or equally bizarre heat wave.  So far summer has started off with nice cooler nights, while others I see are not so lucky.

So, Caribe, here ilinda comes!  Let's compare notes at season's end, if you and I both plant these beauties.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 25, 2017, 06:25:16 PM
OK, Will order some tomorrow morning :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 30, 2017, 04:18:51 PM
Today I prepared my Caribe order from a fellow Seed Savers Exchange member, and what a bio he has.  Just our discussion of potatoes, and Caribe has caused me to read this guy's bio, and learn a whole lot in a short amount of time.  Here are some excerpts from his lengthy bio:

"The professional grade cooler to store potato is really paying off.  Some wild potato cultivars can be stored for up to 14 years.  I'm testing multi-year storage, so more seed tubers can be available any given year.  Also in 2016 I have been able to compare planting 2015 tubers vs. 2014 tubers with some success!  It is believed that long term cold storage turns potato viruses off, therefore providing an inexpensive method of healing....

I realized that my project is a valid research to determine how yields change with growing global temps and/or drought conditions.  This is very valuable info for the gardeners who don't have much space.  Out of my collection of almost 500 strains of potato, I have selected 20 with the highest yields when grown in containers AND without irrigation...

The botanical seed of potato is extracted from the potato fruit berries and is started like you grow tomato seed.  The life expectancy of TPS (True Potato Seed) may exceed 50 years.  Each seed is like a snowflake, every one seed will grow a different plant and produce tubers which are genetically different than the mother plant.  That's why the progeny tubers are reoffered with a different name...
"

And, in the details of his "Caribe" listing, he says: "medium, large oblong purple tubers, white flesh, rich flavor, bright purple skin color fades in storage, grows quite large in ideal conditions, vines dry out early, bred by AgCanada and released in 1969. The vines develop seed berries which points to flower fertility.  TPS is available."

That is the first time I've ever encountered the suggestion that in cold storage, potato viruses could be eliminated.  Further I've never heard of such long-term potato storage of 14 years! And last but not least, the shocker is that TPS (true potato seed) life expectancy may exceed 50 years!  This crop this year will not be for eating, but for acquiring the valuable genetics of this variety, including the seed/seed berries.

Maybe the ancient Incas of Peru were able to maintain so many different potato varieties with the help of cold storage in the mountains in winter. Who knows.


Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 30, 2017, 05:05:01 PM
Hi Ilinda, 

That is truly amazing information.  Is the TPS kept in an envelope just like other saved seed, as opposed to cold storage?  Sounds as if the genetic permutations and opportunities for selection would be nearly endless!

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 01, 2017, 04:58:41 PM
I am going to find out more, as I also want to save the true seed from this Caribe variety.  Hope to save every single seed from every single "berry".

Further, last night I was looking through the guy's potato listings and found another equally intriguing variety, whose name, I think, is "Papa Chocha".  I will post on it tomorrow, as the information on it was so tantalizing that I also ordered it.  Update to follow.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 02, 2017, 07:02:17 PM
Papa Chonca is the correct name of the Peruvian potato.  A guy in Wisconsin is growing it, along with several hundred other potatoes, and the Papa Chonca sounds REALLY interesting!

Here is his description in Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook 2017:
"Medium-small fingerling shaped tubers, lavender skin, purple flesh, very late -- if left to fully mature, tubers may grow to 5" long. 

It may be the ultimate perennial potato--small tubers left in the ground overwintered and spread over a large area (hint:  spreads like mint) 2011

 I've been able to harvest about 5 # from the 6 X 6' area--that's how far it spread over 2 years (overwintered two years so far very tall vines (last to dry off).  The tubers cook starchy.  I like to cut them horizontally and cook them in my breakfast soup (careful, they bleed and stain).  Interesting how some potato cuts warp and the center of the pieces dissolve into my soup, while the surface stays attached to the skin (almost seems waxy in texture)--eaten with the skins, they have a very intense, pleasant taste.
"

Well, I might add that after reading that, I did place an order.  Heck since they overwinter, maybe I should just save the tubes and plant them this fall for their first overwintering in MO.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 02, 2017, 07:08:51 PM
Ilinda, Are these a different cultivar then, from the Purple Peruvians, or are they the same thing?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 03, 2017, 05:58:44 PM
Ilinda, Are these a different cultivar then, from the Purple Peruvians, or are they the same thing?
I'm sure they are different because the skin is described as lavender.  Purple Peruvian skin is deep blueish-purple, but I could never call it lavender.

After thinking about the similarity, though, between the two potatoes, they could be related, and also, they may share some of the same growth habits, including the winter survival and growth the following spring, which is exactly what my Purple Peruvians did.  The main difference (aside from color) is that since mine were grown in a rocky, not-so-rich bed, they were not as prolific as they could have been, nor were the garlic, as the garlic was one of my poorest crops ever, presumably due to the rocky bed.

So I do suspect that both of these potatoes will do very well after overwintering, and I'm going to find out in Spring, 2018, hopefully.
Title: maca
Post by: Socrates on July 03, 2017, 10:10:38 PM
i'd like to find a good source of maca seed or root [South American potato], if anyone happens to know.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 04, 2017, 10:49:51 AM
Socrates, There are a bunch of listings on Ebay, depending upon what color you prefer.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Red-Maca-Root-100-Seeds-shipped-using-forever-stamp-no-tacking-/302357879988

Also:
https://www.amazon.com/Seeds-GROWN-ABCs-Gardening-Samenchilishop/dp/B00K4240KK

https://www.worldseedsupply.com/product/lepedium-meyenii-black-maca-seeds/

Am getting conflicting info on cold hardiness - most sources agree that is it cold hardy as it survives the Andes, but some place it in hardiness zones 8-11, which are sub-tropical here.



Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 04, 2017, 11:15:58 AM
Ilinda, Once again you have me intrigued!

Am getting interesting results from a little potato experiment here:

Garden A: At the beginning of June, I planted several kinds of full-sized potatoes using Socrates' recommended above-ground hugelkultur (from the Ruth Stout film) and no soil, but rather hay, peat moss and chopped leaves.  Shoots were slow to push up, but growth is healthy and plants are already needing to be hilled up with the next layer of non-soil compost.

Garden B: Also planted fingerlings using just rich potting soil in galvanized tubs with drainage holes at the bottom.  Shoots pushed up immediately, and 3 weeks later I already can harvest some, but, especially with Ozette, there are also already a few tubers with fungal rot.  Fortunately, there is still time to re-plant at least once more before frost, and perhaps the best plan is to eat summer-grown ones now and overwinter seed from the final crop, since they mature so rapidly. 

With both methods, I started with whole potatoes, on the grounds that there might be less chance of disease if no cuts were made, and also with the aim in mind of making good use of our shorter northern growing season.

Am thinking about donating the rich (and infected / fungal innoculated) potting soil from the fingerling tubs to the asparagus patch, which could use another top layer of soil, and then putting hay, peat, etc. in the tubs to prevent further soil-borne infections, same as with the hugelkultur beds.

You had mentioned poor cropping with Ozette, and now I'm wondering if the fact that they mature more rapidly than stated (Seed providers place them in the late / long growing season category) might cause crops to rot in the ground before the grower would ever think to harvest from them?

Have not been watering much, and there has been occasional rain.  Soil seems well-drained and slightly moist.  Am forming the conclusion that soil will always harbor fungi and other microbes, and is best not used with potatoes.  Would love thoughts on this.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 04, 2017, 05:48:25 PM
Ilinda, Once again you have me intrigued!

Am getting interesting results from a little potato experiment here:

Garden A: At the beginning of June, I planted several kinds of full-sized potatoes using Socrates' recommended above-ground hugelkultur (from the Ruth Stout film) and no soil, but rather hay, peat moss and chopped leaves.  Shoots were slow to push up, but growth is healthy and plants are already needing to be hilled up with the next layer of non-soil compost.

Garden B: Also planted fingerlings using just rich potting soil in galvanized tubs with drainage holes at the bottom.  Shoots pushed up immediately, and 3 weeks later I already can harvest some, but, especially with Ozette, there are also already a few tubers with fungal rot.  Fortunately, there is still time to re-plant at least once more before frost, and perhaps the best plan is to eat summer-grown ones now and overwinter seed from the final crop, since they mature so rapidly. 

With both methods, I started with whole potatoes, on the grounds that there might be less chance of disease if no cuts were made, and also with the aim in mind of making good use of our shorter northern growing season.

Am thinking about donating the rich (and infected / fungal innoculated) potting soil from the fingerling tubs to the asparagus patch, which could use another top layer of soil, and then putting hay, peat, etc. in the tubs to prevent further soil-borne infections, same as with the hugelkultur beds.

You had mentioned poor cropping with Ozette, and now I'm wondering if the fact that they mature more rapidly than stated (Seed providers place them in the late / long growing season category) might cause crops to rot in the ground before the grower would ever think to harvest from them?

Have not been watering much, and there has been occasional rain.  Soil seems well-drained and slightly moist.  Am forming the conclusion that soil will always harbor fungi and other microbes, and is best not used with potatoes.  Would love thoughts on this.
I agree with you that the soil will always harbor fungi and other microbes, both good and bad.  But I also believe that the so-called "bad" microbes and other small entities are probably mostly opportunistic, and when soil is poor or needing in something the opportunivores will rear their heads.  If soil is truly healthy, crops tend to be healthy.

Like you and Socrates, I do not cut potatoes for planting anymore.  Years ago, did, but now just whole potatoes are planted.  Also, very recently I learned that when you are sorting through your sprouting potatoes for planting, if you have more than you can plant, then pick those with the thickest sprouts.  Leave the thin sprouted potatoes alone or compost them.  The thick sprouts tend to become larger potatoes. 

Also, we have grown "straw" or "hay" potatoes and they do really well for us if we have adequate rain.  If in drought, we'll get a harvest, but it may be marginal.  But it is like magic to go out to the potato patch and around harvest time, to lift up a corner of the thick hay and see nice tubers!  We did impress some friends once and they actually wondered if we placed the potatoes there for the demo!  If they get adequate rain, and the hay is thick enough (you may need to add during the season) then usually a good crop follows.

I now wonder about Ozette's length of growing!  In the thing I read it talked about how they didn't have to harvest until late October, and it seemed to say the Ozette can stay in the ground a very long time, so no need to do anything until all else is done, like late October.  I wonder now if they were ready several months earlier, but I let them rot.  Could be.  Will keep this in mind for future.

Will be interested in your experience with container-grown potatoes.  Farmer friend, Shirley grows carrots like that and has really good luck.  Plus she likes their being up off the ground and says that nothing can scale the metal sides of the old swimming pool, or the other metal containers that she uses for carrots.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 05, 2017, 12:16:04 PM
Thanks for input Ilinda,

The only thing that still puzzles me is that the potting soil was new and supposedly "sterile," if that is really ever possible with soil.  Maybe the fungal spores came from the potatoes themselves then.

Will look for Papa Chonca now!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 05, 2017, 04:56:05 PM
Thanks for input Ilinda,

The only thing that still puzzles me is that the potting soil was new and supposedly "sterile," if that is really ever possible with soil.  Maybe the fungal spores came from the potatoes themselves then.

Will look for Papa Chonca now!
My 94-year-old gardening friend, Bill, once told me that there is a term that potato sellers use to indicate that the seed potatoes they sell are free of virus.  IIRC, it is a term something like "Certified Virus-Free", but that's not it.  When I see the term I have the idea that the seed potatoes have been tissue cultured, or grown from sterile tissue cultures, so that what you receive is certified to be free of all pathogens, not just virus, but fungus, etc.

But as Bill and I discussed, the moment you place them in your ground you are once again exposing them to every pathogen that might be there.  He and I discussed the probability that it might not be worth the extra money.

Also, I read somewhere that misting, or lightly moistening each seed potato with hydrogen peroxide before planting can kill pathogens that the potato may harbor.

The guy who lists the Papa Chonca is in Wisconsin and grows hundreds of potatoes, so he may even have a website, in addition to his being listed on Seed Savers Exchange.  People can join SSE without being a "listed" member.  They can join as an unlisted member, who does not list anything they are growing, but still they have access to all the listings in the yearbook, as well as those that the SSE's Heritage Farm grows and sells every year in their own catalog.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 05, 2017, 06:14:38 PM
Quote
The guy who lists the Papa Chonca is in Wisconsin and grows hundreds of potatoes, so he may even have a website, in addition to his being listed on Seed Savers Exchange.

Ilinda, am guessing you may be referring to Curzio Caravati of the Kenosha Potato Project?  I wrote to him, and will let you know if he responds.  Papa Chonca seems to be exceedingly rare right now - for new gardeners who may be reading, this one's not to be confused with the Papa Cacho fingerling, which is much larger in size and red colored!

Will try your suggestion of dipping the Ozettes before replanting them, which I plan to do this week.

How wonderful that you have a 94 year-old friend who is still active in the garden!  Maybe we should consider starting a thread of valuable advice from old-timers? :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 06, 2017, 04:18:22 PM
Quote
The guy who lists the Papa Chonca is in Wisconsin and grows hundreds of potatoes, so he may even have a website, in addition to his being listed on Seed Savers Exchange.

Ilinda, am guessing you may be referring to Curzio Caravati of the Kenosha Potato Project?  I wrote to him, and will let you know if he responds.  Papa Chonca seems to be exceedingly rare right now - for new gardeners who may be reading, this one's not to be confused with the Papa Cacho fingerling, which is much larger in size and red colored!

Will try your suggestion of dipping the Ozettes before replanting them, which I plan to do this week.

How wonderful that you have a 94 year-old friend who is still active in the garden!  Maybe we should consider starting a thread of valuable advice from old-timers? :)
Yes, Curzio is the guy!  I have to send him extra $, as he emailed me saying he got my check(s), one for Caribe, and one for Papa Chonca, but I didn't send enough, so it hopefully went out today.  If you order the Papa Cacho, let us know how it does.

I'm OK, with a new thread, but am also OK with using this thread for gardening tips and tricks from old-timers, as it's already established, plus many posts would be suitable for both this thread and another one.  I'm learning SO MUCH from our potato discussion.  Every time I go read in the Seed Saves Exchange Yearbook listing, I learn something.  For example, Curzio lists not only potatoes, but potatoes from TPS.  He knows so much!  Here is an excerpt:

"DS are initials of Doug Strong, a potato breeder in Washington state who is growing hundreds of potato strains he has received from Tom Wagner.  Many plants are diploid and Doug has been selecting for what we call "Papas Nativas" (Native Potatoes) potato tubers which look similar to what is usually harvested at very high altitude in the Andean Mountains of Peru.  This is a botanical seed harvested from potato seed berries which self-pollinated (not a controlled cross), therefore the TPS name matches with the female parent which self- or cross-pollinated with with unknown male parents.  (DS 2015-2A and DS 2015-2B are potato seed names)"
Title: Re: SEEDS...Update on potato experiment
Post by: R.R. Book on July 07, 2017, 12:04:02 PM
Just a quick update:

Upon deeper inspection of the tub gardens, even though they had holes drilled in the bottom, they were waterlogged near the base - not a condition that makes for happy potatoes!

So, we emptied out the rich soil from all the potato tubs and utilized it elsewhere.  Tubs, instead, received a thick mat of hay on the bottom, followed by equal part peat moss, similar to the hugelkultur bed.  More holes were drilled, low on the sides rather than just at bottom.  Will even get some bricks to raise the tubs up and facilitate drainage.

I estimate there were around 72 Ozettes harvested of all different sizes, and some fairly large for a fingerling.  Not bad for a few weeks, so Ozette's claim to fame perhaps ought to be an extremely short growing period, as we discussed.  Also as mentioned, this does strongly suggest the possibility of more than one harvest per year, and perhaps more than 2 even.  I rinsed the good ones in peroxide, as Ilinda suggested, and also rolled them in diatomaceous earth and French clay.  Some were replanted, and some were put aside for seed, though it is early in the year to be attempting to bring a harvest forward as seed.
Title: Re: SEEDS...Update on potato experiment
Post by: ilinda on July 07, 2017, 05:50:26 PM
Just a quick update:

Upon deeper inspection of the tub gardens, even though they had holes drilled in the bottom, they were waterlogged near the base - not a condition that makes for happy potatoes!

So, we emptied out the rich soil from all the potato tubs and utilized it elsewhere.  Tubs, instead, received a thick mat of hay on the bottom, followed by equal part peat moss, similar to the hugelkultur bed.  More holes were drilled, low on the sides rather than just at bottom.  Will even get some bricks to raise the tubs up and facilitate drainage.

I estimate there were around 72 Ozettes harvested of all different sizes, and some fairly large for a fingerling.  Not bad for a few weeks, so Ozette's claim to fame perhaps ought to be an extremely short growing period, as we discussed.  Also as mentioned, this does strongly suggest the possibility of more than one harvest per year, and perhaps more than 2 even.  I rinsed the good ones in peroxide, as Ilinda suggested, and also rolled them in diatomaceous earth and French clay.  Some were replanted, and some were put aside for seed, though it is early in the year to be attempting to bring a harvest forward as seed.
Wow, that is amazing about your early Ozette harvest.  How many days would you say they've been in soil?  It may be a record!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 08, 2017, 09:40:27 AM
Hi Ilinda,

Good sized mother tubers were sown June 13.  I seem to remember reading that Ozette is known for this under the right conditions.  Maybe the rich potting soil, minus all the rainwater, contributed to the favorable growth, as well as a sunny spot (the round galvanized tubs were on three concrete manhole covers to the septic system, which may also have contributed warmth, as June was still pretty cool here; they may also have contributed to the drainage problem). :)


BTW, I lost my entire crop of Purple Peruvians in all the moisture as well!  Will get seed in the fall and save it forward.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 10, 2017, 03:23:44 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Good sized mother tubers were sown June 13.  I seem to remember reading that Ozette is known for this under the right conditions.  Maybe the rich potting soil, minus all the rainwater, contributed to the favorable growth, as well as a sunny spot (the round galvanized tubs were on three concrete manhole covers to the septic system, which may also have contributed warmth, as June was still pretty cool here; they may also have contributed to the drainage problem). :)


BTW, I lost my entire crop of Purple Peruvians in all the moisture as well!  Will get seed in the fall and save it forward.
So it appears you planted Ozette on June 13 and harvested around July 8?  That is extremely fast.  Almost unbelievable.  But you have read some history that tells you that is possible, so i'll believe it.

My Caribe and Papa Chonca arrived today and I must say--tiny, tiny samples.  They are so small, I wonder if I should plant now or try to keep alive till next spring?  I lean toward NOW.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 10, 2017, 04:44:33 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Yes, the only reason that I harvested them so early is that they were starting to rot, which I discovered when I went to replant them further apart (the shoots were very crowded looking) or I might never have known they were producing anything.  I was just relieved that all was not lost.  Also, I began with 2# rather than one, which surely helped the tally, as well as including the very small ones, though I'm sure that much of the harvest was new growth because I had to pry each clump apart.  None of them had reached the full 7" potential size for Ozette, and I did get some odd V shaped ones as well, as mentioned here: http://vegetablesofinterest.typepad.com/vegetablesofinterest/2007/08/ozette-fingerli.html

This writer claims to have harvested 13 pounds from one single Ozette plant: https://agardenerstable.com/2016/11/04/save-that-potato-the-makah-ozette/

You must be excited that your seed potatoes arrived - Do you mind sharing what Curzio charged you for the Papa Chonca seed?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 11, 2017, 03:59:17 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Yes, the only reason that I harvested them so early is that they were starting to rot, which I discovered when I went to replant them further apart (the shoots were very crowded looking) or I might never have known they were producing anything.  I was just relieved that all was not lost.  Also, I began with 2# rather than one, which surely helped the tally, as well as including the very small ones, though I'm sure that much of the harvest was new growth because I had to pry each clump apart.  None of them had reached the full 7" potential size for Ozette, and I did get some odd V shaped ones as well, as mentioned here: http://vegetablesofinterest.typepad.com/vegetablesofinterest/2007/08/ozette-fingerli.html

This writer claims to have harvested 13 pounds from one single Ozette plant: https://agardenerstable.com/2016/11/04/save-that-potato-the-makah-ozette/

You must be excited that your seed potatoes arrived - Do you mind sharing what Curzio charged you for the Papa Chonca seed?
A very different "bio" for the Ozette, quite different from what I had read, but since they grow in such variety is size and shape, it can be expected I suppose.  Maybe later this fall, if my harvest of Papa Chonca is anything at all, perhaps we can trade:  1 Ozette for 1 Papa Chonca.  We'll see about the harvest first.

I'm embarrassed to admit being so desparate to have this Papa Chonca that I overpaid for both Caribe and Papa Chonca.  The listing in Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook says $5 for listed members for tuber order (price depends on whether listed, or unlisted, and whether small seed, large seed, biennials, or tubers/scions, etc.). 

I'm wincing now...I paid $40 (yes, 40) for the two orders and am pasting in Curzio's message to me after I send the correct amount of $5 each.  Here it is:
"Hey Linda,

just got your mail .. two letters with $5 each

I need at least $20 for a tuber order.  It takes hours to drive to the
post office, stand in line.

Should I just trash your checks?
Sorry, I'm not in the mood to dress up and walk into the cooler in
July!

Perhaps you can try again next year.

cheers, Curzio
"

Maybe I won't be so desparate in the future, but knowing what I know about the theme of this website, I want as many unusual and useful seeds NOW.  Next year might be too late.  Still, I'm so fascinated with your Ozette experience!  Also, Curzio wrote on the bag containing the Papa Chonca, "spreads like mint".  Well, that may not sound bad at all if times are hard and they survive the winter, then start growing when conditions are warmer.  Much to learn, for sure.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 11, 2017, 05:36:31 PM
Hours to the nearest post office in Kenosha?  :D 

If you message me your address I'll try to get a few Ozettes out to you tomorrow.

I would love a Papa Chonca from you, when the time comes! Thank you! :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 12, 2017, 04:28:58 PM
Hours to the nearest post office in Kenosha?  :D 

If you message me your address I'll try to get a few Ozettes out to you tomorrow.

I would love a Papa Chonca from you, when the time comes! Thank you! :)
I did wonder about the "hours".  But after I read the sheet enclosed with my potato order, didn't feel so bad, and did not feel shortchanged.  He thanked me for my donation!  (Heck, I was not aware I was donating.) 

But he grows out hundreds of potatoes, and saves 12 from each, and said in his note if he receives 12 orders, each person only receives one tuber.  He said of the Caribe, he only had 6 left, shipped out three, one rotted, and I received two, or something like that.  I can see how strapped for time and cash it might make a potato grower/breeder.

Now, I DO appreciate the offer of Ozette.  Do you think there is still time?  I did just plant the Caribe and Papa Chonca, and when I harvest them, will be glad to send you a Papa Chonca.  Ok, am PM'ing you my snailmail.    Heck, I just ordered a unique watermelon because they talked about how they make jelly, mead, and something else from it, and it has a thinner rind--one that is not hard like some.  Update to follow on the watermelon.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 12, 2017, 05:34:32 PM
Watermelon jelly sounds delicious - Can't wait to learn more about that! :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 18, 2017, 06:28:32 PM
Hours to the nearest post office in Kenosha?  :D 

If you message me your address I'll try to get a few Ozettes out to you tomorrow.

I would love a Papa Chonca from you, when the time comes! Thank you! :)
I did wonder about the "hours".  But after I read the sheet enclosed with my potato order, didn't feel so bad, and did not feel shortchanged.  He thanked me for my donation!  (Heck, I was not aware I was donating.) 

But he grows out hundreds of potatoes, and saves 12 from each, and said in his note if he receives 12 orders, each person only receives one tuber.  He said of the Caribe, he only had 6 left, shipped out three, one rotted, and I received two, or something like that.  I can see how strapped for time and cash it might make a potato grower/breeder.

Now, I DO appreciate the offer of Ozette.  Do you think there is still time?  I did just plant the Caribe and Papa Chonca, and when I harvest them, will be glad to send you a Papa Chonca.  Ok, am PM'ing you my snailmail.    Heck, I just ordered a unique watermelon because they talked about how they make jelly, mead, and something else from it, and it has a thinner rind--one that is not hard like some.  Update to follow on the watermelon.
Thank you for sending the Ozette.  I'm planning to plant them in large pots indoors until the heat dissipates a bit, as I'm not sure if 90's is good for starting potatoes.  They can get their start indoors and when we hit a cool spot, they can be easily moved outside.

While we're waiting for the Papa Chonca to mature, I sent you some unique winter squash seeds for next year, as it is too late for this year, this one being a long season crop, of about 120 days.
It is the Yamiken, from Peru.  It resembles Butternut, but is a bit sweeter, and a bit less watery.  They are best sliced into wedges and baked in an olive oiled skillet at about 250 deg. F for about 2 hours, covered.  Then uncover them for about 15 or so minutes, turning the wedges if necessary.  They will caramelize once the lid is removed and can burn, so watch them at this time.  They taste like candy if you get the caramelization just right.  If not, you have one of the most delicious squashes ever.  Harvest them only after they turn in color similar to butternut, and the stem is dry and brown.  Make sure there is no green left before harvest, and that is why to plant early.  Also, they love growing up a trellis--a strong one.  Water them only to get them started, but after established, do not water, and they will send roots down deep and get their own water.  No mulch, as that is a place for squash beetles to hide.

My friend who bought his first one at a farmer's market, asked the vender why they are so expensive, and he replied, "taste one and you'll know why". 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 19, 2017, 05:26:33 AM
Ilinda,

I'm so glad the Ozettes got there safely.  Best wishes in growing them :)

How exciting that the Yamiken seeds are on the way here - Thank you so much!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 20, 2017, 04:38:25 PM
Ilinda,

I'm so glad the Ozettes got there safely.  Best wishes in growing them :)

How exciting that the Yamiken seeds are on the way here - Thank you so much!
Just putting this "out there" that it is so hot, I wonder if any newly planted potatoes will survive.  We will find out, as everything seems to be a grand experiment.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 22, 2017, 03:29:08 PM
Ilinda, I received your envelope today with the Yamiken squash seeds - thank you so much, I'm really looking forward to planting them next growing season (whenever that may occur...) :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 22, 2017, 04:27:43 PM
Ilinda, I received your envelope today with the Yamiken squash seeds - thank you so much, I'm really looking forward to planting them next growing season (whenever that may occur...) :)
They are a long season crop (120 d or so) but can be planted in early May, for example, by covering with a gallon, plastic vinegar bottle (bottom cut out), and with no lid (except for cool nights).  The vinegar jug acts as a mini-greenhouse as you already know, and once weather warms jug can be removed.  This year I was late in planting them, but for some reason they've gone crazy.  Best crop ever and I promise to take a pic of the Yamiken bed. 

Also, for the past few years I've gotten in the habit of starting them indoors in medium pots (not in those tiny 72-cell trays), and they get a good start with easily controlled conditions before facing the outside world, and this really helps.  BTW, they store well at room temperature, or perhaps 60 deg. F, and last for months and months.  You will not be let down.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 23, 2017, 05:24:30 PM
This is a pic of my Yamiken bed.  They look like our best Yamiken crop ever--so robust and reaching out everywhere, including toward those sweet potatoes over to the right, which I'm afraid will get covered. 

Because we live "in the woods" everything has to be fenced, double and triple sometimes.  The concrete blocks on the left are the back wall of the "olive house" which houses the two young olive trees, and the fence in lower right protects some Tohono O'odham, 60-day flour corn.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 24, 2017, 06:22:54 AM
The Yamiken looks very happy in that spot.  My Seminole pumpkin is also taking over the blueberry patch here - have had to cut it out of the blueberry bushes and train the vines to grow away from them!  Will look for the Tohono O'odham corn.  That reminds me of their Man in the Maze corn stalk baskets, which instruct them how to find their way back inside their ancestral caves when the cataclysm time comes:
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 24, 2017, 11:06:40 AM
The Yamiken looks very happy in that spot.  My Seminole pumpkin is also taking over the blueberry patch here - have had to cut it out of the blueberry bushes and train the vines to grow away from them!  Will look for the Tohono O'odham corn.  That reminds me of their Man in the Maze corn stalk baskets, which instruct them how to find their way back inside their ancestral caves when the cataclysm time comes:
Now about this "Man in the Maze corn stalk baskets, which instruct them how to find their way back inside their ancestral caves when the cataclysm time comes".....  Just curious about the source of this story.  Seems as if it could be based in reality.

You have more nerve than I when it comes to cutting vines out.  I'd probably only be able to lift them and try to re-route them, and even that entails tearing the little tendrils that seem to hang on to anything and everything.

Tohono O'odham is available through Native Seed Search based in Arizona, although it may be sold other places as well. 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 24, 2017, 01:46:29 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Yes, I would have preferred to disentangle rather than cut too, but the blueberry patch has shrubs with staggered ripening times for a longer harvest, and the un-ripe blueberries were in danger of being knocked down to the ground had I overly handled the branches (I had not been in the patch for several days, and the vine had suddenly had a Little Shop of Horrors growth spurt in my absence) :)

The Man in the Maze story is part of the foundation of Tohono O'odham tribal knowledge about its origins and the cyclical nature of time, as opposed to the Eurocentric linear view of time.  It is not clear to me whether the Tohono O'odham originated beneath the surface of the earth, or had retreated there to ride out the flood, but their basket pattern is supposed to help them remember the way back.  Note that they consider themselves to be of a pre-existing separate origin from the "clay people:"

Pima/Tohono O’odham Creation Story
And Flood Story
(Southwestern USA)

(This is really a post-flood re-creation story)

Creator Spirits named Earthmaker and Itoi
Became unhappy with the people of their first creation
And decided to destroy them in a flood.

Before the flood they had a contest:
They agreed to hide in caves during the flood,
And whoever emerged first after the flood
Would be the Elder Brother, and the new Creator

Itoi won.
He made new people out of clay and cared for them,
But then he quarreled with them
And the people plotted to kill him.

He went underground and found help
From the Tohono O’odham and the Pima tribes.
They helped Itoi drive away the clay people.
As a reward, Itoi gave them the land to live on
And taught them rainmaking ceremonies.


Thanks for the information about sourcing the seeds! :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 24, 2017, 03:54:46 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Yes, I would have preferred to disentangle rather than cut too, but the blueberry patch has shrubs with staggered ripening times for a longer harvest, and the un-ripe blueberries were in danger of being knocked down to the ground had I overly handled the branches (I had not been in the patch for several days, and the vine had suddenly had a Little Shop of Horrors growth spurt in my absence) :)

The Man in the Maze story is part of the foundation of Tohono O'odham tribal knowledge about its origins and the cyclical nature of time, as opposed to the Eurocentric linear view of time.  It is not clear to me whether the Tohono O'odham originated beneath the surface of the earth, or had retreated there to ride out the flood, but their basket pattern is supposed to help them remember the way back.  Note that they consider themselves to be of a pre-existing separate origin from the "clay people:"

Pima/Tohono O’odham Creation Story
And Flood Story
(Southwestern USA)

(This is really a post-flood re-creation story)

Creator Spirits named Earthmaker and Itoi
Became unhappy with the people of their first creation
And decided to destroy them in a flood.

Before the flood they had a contest:
They agreed to hide in caves during the flood,
And whoever emerged first after the flood
Would be the Elder Brother, and the new Creator

Itoi won.
He made new people out of clay and cared for them,
But then he quarreled with them
And the people plotted to kill him.

He went underground and found help
From the Tohono O’odham and the Pima tribes.
They helped Itoi drive away the clay people.
As a reward, Itoi gave them the land to live on
And taught them rainmaking ceremonies.


Thanks for the information about sourcing the seeds! :)
Fascinating story!  Who knows how much is myth and how much is based on actual events.  The Native peoples on this continent are said by some to have non-Earthly origins, and after having read several of Sitchin's books, as well as some by Tellinger, my mind is open to a lot of stuff that MS people will reject.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on September 05, 2017, 05:11:04 PM
This is just a Yamiken update, about that Peruvian winter squash with long growing season, and which is sweeter than butternut, and a bit less watery, if cooked properly.

The Yamiken are literally taking over the garden and I'm letting them.  The only reason they haven't brought down the corn (yet) is the fencing around the corn is stabilizing it.  I always wondered why initially there would be dozens and dozens, maybe a hundred or so, male blossoms on the squash plants, and it always seemed like months before I'd see even one female flower. 

Well, I read somewhere that the reason for the preponderance of male blossoms early on is that the blossom fragrance will attract the appropriate pollinators from all around, and once they are around and busy visiting the male flowers, the females can form--and then the pollinators can work their magic.
(Edit:  attach latest pic)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 06, 2017, 10:11:10 AM
Ilinda, It looks as if you have one heck of a green thumb.  That vine looks unstoppable! :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on September 06, 2017, 05:08:44 PM
Ilinda, It looks as if you have one heck of a green thumb.  That vine looks unstoppable! :)
The truth is that this is the first year that the goat manure compost seems to have become completely usable to the garden and it is absolutely the best garden we've ever seen.  Thanks to this compost--now we can see the results of cleaning out the goat sheds every day and hauling it to its composting spot(s).

 It seems to take about five years for it to be broken down completely and it's truly better than gold.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 07, 2017, 06:10:08 PM
Quote
It seems to take about five years for it to be broken down completely and it's truly better than gold.

Sounds like good stuff!  We also find the hen litter to be good for the garden - just the right NPK balance and won't burn plants when used right away, as it's mixed with old hay.

We're enjoying the pics of your garden - hope you post some more!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on September 08, 2017, 06:30:44 PM
Quote
It seems to take about five years for it to be broken down completely and it's truly better than gold.

Sounds like good stuff!  We also find the hen litter to be good for the garden - just the right NPK balance and won't burn plants when used right away, as it's mixed with old hay.

We're enjoying the pics of your garden - hope you post some more!
Yes, chicken litter is excellent stuff and you can probably get some almost every day, unless you want to let it pile up a bit.  Don't some people clean out the henhouse several times a year, leaving some for "starter", but several times a year you get "gold".  How often do you clean out and renew with hay?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 09, 2017, 10:14:40 AM
Hi Ilinda,

The little duck house has to be replenished daily, as duck excrement is more liquid due to all the water they drink and their preference for greens as food.  Henhouse gets cleaned out once a week during fair weather when they're pastured, and occasionally twice a week during foul-weather confinement, which at a minimum amounts to a one-month period in winter, unless Px changes the routine.  I figure that we might go through a couple of two-twine bales of hay every month, which @ $5 per bale is nothing compared with the cost of caring for larger livestock.

Wheel barrow is right next to the henhouse, and old litter goes straight to the open gardens along with grass clippings and dead leaves, where the hens are allowed to work it in the open air and further break it down into good quick compost.  The worm houses receive all the veggie and fruit scraps, which they turn into priceless castings that go straight on the gardens once a year in autumn.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Socrates on September 09, 2017, 10:30:59 AM
We also find the hen litter to be good for the garden - just the right NPK balance and won't burn plants when used right away, as it's mixed with old hay.
The sources i've found suggest that the nitrogen-rich chicken waste combines with carbon-rich sources like hay or wood chips to make good soil like any compost pile does. Let the chickens sh*t on 'carbon' and there will be no odour and you'll have a complete end product to bring to your veggies.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 09, 2017, 10:58:23 AM
Hi Socrates,

I totally agree, as long as air is circulating.  During winter confinement, ammonia build up needs to be watched and prevented.  Coop windows can stay cracked a tad until temps plunge down to the teens or lower in January.  Hay not only absorbs ammonia up to a point, but it also absorbs respiration vapors during confinement, helping to maintain an oxygen-rich environment.

One of the nice things about hens is that their urine is naturally combined with their poop, rather than being separate, so unless their diet is off, it all comes out in a nice compact package. :)

Unfortunately, watermelon season isn't quite over with yet here...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on September 09, 2017, 05:47:58 PM
Hi Ilinda,

The little duck house has to be replenished daily, as duck excrement is more liquid due to all the water they drink and their preference for greens as food.  Henhouse gets cleaned out once a week during fair weather when they're pastured, and occasionally twice a week during foul-weather confinement, which amounts to a one-month period in winter, unless Px changes the routine.  I figure that we might go through a couple of two-twine bales of hay every month, which @ $5 per bale is nothing compared with the cost of caring for larger livestock.

Wheel barrow is right next to the henhouse, and old litter goes straight to the open gardens along with grass clippings and dead leaves, where the hens are allowed to work it in the open air and further break it down into good quick compost.  The worm houses receive all the veggie and fruit scraps, which they turn into priceless castings that go straight on the gardens once a year in autumn.
Sounds like you've got it down to a science and it is working.   I've only had chickens once and that was only for about a year or two, but really want them again, plus several dreams showed me with baby chicks in a box, so maybe it's time to get busy looking. 

Sandhill Preservation in Calamus, Iowa still has hatch dates listed in their catalog, but better go online to see the latest.  If I get them now, how soon can they be tolerant of cooler weather?  (I know when young they must be kept warm, etc., no drafts, etc.)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 09, 2017, 06:47:00 PM
Hi Ilinda,

Sounds as if your dreams are trying to tell you something!  Bet the chicks would get along with the goats too :)

For your area, which is slightly in the north I believe, I'd consider sticking with Northern breeds at this late date, to be sure they'll overwinter easily.  Might want to think about getting Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, etc., in other words the brown egg layers.  Once they're fully feathered with their pullet feathers, at six weeks, they can leave the brooder and be outdoors at least part of the time, maybe on a gradual basis. 

Of course, tolerance to the cold can be increased by other factors too, such as body heat from a flock size near capacity of the coop (our larger one is rated for a dozen, but we keep the chicken flock @ between 6 and 10 usually, so disease is not encouraged).  If you're having a coop custom-built, you can request that a layer of foam be put between the floor joists, beneath the glassboard-covered floor (glassboard is the only way to go for cleanliness and durability).  Wrapped hay bales can be stacked around the base or legs of the coop in winter, and blankets folded over the nest box door, if one comes with the coop.  And deep dry hay, both on the floor and in nest boxes.  Extra treats to plump them up will also harden them off to winter - some folks like to keep a suet cake available during cold weather, or you can make your own with PB and seeds, etc.

As an alternative to chicks, you could spend a few dollars more and order started pullets, which would be brought home about a month before they begin laying, so around 16 weeks of age. 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on September 13, 2017, 05:25:39 PM
The two olive trees mentioned in another thread were seedlings I think, and not started from cuttings. I think.  So, am posting a pic of one of them here, and as of this week they're a bit taller than 5', whereas last year at this time were maybe 1 1/2' tall.  They apparently love our Ozark climate, for now at least.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 09, 2017, 11:19:43 AM
What a handsome plant!

Here are a couple of shots of the Seminole pumpkin taking taking over the garden (seems the more I prune it, the larger it gets!)...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: MadMax on October 09, 2017, 04:39:25 PM
ilinda

Quote
They apparently love our Ozark climate, for now at least.

I thought that you lived in Oregon (or did I get that wrong)?

Take care,
Max
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on October 10, 2017, 11:24:14 AM
What a handsome plant!

Here are a couple of shots of the Seminole pumpkin taking taking over the garden (seems the more I prune it, the larger it gets!)...
At the end of the garden season, do you calculate productivity?  For example, four pumpkin plants produced "X" number of pumpkins?  They DO take over, don't they?  But the beauty of that is they shade the weeds.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on October 10, 2017, 11:29:59 AM
ilinda

Quote
They apparently love our Ozark climate, for now at least.

I thought that you lived in Oregon (or did I get that wrong)?

Take care,
Max
I live in Missouri's Ozarks, specifically, in the foothills of the Saint Francois Mountains, the oldest mountain range in North America, which also means the lowest in elevation.  Latitude is about 37 deg. north.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 10, 2017, 12:35:41 PM
Quote
At the end of the garden season, do you calculate productivity?

Absolutely, and keep a journal of it as well.  However, with all the dramatic sprawling of the Seminole and with its true-to-reputation disease resistance, I'm only just beginning to see small pumpkins forming, and hope they put on some rapid growth, because the vine may begin dying back upon next week's evening frosts and freezes. :(
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 16, 2017, 01:04:38 PM
Here are photos of my purple hyacinth beans, which are a favorite plant in this area both for food and ornamental purposes.  The first shot depicts the last of the blossoms in shades of violet and lavender, which was prettier in its prime entwined among the roses during late summer and early autumn.

The second shot shows the purple bean pods ready to be harvested. 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on October 16, 2017, 05:48:23 PM
Here are photos of my purple hyacinth beans, which are a favorite plant in this area both for food and ornamental purposes.  The first shot depicts the last of the blossoms in shades of violet and lavender, which was prettier in its prime entwined among the roses during late summer and early autumn.

The second shot shows the purple bean pods ready to be harvested.
Thanks for sharing these photos of such beautiful plants.  Do you cook the beans, or are they for chickens?  Will chickens eat the pods and leaves?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 17, 2017, 03:17:08 PM
They can be used either for human consumption or for livestock feed, cooked the same as any other beans.  The hens have mostly been ignoring the leaves on the climbing vine, mainly because I had enclosed the first couple of feet of it in a chickenwire frame to allow it to get off to a good start before being clawed and pecked at.  :)

Here's what PFAF says:

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

The mature seed is edible as long as it is thoroughly cooked[2, 27, 33, 34, 74, 171]. It has a mild flavour, is rich in protein and can be used as a staple food. The seed can also be prepared as 'tofu' or be fermented into 'tempeh' in the same way that soya beans are used in Japan[183]. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw, when it is comparable to mung bean sprouts[179, 183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. The tender young seedpods and immature seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be used as a green vegetable like French beans[46, 74, 114]. They are also used as a curry vegetable[183]. The immature seedpod contains 3.2% protein, 0.8% fat, 5.4% carbohydrate, 0.81% ash. It is rich in vitamin B1[179]. Leaves - they must be cooked[160, 179]. They can also be dried for later use[183]. The leaves are used as a greens just like spinach[183]. They contain up to 28% protein[160] (dry weight?). Flowers - raw or cooked in soups and stews[183]. Root - large and starchy[183].
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.  (Note: 100 g = about 3/4 c)   
Seed (Fresh weight)    

    334 Calories per 100g
    Water : 12.1%
    Protein: 21.5g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 61.4g; Fibre: 6.8g; Ash: 3.8g;
    Minerals - Calcium: 98mg; Phosphorus: 345mg; Iron: 3.9mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
    Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on October 17, 2017, 05:36:52 PM
They can be used either for human consumption or for livestock feed, cooked the same as any other beans.  The hens have mostly been ignoring the leaves on the climbing vine, mainly because I had enclosed the first couple of feet of it in a chickenwire frame to allow it to get off to a good start before being clawed and pecked at.  :)

Here's what PFAF says:

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

The mature seed is edible as long as it is thoroughly cooked[2, 27, 33, 34, 74, 171]. It has a mild flavour, is rich in protein and can be used as a staple food. The seed can also be prepared as 'tofu' or be fermented into 'tempeh' in the same way that soya beans are used in Japan[183]. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw, when it is comparable to mung bean sprouts[179, 183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. The tender young seedpods and immature seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be used as a green vegetable like French beans[46, 74, 114]. They are also used as a curry vegetable[183]. The immature seedpod contains 3.2% protein, 0.8% fat, 5.4% carbohydrate, 0.81% ash. It is rich in vitamin B1[179]. Leaves - they must be cooked[160, 179]. They can also be dried for later use[183]. The leaves are used as a greens just like spinach[183]. They contain up to 28% protein[160] (dry weight?). Flowers - raw or cooked in soups and stews[183]. Root - large and starchy[183].
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.  (Note: 100 g = about 3/4 c)   
Seed (Fresh weight)    

    334 Calories per 100g
    Water : 12.1%
    Protein: 21.5g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 61.4g; Fibre: 6.8g; Ash: 3.8g;
    Minerals - Calcium: 98mg; Phosphorus: 345mg; Iron: 3.9mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
    Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg
They have a lot of value--way more than I thought, as I always wrongly assumed they are so pretty, they must be toxic.