Author Topic: SEEDS...  (Read 9893 times)

Socrates

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Re: other folks' ignorance...
« Reply #30 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.
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R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #31 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!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 07:04:45 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #32 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

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #33 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?





« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 08:04:17 PM by R.R. Book »

Yowbarb

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2017, 12:38:52 AM »
Wow! Great info, you guys.
 :)

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #35 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.

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #36 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.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #37 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?

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #38 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.

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #39 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!

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...: potato seed
« Reply #40 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.

R.R. Book

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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.

ilinda

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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.

ilinda

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #43 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."

R.R. Book

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Re: SEEDS...
« Reply #44 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: