Author Topic: SEEDS...  (Read 8543 times)

Socrates

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SEEDS...
« on: December 13, 2016, 10:32:32 AM »
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Socrates

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 12:16:19 AM »
When i first started working on a seeds 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 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.
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Socrates

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 05:09:40 AM »
Under Preparedness and Surviving the Changes there are topics on SEEDS, but just like having posts on animals under The Divine Feminine, 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 [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).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 05:23:43 AM by Socrates »
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R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #3 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?

Socrates

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #4 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, nickel-sized corn 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.
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R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #5 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.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 05:40:36 AM »
Here's a pic of Seminole pumpkin:

Yowbarb

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #7 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.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 11:12:44 PM by Yowbarb »

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #8 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



« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 05:42:56 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 06:25:53 PM »
Under Preparedness and Surviving the Changes there are topics on SEEDS, but just like having posts on animals under The Divine Feminine, 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 [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.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #10 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?

Socrates

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Re: GMO
« Reply #11 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...
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Socrates

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Re: corn
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 08:36:43 AM »
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.
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R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #13 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. 


« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 05:37:24 PM by R.R. Book »

Socrates

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Re: genetic integrity
« Reply #14 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].
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