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.
Title: saline plants
Post by: Socrates on March 19, 2018, 05:15:55 AM
Scrops.com (http://www.scrops.com/index.html) researches saline crops [i.e. that can be grown in seawater]. (I emailed them today, asking if they can supply seeds.)

I have a theory; the oldest known human 'race' is that of people in Indonesia, the bones of which go back 100,000 years. I ask myself: why would this race of people go back so far? and i answer (myself): Well, they have many thousands of miles of coastline from which to harvest sea vegetables [i.e. seaweed as well as fish, shells and crustaceans]. In other words, if the world has gone to sh!t and there's neither animal nor plant life to speak of, these people might well have survived on what they found along the coast.
Let's be clear: in a TEOTWAWKI emergency, the one constant in the world will likely be the sea.

Carl Hodges (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMObsvdxOvw) has been researching the possiblity of growing crops along the sea coast. These crops are mainly 4:
- salicornia
- mangrove
- shrimp
- fish
One keeps shrimp in basins that are refreshed daily by the tide; the effluent hereof goes on to feed the fish one keeps in a following basin; the effluent hereof goes on to fertilize the salicornia crop and the rest goes on to fertilize a mangrove forest.
In the end one has shrimp, fish, salicornia and wood [i.e. loads to eat and some wood to burn and build with], all grown along the sea. In practice mangrove leaves and salicornia are often fed to one's goats, though salicornia is fine food for humans [they sell it here at the local supermarket].
(And i should add: since health ultimately seems to come down to getting a good array [quantity as well as quality] of minerals, seafood is wonderful in this regard since it comes from an environment in which all minerals are to be found.)


There are, however, other saline crops. And as Carl Hodges puts it, there are 25,000 miles of coastline on Earth that could be used for growing them.
In an EOTWAWKI scenario all soil might well have been washed or blown away; that would be a good time to plant one's saline crop seeds (until better times arrive).
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 19, 2018, 06:16:22 AM
Thanks so much for the info Socrates - from the photos, it looks as if the sea crops can be field-grown on land without too much trouble.  The Sea Aster looks especially interesting to me. 

Those who suffer from stone formation might want to be cautious with three of the species that are in the goosefoot (chenopodium) family:  salsola, sea beet and salicornia.  Might want to try sampling them in small amounts, or eating them in larger portions while avoiding other stone-forming foods such as chocolate, nuts, bran and spinach.

Would love to learn more about ordering seeds for the sea aster if you receive an answer from them!
Title: SEEDS from trees
Post by: Socrates on April 18, 2018, 05:01:19 AM
Start Your Own Apple Trees From Seeds (http://homesteadchronicles.com/blog/start-your-own-apple-trees-from-seeds/) goes into the particulars of growing apple trees from seed.
This article is full of delicate details, like: Place the bag in the fridge to stratify for anywhere from 1- 6 months. (Granny Smiths can take longer … be patient.)

As i've mentioned before, Permies (http://www.permies.com) owner Paul Wheaton has said about growing apple trees from seed:
- 1 out of 5 will produce good tasting apples
- 3 out of 5 will produce apples that are good to eat but not excellent
- 1 out of 5 will produce bad-tasting apples
- culling trees is an integral part of starting a food forest [which needs loads of seedlings to begin with]
Title: Re: SEEDS from trees
Post by: ilinda on April 18, 2018, 09:22:24 PM
Start Your Own Apple Trees From Seeds (http://homesteadchronicles.com/blog/start-your-own-apple-trees-from-seeds/) goes into the particulars of growing apple trees from seed.
This article is full of delicate details, like: Place the bag in the fridge to stratify for anywhere from 1- 6 months. (Granny Smiths can take longer … be patient.)

As i've mentioned before, Permies (http://www.permies.com) owner Paul Wheaton has said about growing apple trees from seed:
- 1 out of 5 will produce good tasting apples
- 3 out of 5 will produce apples that are good to eat but not excellent
- 1 out of 5 will produce bad-tasting apples
- culling trees is an integral part of starting a food forest [which needs loads of seedlings to begin with]
This can be done.  For years I used to plant apple seeds and nearly always got nice looking apple trees which I planted in the ground.  It takes many, many tries, and once in a while you will be rewarded with a good apple.  From my own experience, I'd say the statistics might be less favorable than 1 out of 5 apple seedlings producing good tasting apples.  But still it's worth a try because that is how apple varieties came into being--from seeds someone planted.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 19, 2018, 07:10:38 PM
An addendum to the apple planting:  I never officially stratified any of the seeds, but since we always refrigerate apples before eating, all of the apple seeds I planted were stratified, by default of having been in the fridge for weeks or months anyway.

Title: Re: apple seeds
Post by: Socrates on April 19, 2018, 10:28:55 PM
Now ya mention it...
many supermarket-bought apples could've been held in refrigerated storage (for months) before one buys them. Of course, there are 2 sides to the refrigeration:
- there will be no refrigerators after TSHTF
- it's good to know refrigeration [i.e. cold] is necessary
I used to sometimes find sprouting seeds inside apples i ate [perhaps because of the refrigeration before i bought the apple]. I was always tempted to plant these, though i didn't have the facilities at the time.
There are trees in the area that produce tiny (inedible) apples, but i've often noticed how their fruit sometimes remains good all winter long; this suggests that if one were to leave apples lying around one's trees during winter, this alone might offer both the stratification and seeds good for planting in spring.

Another thing i forgot to mention: a great advantage to planting apple seeds [tree seeds] is that one is assured a good tap root that will burrow deep down into the soil in search of water and minerals. This insures the tree will be able to withstand droughts [assuming one doesn't destroy the tap root by overwatering the tree] and bring up minerals into fruit and leaves [falling to fertilize topsoil every year].

(BTW, one should not have apple trees competing with grass; apparently this is bad for the trees [this is particular to apple trees, not fruit trees in general].)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 20, 2018, 04:29:42 AM
I guess root-cellaring would count as cold storage, though not at a thermostatically controlled temperature.  I've heard of boxes, bins, tubs, and old appliances being partially dug into the ground for those who don't have a cellar.

From Mother Earth News:
(https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/men/editorial/articles/magazine-articles/2011/10-01/outdoor-root-cellars/root-cellar-garbage-can.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...Seed potato evaluation
Post by: R.R. Book on April 26, 2018, 10:16:14 AM
I had gotten a late start planting potatoes in June of last year, leaving a shortened growing season, but had wanted to experiment with organically produced non-GMO cultivars worth bringing forward into the Aftertime, and was mainly interested in seed potatoes (as opposed to potato seeds - see Ilinda's previous explanation about that in this thread).  Seed potatoes are harvested potatoes that are root cellared to plant the following year.

I had harvested mine in early October, if I remember correctly, so they only had a 3 or 4 month growing season, while in actuality some of these require a longer season.  A local antique shop was discarding a set of vertically stackable wooden framed screen trays just the right size for holding seed potatoes and allowing air to circulate in the root cellar without taking up much room.  I thankfully claimed them and included the garden markers along with the dug seed potatoes in the trays to designate each cultivar.  Please see first photo below.

The seed potatoes were in winter storage indoors for 6 1/2 months, with some eager to begin sprouting by the time I evaluated them today.  All had overwintered in good condition except for the Ozette fingerlings, and each batch of seed potatoes had no more than one rotten or shriveled discard.

The remaining cultivars were all viable and replanted today: Purple Peruvian, Island Sunshine, Elba, Butte, Yukon Gem, and Pink Pearl.  Desiree was discontinued due to low production in my garden, though the few that I did harvest were in good condition.  Would also love to try Papa Chonka, a rare American landrace.

Many thanks to Socrates for educating me about hugelkultur, in which no digging is done, and gorgeous soil is produced with little effort.  After piling raked leaves on the end-of-first-year 5 x 20' bed in autumn, adding coffee grounds all winter, topping off with a bale of peat moss this spring, and allowing rain and sunlight to break it down a bit, we ended up with a deep, loamy planting medium in a bed that simply needed a path re-established down the middle.  The soil was loose enough that I only needed to scoop it up with my bare hands and plop it on the hills to enlarge them, creating the needed foot path along the way.  Hills were so much larger than last year that I was able to save space, widen the rows, eliminate the middle row, and plant potatoes in the sides and tops of the hills.  Please see photo number 2 below.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 26, 2018, 06:35:14 PM
Very impressive potato holding bins/trays.  And that is also very interestng about the longevity of various potato varieties. 

Purple Peruvian Fingerling have always been good keepers for me and this year was no different.  Didn't have a big crop but had plenty of seed potatoes for this year.  The Caribe were small, but now I have enough for planting again.  Not sure if any Papa Chonca survived the -20 deg.F night, plus some -10 or -12 or so.  I've dug around where they were and so far havn't found anything.  Live and learn, eh?

Also, that is a real shame about those Ozette, as the ones I planted didn't survive at all.

Although that potato guy felt Papa Chonca is the closest thing to a perennial potato, I feel the Purple Peruvian is actually that very thing.  I never can dig them all and invariably miss even some nice sized ones which then grow the following year.

That "hugelkultur" sounds interesting and familiar to what some of the people writing to ACRES, U.S.A. say.  Don't think they use that term, but maybe they do and I've forgotten it.  It sounds much like the type of compost pile you build, but don't have to turn it constantly, or ever, for that matter.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 27, 2018, 04:52:11 AM
I didn't realize that your temps there could drop to -20 Ilinda!  Although we're 3 degrees latitude further north of you, the mountains to the west and ocean 100 miles to the east seem to have a mitigating effect.  It'll be interesting to learn what sort of pot-luck climate we end up with after the pole shift.

Sorry the Ozettes didn't thrive there either.  Am really eager to see how the Purple Peruvians do in this year's garden, and very thankful to you for educating me about them!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 27, 2018, 06:25:59 PM
We have also had -30 deg. several times, but those are only rare or occasional.  We're in a real micro-climate.  Some years ago when friends, Berto and Marty lived in our area, we used to visit back and forth, and one night we left their place around midnight or so, where it was in the 50's, mid-50's IIRC.

 We got home, about 9-10 miles away to note that it was in the upper 30's here.  They were on a south facing slope, near the ridgetop, and we're nestled down, surrounded by hills that prevent the cold air from flowing out of the valley in the mornings, and which block the sun earlier in afternoon and longer in AM.   It takes forever to warm up, it seems, in AM.

But we have gotten lucky with the near absence of snow.  Recall a pic I posted a few weeks ago of our snow?  That snow was totally gone within two hours!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 27, 2018, 06:55:20 PM
Your own little valley sounds like paradise Ilinda!  Would love more pics!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 20, 2018, 06:50:53 PM
Ilinda, I just ordered a pkg of rat-tail radish seeds from Etsy, under the name of serpent-tail radish - same Latin name though.  Any special growing advice on it?  She claims it can be harvested in 6 weeks.

(https://img.etsystatic.com/il/5a3f67/1499107100/il_570xN.1499107100_oesn.jpg?version=0)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 20, 2018, 07:07:10 PM
Your own little valley sounds like paradise Ilinda!  Would love more pics!
Will try to get a few pics that can show something other than tire tracks, goat sheds, vehicles, fence posts, bales of old hay, etc. ....

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 20, 2018, 07:13:32 PM
Ilinda, I just ordered a pkg of rat-tail radish seeds from Etsy, under the name of serpent-tail radish - same Latin name though.  Any special growing advice on it?  She claims it can be harvested in 6 weeks.

(https://img.etsystatic.com/il/5a3f67/1499107100/il_570xN.1499107100_oesn.jpg?version=0)
One thing I'd check is to learn if it's a winter or spring/summer radish.  If winter radish, wait till about July or August.  If you plant a winter radish in spring, even early spring, they seem to bolt right away.  Always have for me, no matter how early I plant.  Last year or year before last I accidentally grew black radish correctly.  See, it's a winter radish, and I wrongly planted it in spring, thinking it's so early, it will be fine.  But all of them bolted quickly and I ended up with lots of flowers, then seed pods, and of course I sort of ignored it since it didn't give us radishes.  However some of those seed pods burst open and seeds fell to the ground (in late summer), where they did germinate and in about November or so, I discovered a line of radishes growing under where the seeds fell!

So, knowing whether it's a spring or winter radish is about all I can think to learn.  Aside from that, radishes are so easy to grow, that the old-timers often say of radish, "they grow so quickly that you can just about harvest after you finish planting the row."   LOL

Let us know how it goes.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 21, 2018, 07:40:20 AM
Quote
I accidentally grew black radish correctly.

LOL!  Isn't that how a lot of gardening turns out?  :)

Thanks for the advice on timing.  How do the pods taste?  Do you cook them or eat them raw?  Have you tried pickling them?

Much curiosity here...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 21, 2018, 01:02:36 PM
Posting a photo of several different hardy perennial sprouting broccoli seedlings coming up, sown from seed obtained by mail from the U.K., where the breeding work has been concentrated.  This was discussed earlier on this thread.

There are 8 different kinds coming up in different pots to separate them.  Each type will produce in a different month of the year, with some overlap.  It took 60 days from the time I sowed the seeds for the first sprouts to emerge, so they are very slow to germinate.

To prevent the fungal disease called "damp off," in which roots rot beneath the soil line, I only water by misting them until they are large enough to be moved outdoors.  I mist them twice a day or whenever I walk past them and notice dry soil.  This also prevents poured water from washing the tiny seeds down to the bottom of the pots.  Pots are kept sheltered in a sunny window where they receive diffused sunlight, rather than direct overhead sun which can be too intense for seedlings, causing them to wilt. 

Our cats perch next to the pots to look out this window, but have never been tempted to attack the plants  :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 21, 2018, 01:20:53 PM
Quote
I accidentally grew black radish correctly.

LOL!  Isn't that how a lot of gardening turns out?  :)

Thanks for the advice on timing.  How do the pods taste?  Do you cook them or eat them raw?  Have you tried pickling them?

Much curiosity here...
Although they weren't "Rattail Radish", I did taste the seed pods when still greenish, but should have tasted them when smaller and less tough.  However, radish seed pods are a definite possibility in the list of things to eat.  I would never rule them out.

They had a somewhat sharp and pungent taste (tasted raw while standing in the garden) which is not at all unpleasant (although as a child it would have been rejected).  Now we know that the more bitter foods are probably more packed with phytonutrients.  If cooked, they would probably lose a bit of their bite.  Three cheers for plants!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 21, 2018, 01:22:38 PM
Thanks Ilinda - pickling sounds like it might be a good choice for the bitterness.

Quote
Quote from: R.R. Book on April 27, 2018, 06:55:20 PM

    Your own little valley sounds like paradise Ilinda!  Would love more pics!

From Ilinda:
Quote
Will try to get a few pics that can show something other than tire tracks, goat sheds, vehicles, fence posts, bales of old hay, etc. ....

Farms are definitely not 100% picturesque - there is an industrial aspect to each of them, isn't there?  :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...Inter-cropping with pole beans
Post by: R.R. Book on May 24, 2018, 10:50:53 AM
Am in the process of increasing the productivity of the homestead using an inexpensive, simple method: by expanding the use of purple hyacinth beans (please see post # 113 on this thread) in the scheme of the garden.  Any pole beans will work for this purpose.  These will be inter-cropped with the sunchokes, which are also being encouraged to take up an increasing amount of space in the garden.

First the spring thinning of the sunchokes patches was completed.  This was done in stages. 

Late winter / early spring: As discussed previously, this is the time to dig up 'chokes and harvest some, as they will have overwintered and inulin will have converted to fructose.  Remainders are re-distributed evenly throughout dedicated beds, or just left to keep increasing on their own.

Mid-to-late spring: Shoots will have grown tall enough to reveal additional crowding beneath the soil in sunchoke beds.  Relieving this crowding will increase productivity.  Four options (other than benign neglect) exist at this point:

1. Make a salad with the snapped-off shoots, maybe tossing in some dandelions and violets
2. Provide chop-and-drop from broken-off shoots to livestock
3. Dig up extras carefully and add more dedicated sunchoke patches, judiciously as they are invasive (invasive is a very good word in a famine).  This spring I expanded from 2 to 4 sunchoke beds at no cost just by doing this. 
4. Dig up extras and sell, barter, or share with a friend in need.  If you were to pot them up to sell, you'd have dozens of plants available.

Next, the growing sunchokes are treated as corn stalks in the "Three Sisters" planting scheme: three hyacinth beans (or your favorite pole beans) are sown around each 1' 'choke stalk (which is a giant sunflower) and permitted to climb freely, anchoring stalks in place against strong winds.  This requires a bulk order of bean seed, to save sourcing too many little 2 gram seed packages.  The larger 1/4 ounce packages have 14 times as many seeds for a little over $1 more in cost from Rohrer's.  I purchased 10 bulk packages to get started, and will reap many times that amount, as each bean vine from a single seed will produce many pods.  All parts of a hyacinth bean vine are edible BTW, including leaves and flowers.

The largest sunchoke bed just happens to be located adjacent to the apiary.  The late-blooming sunchoke flowers and sweet-pea-like hyacinth bean blossoms will provide something badly needed by the bees: large quantities of flowers that are still blooming in early autumn when most everything else is done for the season.  Color combination: yellow, pink and purple.

The bean vines will also grab nitrogen from the air and replenish soil fertility, though 'chokes will grow almost anywhere even with neglect.  Store-bought chemical fertilizers will never be needed.

Once stalks have thickened enough, poultry may be permitted into the beds and even allowed to camp there overnight (if beds are fenced) on warm summer and early autumn nights, as opposed to remaining in the coops. They will love this freedom and adventure, freeing coops from needing clean hay for a while, and adding nutrients to the soil with their manure, but you will need to hunt for any eggs that are laid in the gardens.  :)

Total cost for all this benefit to the homestead this spring was $40.55, delivered.  This was a one-time expense that will never need to be repeated.  Scarlet runner beans might be a nice alternative, as they are perennial in milder northern locations. 

Will provide photos when the plants are a little taller.

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/51/3d/f3/513df360b74c5ec7921487bf1bc48e7f--header-image-beans.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...Inter-cropping with pole beans
Post by: ilinda on May 24, 2018, 03:37:12 PM
Am in the process of increasing the productivity of the homestead using an inexpensive, simple method: by expanding the use of purple hyacinth beans (please see post # 113 on this thread) in the scheme of the garden.  Any pole beans will work for this purpose.  These will be inter-cropped with the sunchokes, which are also being encouraged to take up an increasing amount of space in the garden.

First the spring thinning of the sunchokes patches was completed.  This was done in stages. 

Late winter / early spring: As discussed previously, this is the time to dig up 'chokes and harvest some, as they will have overwintered and inulin will have converted to fructose.  Remainders are re-distributed evenly throughout dedicated beds, or just left to keep increasing on their own.

Mid-to-late spring: Shoots will have grown tall enough to reveal additional crowding beneath the soil in sunchoke beds.  Relieving this crowding will increase productivity.  Four options (other than benign neglect) exist at this point:

1. Make a salad with the snapped-off shoots, maybe tossing in some dandelions and violets
2. Provide chop-and-drop from broken-off shoots to livestock
3. Dig up extras carefully and add more dedicated sunchoke patches, judiciously as they are invasive (invasive is a very good word in a famine).  This spring I expanded from 2 to 4 sunchoke beds at no cost just by doing this. 
4. Dig up extras and sell, barter, or share with a friend in need.  If you were to pot them up to sell, you'd have dozens of plants available.

Next, the growing sunchokes are treated as corn stalks in the "Three Sisters" planting scheme: three hyacinth beans (or your favorite pole beans) are sown around each 1' 'choke stalk (which is a giant sunflower) and permitted to climb freely, anchoring stalks in place against strong winds.  This requires a bulk order of bean seed, to save sourcing too many little 2 gram seed packages.  The larger 1/4 ounce packages have 14 times as many seeds for a little over $1 more in cost from Rohrer's.  I purchased 10 bulk packages to get started, and will reap many times that amount, as each bean vine from a single seed will produce many pods.  All parts of a hyacinth bean vine are edible BTW, including leaves and flowers.

The largest sunchoke bed just happens to be located adjacent to the apiary.  The late-blooming sunchoke flowers and sweet-pea-like hyacinth bean blossoms will provide something badly needed by the bees: large quantities of flowers that are still blooming in early autumn when most everything else is done for the season.  Color combination: yellow, pink and purple.

The bean vines will also grab nitrogen from the air and replenish soil fertility, though 'chokes will grow almost anywhere even with neglect.  Store-bought chemical fertilizers will never be needed.

Once stalks have thickened enough, poultry may be permitted into the beds and even allowed to camp there overnight (if beds are fenced) on warm summer and early autumn nights, as opposed to remaining in the coops. They will love this freedom and adventure, freeing coops from needing clean hay for a while, and adding nutrients to the soil with their manure, but you will need to hunt for any eggs that are laid in the gardens.  :)

Total cost for all this benefit to the homestead this spring was $40.55, delivered.  This was a one-time expense that will never need to be repeated.  Scarlet runner beans might be a nice alternative, as they are perennial in milder northern locations. 

Will provide photos when the plants are a little taller.

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/51/3d/f3/513df360b74c5ec7921487bf1bc48e7f--header-image-beans.jpg)
Looks like a win-win situation.  I'm intrigued by the sunchokes, as I grew them years ago and they did try to, or start to, take over the garden and that is the ONLY reason I finally dug them all up and basically eradicated them.  But being a bit wiser and more able to think outside the box now, maybe it's time to revisit them.  I remember giving away a trash can full of them, just to get them off this farm in the remote chance they could re-establish themselves.

But they are really a winner and you have shown something interesting you do, with the sunchoke stalks, covered by bean vines, making for a makeshift chicken coop for those warm summer nights when the birds would rather be outside anyway, as long as they feel safe. 

Maybe one key is to have animals before growing sunchokes, as you will never feel overwhelmed with too much of any given crop as it will always feed some herbivore animal. 
Good ideas here!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 11, 2018, 09:00:17 AM
Just wanted to share this amazing photo that I found today, of intensive bean production in the Congo.  You can see beans growing in both foreground and background.  Not a speck of wasted space! 

I also read an interesting formula or algorithm of nature about pole beans (as opposed to bush beans) recently: 120 beans produced by every seed planted, either via 30 pods per plant @ 4 beans per pod, or 20 pods per plant @ 6 beans per pod.  It takes about 10 plants to yield a pound of beans.  Wish I had saved the link!

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Climbing_beans_growing_in_the_North_Kivu.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 11, 2018, 07:30:37 PM
I didn't know the numbers but an old time gardener turned me on to the fact of pole beans outproducing bush beans.  When it is explained how the pole bean just goes up, up, up and keeps producing flower after flower, higher and higher, etc., and then think of that little bush bean sitting there so close to the ground with "nowhere to go"!  Poor little thing.  I do grow one bush bean, but only because it's an heirloom from friend. 

As a reminder, this is the first year in many that I have not planted that bush bean, as time just kept slipping away, and here it is July 11 and I finally got potatoes planted this morning, as well as winter storage radish.  Always late with something every year it seems.  But it is true, when you compare the garden footprint of a bush bean vs, a pole bean, they may be equal or nearly so at the ground level in either or any direction, but going up is what pole beans do, and if you give them taller and taller poles, they will climb and climb. Maybe the sky's the limit.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 12, 2018, 05:27:09 AM
Ilinda, Do you use your winter storage radishes for salads, goat feed, or something else?  I mostly hear of them being used for tillage, but would love to learn other ways to use them!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 12, 2018, 08:49:36 PM
Ilinda, Do you use your winter storage radishes for salads, goat feed, or something else?  I mostly hear of them being used for tillage, but would love to learn other ways to use them!
Now that I've finally planted them (this week) at the right time, I plan to incorporate them into our goat feed.  We try to feed them only real foods, and never those pellets from feed store.  So they get whatever is in season. 

I understand Daikon radish can reach mammoth proportions.  Well, that's a lot for a human, but gee, a goat can sort of eat forever, so adding radish to the diet might be a good idea.  The ones I planted are Black Storage Radish, which is a nice large, black, sphere radish, with snow white interior.

But I plan to incorporate them into our food as well.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 13, 2018, 08:58:08 AM
Thanks for the info!  I totally agree about avoiding the pelleted feed.  We always make our own feed too. :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 13, 2018, 09:02:10 AM
Here's an interactive link to help us decide which carrots to grow and/or eat, as there are so many choices now-days. 

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-purple-carrots-as-healthy-as-orange-carrots/
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 26, 2018, 05:53:21 PM
https://philhowardnet.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/seedindustry.pdf

Link above has enlargeable diagram of how agribusiness seed companies are interconnected:

Title: Re: SEEDS...Homemade pea seed innoculants
Post by: R.R. Book on August 01, 2018, 03:32:23 PM
Before planting peas in early spring, they benefit from being coated in an innoculant, which is any probiotic-rich substance which the plants can use to do their work of grabbing nitrogen from the air and anchoring it into the soil.  Seed suppliers would love to sell us their commercial innoculants, but these may not exist in hard times.

Here is a video explaining how to do it with rice and water or milk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAFabJ2ps3Q&feature=youtu.be

https://www.smilinggardener.com/plants/garden-inoculant/

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0844/5779/files/17past.jpg?1263602721063711936) 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on January 10, 2019, 06:36:21 PM
Here's the Annual/Biennial Seed Germination Database with succinct details on how to get any type of seed to germinate:
https://tomclothier.hort.net/page05.html

Referred by: Ice Age Farmer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40E8K738wFo

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dc/%D0%A0%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B5_%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%8F%D0%BD.jpg/350px-%D0%A0%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B5_%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%8F%D0%BD.jpg)

Title: Re: SEEDS...A good book for winter reading
Post by: R.R. Book on January 14, 2019, 05:51:14 PM
Grow Something Different to Eat by Matthew Biggs is one of the very few books that I've ever seen on the market with over 200 pages of detailed instructions for sowing and growing unusual vegetables and fruits from seed, including a few rare perennials.  Every page is filled with color photographs, side-bars summarizing the info on each species, more detailed instructions in the main text body, and another side-bar on cooking tips.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61C7A5IsOxL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on January 16, 2019, 05:57:53 PM
Wow, looks really interesting, as many gardeners are always on the lookout for unique and unusual things to grow.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on January 16, 2019, 07:12:05 PM
It does have the rat-tail radish too!  :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on January 27, 2019, 05:10:00 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ofHSamdvTw

At around 5:00 into this film, Christian of Ice Age Farmer makes a remarkable observation about saving seeds:

When you grow a crop from seed on your own land and then save seeds from the crop for next year, those seeds that experienced year one on your land are gifted with add-on genetic information about what the next crop needs to know about your growing conditions in order to survive.

The name for that is epigenetics, which we've discussed elsewhere on Town Hall, but not so much in context of plants.  The result is your own landrace of that particular species.

(https://www.geturbanleaf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/seed-sprouting-how-it-began.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on January 27, 2019, 05:24:26 PM
That is exactly something people should be very aware of, in case Monsanto or another of the gene giants tries to stake a claim on something some one is growing, and claims it's theirs.

Each time you grow it on your land, the epigenetics of it continues to change from its original state, more evidence on your side that the overall genetic complement, especially the epigenetics, are unique and different from that of any GM crop.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on January 27, 2019, 05:43:43 PM
That's a good rationale against corporate patenting of seeds Ilinda!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 24, 2019, 07:08:47 PM
Using the rationale of selecting seeds for the earliest possible production, so that harvesting can be done in advance of disease onset, climate cooling, loss to insects, etc., here are some interesting early producing tomato seeds that I found.  All are small-to-medium indeterminates or semi-determinates* for faster harvesting:

Glacier, certified organic from High Mowing Seeds and Wood Prairie Farm, 55-61 days
(https://www.highmowingseeds.com/media/catalog/product/cache/image/675x675/e9c3970ab036de70892d86c6d221abfe/3/1/3140.jpg)

Cosmonaut Volkov: A Russian heirloom, certified organic from Wood Prairie Farm,
65 days
(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2550/8730/products/Tomato_Cosmonaut-Volkov_CK_1200x630.jpg?v=1544040047)

Bloody Butcher: certified organic from Sustainable Seed Company, 55 days
(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/283337852245-0-1/s-l1000.jpg)

Stupice: Czechoslovakian variety, certified organic from Seed Savers Exchange, 55-70 days
(https://www.seedsavers.org/site/img/seo-images/0667-stupice-tomato-organic.jpg)

*Vocabulary for those who may be new to tomato growing:
determinate: tomatoes that ripen all at the same time, for canning, etc.

semi-determinate: short-vine tomatoes that ripen in staggered spurts

indeterminate: long vine tomatoes that ripen over a whole season

What are you planting this year?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 25, 2019, 03:30:33 PM
Have mentioned already that due to high moisture in our climate, it is very difficult to grow curcubits here (squash, etc.).

There is some discussion about an unusual variety, however, called Calabash or bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), that might actually survive a damp climate and not succumb to disease, so I'm planning to give it a try:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2d/JfPasongBangkal8236SanRafaelfvf_23.JPG/800px-JfPasongBangkal8236SanRafaelfvf_23.JPG)
One key difference between climbing bottle gourd and bushy zucchini is the need for a trellis

It is said to begin producing a crop within two months, so it would be appropriate for the shorter growing season in the north. 

Though it's not to be confused with the closely related but wrinkly Bitter Gourd with possibly toxic juice, the pulp seed cover of bottle gourd will produce a purge and should be avoided. 

There appear to be a couple of sub-species of the actual bottle gourd, one shaped more like a container gourd, and the one depicted above shaped more like a normal zucchini, sometimes called "long bottle gourd."  Beyond the English and Latin names for this vegetable, there are many other names for it around the world, as it is better known outside North America even though the crop has been grown in more southerly locations on this continent in some places for 8,000 years.

Here's a bottle gourd curry:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/%E0%B0%B8%E0%B1%8A%E0%B0%B0%E0%B0%95%E0%B0%BE%E0%B0%AF_%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%8B%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%81_%E0%B0%95%E0%B1%82%E0%B0%B0_%282%29.jpg/220px-%E0%B0%B8%E0%B1%8A%E0%B0%B0%E0%B0%95%E0%B0%BE%E0%B0%AF_%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%8B%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%81_%E0%B0%95%E0%B1%82%E0%B0%B0_%282%29.jpg)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabash

I have found seeds available both through Etsy and Ebay, often with free shipping.

More from PFAF:

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lagenaria+Siceraria
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 25, 2019, 04:33:32 PM
Readers may be familiar with the popular miniature sweet peppers that are now being cultivated, not to be confused with ornamental miniature peppers, which are full of seeds and considered not worth trying to eat.  The edible miniature peppers mature more quickly than full-sized ones, which makes them worth planting in the north, with its shorter growing season. 

I also like the prospect of not needing to do as much work to cut these into smaller pieces for stir fries, etc. as would need to be done to cut up full-sized bell peppers.  And even though they're small, they can still be stuffed for luscious bite-sized treats.

The short bushes would also make a nice container plant for those with less garden space.  Peppers are perennials as long as they are brought indoors in the north in winter, and being in a container would facilitate that.

I found these organic varieties.  Besides seeking either an organic or a non-GMO label, I also look for heirloom seeds, or at least non-hybrids:

Bangles Blend: Organic from High Mowing Seeds; 60 days to green stage (longer to turn other colors)
(https://www.highmowingseeds.com/media/catalog/product/cache/image/675x675/e9c3970ab036de70892d86c6d221abfe/2/7/2799.jpg)

Klari Baby Cheese: Organic heirlooms from Wood Prairie Farm, 65 days to green stage and slightly larger @ 3" than Bangles.
(https://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/seeds_images/3738.jpg)


Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on February 25, 2019, 07:03:48 PM
Those are the cutest little peppers, and I must be out of the loop as they're new to me.  Am thinking of how very easy they would freeze if you just had too many to eat at once.  After removing the stem and seeds, it's just one slice through the middle, then ready for freezer bag.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 26, 2019, 05:00:22 AM
I never thought of that!  Would they retain their texture?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on February 26, 2019, 06:06:31 PM
The sweet red Lemme' pepper that I grow does.  I either sun-dry them or freeze them, and sometimes both.  The Lemme' is a thin-walled pepper which makes it ideal for preservation, as there isn't a thick slab of flesh to dry out.

Ordinarily I have bags and bags of Lemme' pepper pieces in the freezer.  I usually slice into them vertically to remove the seeds, then slice across to create small and easy-to-dry pieces, and since they grow from 8-13" long, there may be many pieces per pepper.  But those little miniatures look to be easy to process.

The reason we are out of Lemme' this year is because they were mostly shaded by walls I did not realize were tall enough to block sunlight, and thus we harvested very few last summer.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 27, 2019, 05:53:25 AM
Found this info on Lemme at Sand Hill Preservation, but couldn't find a photo:

Quote
Lemme’s Italian- 71 days- Italian Frying-type pepper.  Fatter and shorter in size than Italian Frying and Jimmy Nardello.  Excellent eaten fresh.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 27, 2019, 05:56:45 AM
Posting a pepper "heat" index:

(https://media.buzzle.com/media/images-en/illustrations/infographics/1200-75141867-scoville-scale-chart.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on February 27, 2019, 06:56:56 PM
Found this info on Lemme at Sand Hill Preservation, but couldn't find a photo:

Quote
Lemme’s Italian- 71 days- Italian Frying-type pepper.  Fatter and shorter in size than Italian Frying and Jimmy Nardello.  Excellent eaten fresh.
One time a friend and I did a pepper tasting event which featured the Jimmy Nardello that he grew and the Lemme' that I grew.  It was sort of a toss-up as to taste--both good--but the thing I noticed is that they also looked identical.

 I have suspected since then, that they may actually be one and the same.  Until someone does the genetics I guess they can retain their separate names.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Solani on February 27, 2019, 09:43:42 PM
For the past 2 years I have been stocking up and buying seeds from a Ukrainian vegetable farm as well as from a Russian vegetable farm. They live in a climate that is a bit colder than where we are in Canada and I've been buying from them for that reason. It is seeds from their own crops which they have grown for many years. I am hoping that they will be able to survive the colder temperatures. It just makes more sense buying seeds that are already used to the cold and not GMO, and not buy seeds that have been grown for generations in warmer climates. I will be trying some of them this summer and compare to other seeds that I also will plant, that are from a warmer climate zone. Not a hot climate, just warmer than what we experience here. That will be one of my "science projects" this summer. One among many... LOL

//Solani
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 28, 2019, 03:57:57 AM
What are you planting this year up there, Solani?

Looking forward to more details, as your project unfolds  :)

(http://www.wyffels.com/uploads/images/Seedlings_in_a_row_4_in_wide.jpg)

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on February 28, 2019, 04:57:47 AM
That might explain why a photo was so difficult to find.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on February 28, 2019, 12:43:44 PM
Yes, Solani, keep us posted about your growouts and results.  Excellent science project.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Solani on March 02, 2019, 01:33:39 PM
What are you planting this year up there, Solani?

Looking forward to more details, as your project unfolds  :)

(http://www.wyffels.com/uploads/images/Seedlings_in_a_row_4_in_wide.jpg)

Well, if we ever do get summer here...  ??? We still have over 3 feet of snow and even if the day time temps creep up above freezing, nighttime temps are still around -28 Celsius.  :o My brain is to fried right now to figure it out in Fahrenheit...  :P

Don't know how many weeks now the weather forecaster has "promised" above freezing temperatures. This week we were supposed to have around 38 F  and next week we were predicted to have up to 43 F... (only reason I know these temps in F, is that Dan has everything on his computer set to Fahrenheit and I have mine set to Celsius... LOL) But, as usual that changed and the coming week, we're supposed to be back down to -32 C AGAIN... Oh well, get used to it A??  :-X Yes, I have found myself using the typical Canadian "A?" more and more often. Does that mean I'm easily influenced??  ;D

Anyhow, this is what I have planed so far....

I’ll be planting the usual such as:

Lettuce
Spinach
Cabbage
Broccoli
Carrots
Green Beans
Snow Peas
Sweet peppers, various colors
Hot peppers
Tomatoes for canning
Potatoes
Winter Squash (not sure which one yet)
Luffas (gourds) This will be a first time “science project”. (They're for my bath and body products, body/bath scrubbers in natural/organic soap bars)

Will most likely plant more veggies but this is my main crop.

Most likely, no onions this year but will be planting garlic in the fall.


The new seeds that I have bought from Russia and the Ukraine that I will be trying out, will be:
Cabbage
Broccoli
Carrots
Squash (same type as I’ll be planting the seeds from a warmer climate)
Sweet and hot Peppers
Tomatoes for canning

I’ll be planting my vegetable gardens in raised beds, same soil/nutrient mixtures for the colder climate seeds and the warmer. I’ll also be interested to see if there will be any “cross-pollination”, if I’m able to see any differences or likenesses between them, from the seeds that I’ll be saving for next years crops.

I’ve bought new seeds for the “warmer” climate seeds/veggies too. But I will also be planting seeds that I’ve harvested from previous years crops.

I lost my two first crops of potatoes last summer or, rather 1 ½ since a few potato plants did survive, even if they were scrawny. My third crop which I planted much later in the season, didn’t give much and what I did get was very small potatoes, so, I’ve had to buy most of my potatoes this year. Same with my tomatoes, peas and peppers.

So, this year, I’m going to plant my potatoes in “buckets” with plastic bag liners and bring them in during the nights, until I’m SURE that the nighttime temps won’t go below freezing and then I’ll dig holes the same size as the plastic bags in my big tire potato beds/planters, carefully remove the plastic bags and plop them down into the prepared soil. I’ll be planting potatoes the “usual” way too, but I don’t want to lose everything again. I’ve also bought cheap mylar blankets off of eBay, that I can spread out over the raised beds if I need to. Guess we’ll have to see how things work out. I’ve used straw previously and it has worked good but last year was much colder than usual. So, this year, I'll add an extra protection of the Mylar/space blankets on top of the straw!!

On an interesting note… I had missed 2 potatoes in 2 of my big tire planters (1 in each) that had been in the tire/soil all winter with just the regular covering of straw and even if the new potatoes that I planted in those tires froze when their leaves had come up, the old potatoes from the previous season survived… So, I did keep about 8 of those potatoes to use as seed potatoes this year. Want to see if they somehow have become more resistant to colder temperatures. Reason I knew they were from the previous summer was that they were red potatoes and I’d planted white potatoes in those tires last summer.

//Solani
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 02, 2019, 02:10:10 PM
We're about to be hit again with another heavy snow this weekend here too.

It's pretty but does get old, doesn't it?

Love the "His" and "Hers" computers with degrees F and C!

Quote
Yes, I have found myself using the typical Canadian "A?" more and more often. Does that mean I'm easily influenced?? 

Methinks you're becoming a dyed-in-the-wool Canuck!  :)

Hope you'll share details about your Russian and Ukrainian suppliers when you're able. 

Have you ever heard of Richters up there?  They are one of my favorite mail-order suppliers of permaculture rootstock, medicinal herbs, etc.

(http://www.foodandfarming.ca/custom/uploads/2017/09/Richters-Herbs.jpg)

https://www.richters.com/
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on March 02, 2019, 05:23:07 PM
Had the same luck here with potatoes, as did Solani.  I did a couple of late plantings and one was harvested and resulted in scrawny little potatoes, not worth digging, so I left the others in their bed, and pulled off the tops, then added thick mulch for the winter.  Hopefully some will resprout this spring. 

However the all around most versatile potato, IMHO, is the Purple Peruvian.  While it's a fingerling and somewhat smaller than those huge bakers, they are so nutritious and tasty as well.  Plus the Peruvians say they use them mainly for thickening soups and other dishes.  I dice them and stir fry with onion or shallot, garlic, sweet red pepper, and either carrot or sweet potatoes or parsnips.  Makes a nice winter dish.

The decent Purple Peruvian I did manage to harvest at a decent size are being saved for planting this spring, and none will be eaten--all planted.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Solani on March 02, 2019, 05:26:11 PM
We're about to be hit again with another heavy snow this weekend here too.

It's pretty but does get old, doesn't it?

Yes, I'm quite over it by now too, but then I stop and think... This is just the beginning of what is to come if there will be a mini ice age.  :o Not sure which will be worse, flash frozen or instantly burnt to a crisp?? Oh well, with me being the way I am and if there is a "heaven", I think I'm destined to going "down-stairs". So... I'll go with the flash frozen, that way I don't have to burn twice. I think one time would be quite enough, thank you very much! Yes, I'm joking about serious matters, it's my way of psychologically coping with things that I'm really not looking forward to having to do, but still fully prepared to deal with whatever, when it happens. Same as I joke around in regards to my PTSD and my "demons". If I can get to the point of where I can joke about something (that has to do with myself and no one else. I'd never crack jokes about someone else's mishaps) I can easier deal with what's going on or, I'm about to face.

Quote
Love the "His" and "Hers" computers with degrees F and C!

Yep, it's not only the "his and her" computers with F vs. C it's also I have military time (24 hours) on my computer clock. Dan has the AM/PM time. Also our table top weather stations. On Dan's side of the kitchen table his weather station is in F and on my side, mine is C... It drives him nuts...  ;D :P

Quote
Yes, I have found myself using the typical Canadian "A?" more and more often. Does that mean I'm easily influenced?? 

Quote
Methinks you're becoming a dyed-in-the-wool Canuck!  :)

LOL, Naaa, I'm just a chameleon and pick up on what the majority of people around me do or how they talk, such as dialects. Years ago when I'd be talking on the phone with my adopted cousin from way up north in Sweden, where they have a very heavy northern dialect, my son if he'd walk by would just say. Oh, you're talking to Inger... I switch accents/dialects depending on who I'm talking to and what dialect they have. I don't do it consciously, it just happens.  I also have a easy time learning new languages and don't have an accent in any of the languages I speak, I do however within a few days pick up the dialect of wherever I am. I remember some years ago someone saying that I have a "musical ear" and that could have something to do with it. Same as picking out tunes on the piano, harmonica/whatever and also singing. I love to sing when I'm all alone in the woods and also when I'm trying to calm down or sooth an injured or stressed animal, be it wild or tame, I'll hum/sing without words in different tones. Have used that on the injured ravens I've taken care of out here and either I bore them to tears or they just want to shut me off, cause they'll go to sleep...   ::)

Quote
Hope you'll share details about your Russian and Ukrainian suppliers when you're able. 

Yes, will do. I found them first on eBay but have since bought directly from them.

Quote
Have you ever heard of Richters up there?  They are one of my favorite mail-order suppliers of permaculture rootstock, medicinal herbs, etc.

(http://www.foodandfarming.ca/custom/uploads/2017/09/Richters-Herbs.jpg)

https://www.richters.com/

Yes, but I haven't bought anything from them yet. I have seen a few seed packs that I haven't been able to find anywhere else that I've been thinking about buying from them.

//Solani
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Solani on March 02, 2019, 05:30:28 PM
Had the same luck here with potatoes, as did Solani.  I did a couple of late plantings and one was harvested and resulted in scrawny little potatoes, not worth digging, so I left the others in their bed, and pulled off the tops, then added thick mulch for the winter.  Hopefully some will resprout this spring. 

However the all around most versatile potato, IMHO, is the Purple Peruvian.  While it's a fingerling and somewhat smaller than those huge bakers, they are so nutritious and tasty as well.  Plus the Peruvians say they use them mainly for thickening soups and other dishes.  I dice them and stir fry with onion or shallot, garlic, sweet red pepper, and either carrot or sweet potatoes or parsnips.  Makes a nice winter dish.

The decent Purple Peruvian I did manage to harvest at a decent size are being saved for planting this spring, and none will be eaten--all planted.

I've never tried the Purple Peruvian. I'll have to see if I can find seed potatoes for them here. I've also thought of planting sweet potatoes but, I'm not sure it would be warm enough up here, since from what I've heard, you're supposed to let them sit outside in the warmth for a few weeks after you've harvested them? and that is what turns them sweet?? Or, is that wrong?

//Solani
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 02, 2019, 06:42:15 PM
Quote
I think I'm destined to going "down-stairs"

Highly doubtful that a person who was dealt a not-so-ideal hand, then managed to overcome it to learn advanced spiritual skills with which to help others would be wasted in such a manner... That would constitute unproductive use of human resources on the part of heavenly PTB IMHO :)

Quote
Yep, it's not only the "his and her" computers with F vs. C it's also I have military time (24 hours) on my computer clock. Dan has the AM/PM time. Also our table top weather stations. On Dan's side of the kitchen table his weather station is in F and on my side, mine is C... It drives him nuts...

Is there a Line of Demarcation across the middle of the kitchen?  LOL!

Quote
LOL, Naaa, I'm just a chameleon and pick up on what the majority of people around me do or how they talk, such as dialects. Years ago when I'd be talking on the phone with my adopted cousin from way up north in Sweden, where they have a very heavy northern dialect, my son if he'd walk by would just say. Oh, you're talking to Inger... I switch accents/dialects depending on who I'm talking to and what dialect they have. I don't do it consciously, it just happens.  I also have a easy time learning new languages and don't have an accent in any of the languages I speak, I do however within a few days pick up the dialect of wherever I am. I remember some years ago someone saying that I have a "musical ear" and that could have something to do with it. Same as picking out tunes on the piano, harmonica/whatever and also singing. I love to sing when I'm all alone in the woods and also when I'm trying to calm down or sooth an injured or stressed animal, be it wild or tame, I'll hum/sing without words in different tones. Have used that on the injured ravens I've taken care of out here and either I bore them to tears or they just want to shut me off, cause they'll go to sleep...

Two more chapters in your book right in that paragraph...maybe some day?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 03, 2019, 05:26:16 AM
Ilinda, How well have your P.P's overwintered?

The rest of mine that weren't already cooked rotted in the root cellar this winter...am thinking they might have been better off left in the ground?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Solani on March 03, 2019, 12:03:40 PM

Quote
Is there a Line of Demarcation across the middle of the kitchen?  LOL!

Hahaha... Nope, it's more like, the whole kitchen is MINE... and he has permission to be in control of his side of the kitchen table.... LOL On the other hand, the living room is his, I don't even clean in there. Not after he "b*tched" at me when he couldn't find a book that I had MOVED...  :o Turned out he himself, had brought it upstairs and put it in a box of other books he'd decided he "could" move to a different location...

I very seldom spend any time in the living room. The wood heater is in there and Dan is constantly freezing so, it's way to hot in there. I've tried to "fatten" him up so he could have at least a thin layer of fat as insulation but, the dude even if he has gained a few pounds after I moved in, is a very picky eater and eats miniature portions... None of his previous wives have been able to put weight on him... Yep, he did tell me that! LOL I guess I'm a good cook!  ;D I don't watch TV and if there is anything I would want to watch, I'll watch it on my computer in MY kitchen... He also has a "bad habit" of switching channels when he feels like it, and that really yanks my chain... So, it's his room...  ::)


Quote
LOL, Naaa, I'm just a chameleon and pick up on what the majority of people around me do or how they talk, such as dialects. Years ago when I'd be talking on the phone with my adopted cousin from way up north in Sweden, where they have a very heavy northern dialect, my son if he'd walk by would just say. Oh, you're talking to Inger... I switch accents/dialects depending on who I'm talking to and what dialect they have. I don't do it consciously, it just happens.  I also have a easy time learning new languages and don't have an accent in any of the languages I speak, I do however within a few days pick up the dialect of wherever I am. I remember some years ago someone saying that I have a "musical ear" and that could have something to do with it. Same as picking out tunes on the piano, harmonica/whatever and also singing. I love to sing when I'm all alone in the woods and also when I'm trying to calm down or sooth an injured or stressed animal, be it wild or tame, I'll hum/sing without words in different tones. Have used that on the injured ravens I've taken care of out here and either I bore them to tears or they just want to shut me off, cause they'll go to sleep...

Quote
Two more chapters in your book right in that paragraph...maybe some day?

LOL!!  :P

//Solani
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on March 03, 2019, 04:44:40 PM
Ilinda, How well have your P.P's overwintered?

The rest of mine that weren't already cooked rotted in the root cellar this winter...am thinking they might have been better off left in the ground?
Soo sorry your P.P.'s rotted.  Makes you wonder if your root cellar was colder this year than usual?

My P.P.'s are in a covered box in a cold, unheated back room, that is usually between 38 and 50 during the winter time.  I check them periodically and they feel firm and look nice and dark purple, almost black.  This is my best batch of "seed Purple Peruvians" ever, probably because I knew not to eat any of the "keepers", but save them for planting.

I would/could never leave potatoes in the ground if they were the only ones I was counting on for planting.  But if they were like the ones I DID leave in ground, it's OK, as it's a gamble since they were planted late and didn't produce much.  One reason I don't ordinarily leave potatoes in ground in winter is field mice, voles, rats, or whatever, will eat them.  The other thing is if their cover is too thin, they might freeze and rot.  Parsnips can be left in ground in areas where wildlife don't dig/eat them, because they are much more cold tolerant than potatoes.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on March 03, 2019, 04:55:40 PM
Had the same luck here with potatoes, as did Solani.  I did a couple of late plantings and one was harvested and resulted in scrawny little potatoes, not worth digging, so I left the others in their bed, and pulled off the tops, then added thick mulch for the winter.  Hopefully some will resprout this spring. 

However the all around most versatile potato, IMHO, is the Purple Peruvian.  While it's a fingerling and somewhat smaller than those huge bakers, they are so nutritious and tasty as well.  Plus the Peruvians say they use them mainly for thickening soups and other dishes.  I dice them and stir fry with onion or shallot, garlic, sweet red pepper, and either carrot or sweet potatoes or parsnips.  Makes a nice winter dish.

The decent Purple Peruvian I did manage to harvest at a decent size are being saved for planting this spring, and none will be eaten--all planted.

I've never tried the Purple Peruvian. I'll have to see if I can find seed potatoes for them here. I've also thought of planting sweet potatoes but, I'm not sure it would be warm enough up here, since from what I've heard, you're supposed to let them sit outside in the warmth for a few weeks after you've harvested them? and that is what turns them sweet?? Or, is that wrong?

//Solani
Sweet potatoes do need to "cure" for a couple of weeks after digging, but I bring them indoors and lay them out in a monolayer.  They say 80-88 deg. F is a good temp. for curing--I know that sounds high, but it works.  Afterwards they can be stored at room temperature, or slightly cooler, maybe even down to 60 deg. F, but I stored mine one year at around 50 or low 50's deg. F., and they all rotted.

 Sweet potatoes really do love warmth.  When curing them, they can be placed on newspaper on floor near wood stove, or somewhere warm, but probably best not in sun, as that may cause them to turn green, or start forming those "veins" just under the skin.  Once they're dug, they can be in the sun for a few minutes, but I don't purposely leave them in sunshine.  Brush soil off of them, but don't wash them before storage, as that can be done immediately prior to cooking.

Also, since they hate cool weather, one way northerners can help them along, is to plant the "slip" then surround it with an opaque gallon jug, with bottom removed.  That way they sit inside their little greenhouse for weeks before they grow up enough to push up the milk jug.  You can even leave the lid on the jug at night, and remove it during day if day is warm enough.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 03, 2019, 05:05:08 PM
Well, with the groundhogs, voles, mice, etc., best not to leave them outside then, in spite of the reputation of PP for overwintering.  ::)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on March 31, 2019, 10:34:54 AM
A bit of food for thought about saving seed from biennials such as parsnips and beets.  For the newbies, biennials are those crops that need two years to mature, the first year being the actual crop, and the second, the stalk that flowers, then produces seeds.  My information, for example on beets and parsnips, says that for good quality seed, the grower should save 6-12 of the best examples of that crop, save them over the winter where they will not freeze, not get warm or hot, and not dry out, all of which requires experimentation to determine the best dormancy location.

I have tried to do this (6-12 of the best roots) every year, and am now wondering if I have been lax.  I noticed in 2018 the parsnip crop was smaller in numbers, plus the actual roots were smaller and inferior to previous crops.  I noticed the same thing with beets.  I must have planted and replanted four or five times, and the final product was still not outstanding, and rather moderate in numbers.

The parsnip bed was an afterthought, that received no fertilization, so that is a possible culprit.  This year I have noticed the seeds that were planted in December, are germinating, but in very low numbers.  Maybe it's too early to tell and maybe many more will germinate.  Plus maybe they will be large and sweet.  For now it's a guess.

The 2018 beets, I thought, were planted in a bed with nice soil, containing many amendments including organic composted goat poo.

This year's crop of the beets and the parsnips will tell the truth.  Because each has been assigned to a nicely dug and well fertilized bed, if they do not grow well in size, and numbers, I'm betting that each beet and parsnips are now suffering "inbreeding recession".

Inbreeding recession occurs when there is not enough genetic diversity among those seed stock roots used for seed production.  It can occur when not enough roots are planted for the seed crop.  It can also occur when the bare minimum is planted for seed crops year after year, so that eventually you are left with a sort of genetic bottleneck.

By late summer when root crops should have attained a large and healthy size, it will be known.  Am posting this as a caveat to those who plan to save seeds in the event seed companies are unavailable.  Some of our crops might be teetering on the edge of extinction, so now is the time to seriously delve into seed saving, whether it be the more difficult biennials, or the much easier annuals.

Good luck to all, and if all goes as planned, a beet and parsnip update will be posted this fall.  And as a backup measure, I plan to order a large quantity of parsnip seeds of different varieties, (I grow "Hollow Crown") and place them in the freezer upon receipt.  This is a good "just in case".

The beets I grow are "Zelenolistnaja 42" and have grown and saved seed from them for approximately 10 years, but am not seeing their availability anywhere now.  Am not even thinking yet of the possibility of not ever finding them again!  They are large, sweet, and don't become tough, even when left in the ground until first week of November, which is usually when I harvest beets.

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on March 31, 2019, 03:52:40 PM
You've brought up some really important considerations Ilinda.  In sourcing seed (hopefully from non-GMO suppliers), some thought might ought to be given to gathering seed from the broadest selection possible within the tolerable growing zones. 

One example of a crop that needs to be sourced from diverse suppliers is Maypop passiflora (the cold-hardiest passionflower that actually bears fruit).  You wouldn't want even to go to your local organic supplier and order all of your seeds or rootstock from him/her, but maybe only purchase one sample at that location, and then if necessary source a genetically diverse clone or seed pack within the same species from mail order at a distance, in order to get your vines to produce fruit that actually fills in, rather than remaining hollow.

Did anything about your micro-climate change in the last year or two?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 01, 2019, 12:34:07 PM
Nothing in this micro-climate has changed that we've noticed.  Last winter was the longest we can ever remember, and when it was nearing its end, it suddenly got hot.  We had little spring.  But that's not unusual.  This past winter we just finished was a typical cold, un-fun winter. 

But there is one thing that has changed over more than just two years, and that is nowadays most of the winter precipitation we receive is rain, rather than snow.  Decades ago it never rained in winter.  Then years ago it rarely rained in winter.  Now, if it snows rather than rains, we're almost surprised.

But all that winter rain doesn't really affect our spring or summer crops--to my knowledge.  The only thing we grow in winter is garlic, and although I plant parsnip seeds in December, they are in a raised bed and if the rains were washing them out, there would be little micro-gullies leading from the top of the bed down the sides, to the walking paths in between beds.  The beds appear intact right now, in spite of rains this past winter.  And of course beets still aren't in the ground.

My best guess is "inbreeding recession".  I certainly do plan to buy seeds from diverse locales.  In fact I plan to buy a LOT of parsnip seeds of different varieties, and from different geographies, then store all that seed in fridge or freezer.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 01, 2019, 01:48:31 PM
Sounds like a reasonable plan!

I wonder if you may be receiving too much moisture while the seeds are in the ground from December to whenever they germinate?  Could sowing be postponed until maybe February or so for your latitude?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 15, 2019, 09:21:16 AM
Following the traditional rule in this location of not planting delicate seedlings outdoors until after Mother's Day, I sowed annual vegetable seeds indoors today with that one-month window of opportunity in mind.

Some vegies with larger seeds might just as well wait to be direct-sown when the soil warms up outdoors, perhaps a week before the last expected frost date here (a week ahead of Mother's Day), with the assumption in mind that germination will take several days and nothing will protrude above the soil line any sooner than a week.  I plan to do this with the calabash squash seeds that I purchased this past winter.

But other vegies with tiny seeds that could be washed away by rains might do better sown in containers indoors and kept protected until they are large enough to withstand late spring storms.  Tomato and pepper seeds come to mind.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47562357002_679c3a644a.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fsVvFY) (https://flic.kr/p/2fsVvFY)
Tomato varieties: Volkov, Bloody Butcher, Glacier, and Stupice. 
Miniature sweet pepper varieties: Mini Belle Mix, Bangles Sweet Pepper Blend

For this purpose, I like the small peat pots which are sturdy enough to segregate seedlings, but also quickly biodegradable later once the entire pots are stuck in the ground.  They come round or square-shaped, and cost about 10¢ each.  I got two dozen, plus two dozen small wooden marking sticks and a permanent black marker.

(http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/peat-pots-SS_233352328.jpg)
An example of how peat pots separate and
protect seedlings from being overly-handled


Now that it's nearly too warm to use the oven in the house, I was able to direct the top and bottom of my rectangular turkey roasting pan to another purpose, and placed a dozen pots in each half of the roaster.  Each pot was half-filled with fine seed-starting soil and moistened, followed by the other half of the soil on top of that, and then additional moisture - enough that a small amount of water drained out the bottom of each pot.  I used very warm water to raise the soil temperature a bit. 

Then I smoothed the soil surface in each pot so that it was level, and used one end of my permanent marking pen to dibble a shallow hole in the center of the soil in all the pots.  I devoted one roasting pan to holding a dozen pots earmarked for the miniature sweet peppers, 6 of each of two varieties.   The other roasting pan was dedicated to the remaining 12 pots: 3 each for 4 cool-climate tomato varieties.  Seeds were evenly divided up and sown, and then the soil in each pot was pinched over them.

Since I'm intensely interested in experimenting to discover what will succeed in this cool, moist climate, each pot was carefully labeled using one of the wooden marking sticks.  These are biodegradable.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40648623143_5d3b6257a1.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/24VYPu4) (https://flic.kr/p/24VYPu4)
The dozen zip-lock bags in each half of the roasting pan fit just right.

In order to prevent damping-off of delicate seedlings, in which they seem to successfully sprout but then wither, I'll rely upon humidity to keep them moist by placing each pot in a small zip-lock bag and sealing it up tightly.  I will not be watering them again until they are large enough to be placed outdoors, except possibly to add a little water to the bottom of the zip-lock bag itself.  The less disturbance from me the better. 

These two-handled roasting pans can easily be transported to the most optimal location for the seedlings at any given moment: indoors near a window on chilly or stormy days, and outdoors in warm sunny weather.

Will check back later to see how they are progressing.

How are others timing and starting their seeds?  All advice on methods welcome!  :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 15, 2019, 09:53:44 AM
Following the traditional rule in this location of not planting delicate seedlings outdoors
until after Mother's Day, I sowed annual vegetable seeds today with that one-month window of opportunity in mind.

How are others timing and starting their seeds?  All advice on methods welcome!  :)
Got behind this year in starting seeds as usual, but did manage to start a few tomatoes, tomatillos, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and collards.  And your picture of the little peat pots was an excellent reminder that it's definitely time to start Yamiken seeds, Yamiken being a vey long season winter squash which requires about 150 days to mature, and which loves warmth and will wither and die if constantly cool.

The beet and parsnip order has not arrived yet, and if much later, will be refrigerated and kept for next year.   Your other post about too much moisture in December makes me think that's exactly what's going on with the parsnips.  We had constant rain this past winter, and two minor snows that barely lasted a day or two.  I suspect the parsnips (who are supposed to believe they are volunteers) just couldn't take the constant saturation, combined with below freezing temps.  A seed can only tolerate so much abuse! I may need to revert to early spring planting of parsnips.

We usually plant tomatoes in May, but always keep in mind the fact that in our micro-climate, we have lost tomatoes and peppers to frost on May 27.  Not often, but once or twice is enough to be wary.  I have occasionally in the past planted tomatoes in a warm April, and covered them every night, each with a drywall bucket.  It protects the plants from frost, but is a LOT of work every morning uncovering, and every evening, covering.

This year tomatoes and peppers will be in a "structure" (picture to follow soon) that will protect them from deer, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and crows.  In the past we didn't have much to worry about with squirrels and crows, but now they, too, have discovered the gardens.  Once wildlife learn about your garden, they never unlearn it, and will be back forever, bringing their offspring, and their offspring's offspring. 

This after noon I plan to plant corn that I began germinating a week or so ago.  It is now overdue for planting, so will plant it deep, in case of more cold as we had this morning (21 deg. F).  Pictures to follow....
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 15, 2019, 10:15:02 AM
Quote
the parsnips (who are supposed to believe they are volunteers)

LOL!  I wonder how they know the difference?  :)

Interesting that in your warmer planting zone, you get frosts at what is beginning to be our mid-'80s early summer temps.  You're in a valley or a hollow, correct?

Looking forward to photos!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 16, 2019, 07:24:12 PM
Quote
the parsnips (who are supposed to believe they are volunteers)

LOL!  I wonder how they know the difference?  :)

Interesting that in your warmer planting zone, you get frosts at what is beginning to be our mid-'80s early summer temps.  You're in a valley or a hollow, correct?

Looking forward to photos!
Yes, is a narrow valley.  We've had a number of days in 80's already, but it's those sneak-attack nights that come out of nowhere.  Last week had three days in a row of 81 deg., and today was supposed to be 80, and felt like it but I never checked.

Well, since this is SEEDS, here's an update that anyone who plans to grow some or all of their own food should ponder.  Yesterday I spent several hours carefully planting the approx. 115 corn seedlings (Hopi Blue) that I had been sprouting indoors for over a week.  The bed is well fenced, and is raised several feet, plus has cedar "sticks" across the top as a crow repellant.

This morning I discovered that something, probably crows, plucked the seedlings right out of the ground, even though I assumed they were far enough along that they no longer were just seeds.  All that work down the drain.  It is a good lesson for any of us who think we can easily raise our own food, when we have false starts like that, and now it's back to the drawing boards.  Yes, I'll replant, but not without covering seeds first.

Gardening might be fun, but it's not easy.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 17, 2019, 04:12:26 AM
I am so sorry Ilinda that you lost your crop, but at least you lost it early, and there's still time to replant.

My experience here, with highs running about 10 degrees cooler than your peak highs right now, is that until more of the wild plants finish greening up, the gardens are under wildlife pressure as an emergency food source for them coming out of winter.  That's not to say that the animals stay away in warm weather, but rather that they need our produce less when other choices are available. 

That does't help much for crops that require a long season to put on substantial growth and reach maturity.  We may in the end be forced to select species that animals have less interest in, and I guess that corn is a temptation to them.  But on a larger farm such as yours, I'd be planting corn too.

It may also come down to needing to do triage so as not to repeat the frustration:

Crops that can easily and cheaply be purchased still from the grocer and can be stored easily for the long-term might be eliminated from the garden, leaving space to grow something that will succeed all the way to maturity.  It's possible for example  to store half a ton of popcorn (a quarter ton for each of you) while it's still cheap, which lasts forever if kept dry with DE or other desiccant, and possibly could be sprouted later if needed (if soaked first).  Popcorn can be ground to make flour in a pinch, though I can't attest to the finished product of bread made from it.

We're dealing with another kind of pest that can't be warded off by overhead cover, and that's the groundhog.  Holes all over the yard right now, including the sunchoke beds, and I accidentally stepped into one the other day!  :(

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Jyj2sJoPKWo/TXVGA77KnlI/AAAAAAAAABw/CoOjJqafvDE/s1600/caddyshack.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 17, 2019, 07:30:45 PM
Oh no, don't remind me of the ground hog issue.  Decades ago our garden was raided somewhat by a family of them.  They actually at times would sit at the edge of the garden and watch us work.  Then when we went back to St. Louis, they'd dig in. 

Hadn't seen any for years and then last year and very recently, we have seen one. 

Well, my sympathies to you if you have holes all over your yard, as that means there's more than one, and possibly several families.  Yikes.  Good luck dealing with them, as I have no idea whatsoever on how to stop them.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 18, 2019, 03:40:48 AM
I wonder why yours disappeared for a while?

Am thinking of setting live animal traps around at night, and then releasing them on a game preserve.  I hear that groundhogs are very fond of honeydew melon when used as bait... 8)

(https://media0.giphy.com/media/TJ2VQI9IgZ3O/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 18, 2019, 11:41:14 AM
We have no idea what happened to them for years and years?  Even though they got some of our food, they didn't decimate the garden as rabbits, raccoons, crows and squirrels do.  Maybe locals shot them when they came back to steal our watermelons and dig potatoes.

That actually happened.  One of the neighbors at that time, came back, dug our potatoes and even left the potato fork standing upright in the garden!  We know the groundhog didn't do that!  Watermelons were missing also.  If wildlife gets veggies, it's usually messy, with rinds, seeds, and various pieces of the melons, potatoes, apples, etc. left lying in disarry.  Humans carry off everything!  LOL
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 18, 2019, 03:12:22 PM
Such a brash neighbor!  How long were you all away?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on April 19, 2019, 07:15:21 PM
It was before we lived here.   We bought the farm when we were young and camped here for years, and it was during that time when we came here on weekends, gardened, and went back to work in the city every Sunday night.  Neighbor probably had a pulse on our goings and comings.  Thankfully he's gone now.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 20, 2019, 04:47:53 AM
Good riddance  :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on April 26, 2019, 01:11:13 AM
I wonder why yours disappeared for a while?

Am thinking of setting live animal traps around at night, and then releasing them on a game preserve.  I hear that groundhogs are very fond of honeydew melon when used as bait... 8)

(https://media0.giphy.com/media/TJ2VQI9IgZ3O/giphy.gif)

That's a wonderful idea to trap without harming, and freeing. :)
glad you will do that...
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on April 26, 2019, 01:13:01 AM
Oh no, don't remind me of the ground hog issue.  Decades ago our garden was raided somewhat by a family of them.  They actually at times would sit at the edge of the garden and watch us work.  Then when we went back to St. Louis, they'd dig in. 

Hadn't seen any for years and then last year and very recently, we have seen one. 

Well, my sympathies to you if you have holes all over your yard, as that means there's more than one, and possibly several families.  Yikes.  Good luck dealing with them, as I have no idea whatsoever on how to stop them.

I suppose in the pioneer day they would have ended up in the big soup pot.
Various creatures, all of them considered edible at that time. Noisy crows, squirrels, possum, all in the pot. :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 26, 2019, 03:56:58 AM
I have read that groundhogs make nice steaks, entirely free from diseases that afflict other game, but a friend of mine says they still taste "gamey."  ;)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: Yowbarb on April 26, 2019, 09:39:17 PM
I have read that groundhogs make nice steaks, entirely free from diseases that afflict other game, but a friend of mine says they still taste "gamey."  ;)

:)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on April 27, 2019, 05:04:12 AM
Maybe brining the meat first in a marinade might help to remove the "gaminess?"  The salted broth in the stew pot might accomplish the same thing?

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSWMptu1u6N8pHB4QanNdYVd-FT1kGHrluDEzR25esJiZx79h2RRg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 22, 2019, 09:18:25 AM
Revisiting how the seeds sown in peat pots and placed in zip-lock bags turned out:

https://planetxtownhall.com/index.php/topic,6424.msg111509.html#msg111509

All successfully germinated and grew into nice little seedlings, but at very differing rates:  The tomatoes were ready to plant out after only a few weeks of being sown on April 15, and were easily able to withstand temps dropping to 40oF.  The peppers, still in their protective bags, have been much slower, and are only just now arriving at a size suitable for planting out in the elements, so nearly 6 weeks of germination and sprouting time for them.

The "Bangles Blend" sweet pepper seedlings from High-Mowing Seeds are significantly ahead of the barely sprouted "Mini Belles:"

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47909365011_e99fa9eeae.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fZA25F)

A phone chat with Ilinda reassured me that delayed growth on the part of the peppers is normal, and that they would take off and catch up with the tomatoes as soon as the weather warms up sufficiently.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on May 22, 2019, 09:44:22 AM
An evaluation of our potato harvest from late last summer / early autumn, as well as overwintered potato seed in the root cellar, has convinced me that in the manner of keeping sunchokes perpetually, it may be best to overwinter at least some of the potato seed stock in the ground, especially in raised beds.

Though I had thought I'd removed all or most of the potatoes from the garden which became the cranberry patch last fall, having assumed that there was a bit too much shade in that spot for spuds, I was astounded at how many Purple Peruvian potato plants came up strongly and boldly this spring among the cranberries. 

Of course they had to be plucked up, as I was reluctant to dig around for them even by hand amidst the delicate mountain cranberry blossoms at their pollination peak, so decided to begin anew with a fresh 5-lb seed potato order in a sunnier raised bed.  The abandoned taters will not be wasted, as they will feed the soil while composting.

Since the Purple Peruvians have proven to be fully perennial even in winters that dip below zero in January, I'm thinking of allowing the mother potatoes to colonize the new bed and form lots of healthy mycelium, and waiting to harvest until 2020.

If anyone might like to place an order this late for that American land-race, I found organic potato seed still available from Irish Eyes in Washington state in 1#, 2# and 5# batches:

https://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/

(https://positivelysustainable.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Peruvian-Purple-Potato-table.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on May 29, 2019, 08:17:35 PM
Amazing potato, that Purple Peruvian.  And interestingly we had similar fortune in growing it, as you did.  Further, IIRC, we did also get our original order from Irish Eyes.

In summer of 2018, I had way too many sprouted Purple Peruvians that I still hadn't planted, so planted some on July 17, and then a bit later planted more in another bed (August, IIRC).  The July planting did produce a crop, although smaller than if I would have planted earlier.  But the later planted ones did send up plant tops and were looking really healthy (still no flowering) when it got cold and frosted.

So I dumped a bunch of old hay on top of the bed, mashing down the plants, and covered it all with poultry wire, then layered anoter bunch of old hay, basically "putting them to bed for the winter".  Didn't have a clue about what would happen "next year", which is now, but will say that these potatoes did all germinate and have produced very healthy plants.  Right now am just waiting for flowering and the dying back, to see what kind of harvest we'll get.  After all they were planted in late summer, then cold weather set in, tops covered heavily, and went dormant for winter.

Update to follow, as I believe this Purple Peruvian is really a winner of a potato.

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 13, 2019, 10:32:52 AM
Quickly revisiting the northern tomato seed project:

Here's the order of size of the plants, as of today, June 13:

Cosmonaut Volkov, the Russian variety, is the tallest and bushiest.

Stupice, the Polish variety, is a very close second.

Bloody Butcher, a North American strain, is in third place for growth.

Glacier from Sweden is last, still very small, but may thrive in the autumn.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 13, 2019, 06:58:39 PM
Quickly revisiting the northern tomato seed project:

Here's the order of size of the plants, as of today, June 13:

Cosmonaut Volkov, the Russian variety, is the tallest and bushiest.

Stupice, the Polish variety, is a very close second.

Bloody Butcher, a North American strain, is in third place for growth.

Glacier from Sweden is last, still very small, but may thrive in the autumn.
This is good.  And at season's end, hope you will post a final comparison.  Yours may be the first tomato growing comparison posted here on PXTH.

 From this end, I hope to post an update on the overall results of the three separate beds of Purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes.
1)  Bed #1 was planted late summer 2018, but cold weather came before plants flowered, so I piled thick hay on top of entire bed, literally smothering the plants, approximately in October, but they began growing again in early spring 2019, and are now flowering big time;
2)  Bed #2 was planted April 27, 2019 and is flowering now, but plants are not as tall or robust as in bed #1;
3)  Bed #3 was planted 6-11-19.

Update to follow after all plants have flowered, died back, then dug.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 14, 2019, 04:35:12 AM
That's an exciting project Ilinda.  Will take a wild guess and speculate that Bed #1 will thrive, due to this strain's unusual perennial habit and the head start with mycorrhizal formations underground?

We shall see... :) 
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 20, 2019, 02:56:54 PM
Here is a first-generation farmer from Michigan who provided a tour of his late-summer vegetable garden a couple of years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1b_sCwlIQM

What I found helpful about this film:

*It was interesting to see what he was growing from seed up in Michigan, as well as what performed well for him and what didn't

*He made a very important point that we should be planting much more of everything than we think we'll need, because some of it will fail.  Also, I got the impression from the discussion that after years of not getting peppers to perform, planting many more of them may have helped with pollination. 

*If an entire crop fails, might want to consider not including it in the future.

*It was interesting to see what crops were still at their peak of production in late summer, and which ones were already done for the growing season.

*He discusses a no-hoe method of creating paths between crops.

*Comparison of non-toxic methods of pest control

*He makes an important point about saving seeds for the future:  The weather had interfered with saving seeds from one particular crop for seven straight years in a row (they were moldy, I believe he said), so we cannot depend on future seed-saving, and I infer that we need to save more seed than we expect we'll need in years when seed-saving is favorable.  Perhaps a substantial number of plants in each crop will need to be allowed to go to seed, meaning all of that ground is left alone for a time?

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YPrXx2i-Dk8/maxresdefault.jpg)

Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on June 21, 2019, 09:03:27 PM
Here is a first-generation farmer from Michigan who provided a tour of his late-summer vegetable garden a couple of years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1b_sCwlIQM

What I found helpful about this film:

*It was interesting to see what he was growing from seed up in Michigan, as well as what performed well for him and what didn't

*He made a very important point that we should be planting much more of everything than we think we'll need, because some of it will fail.  Also, I got the impression from the discussion that after years of not getting peppers to perform, planting many more of them may have helped with pollination. 

*If an entire crop fails, might want to consider not including it in the future.

*It was interesting to see what crops were still at their peak of production in late summer, and which ones were already done for the growing season.

*He discusses a no-hoe method of creating paths between crops.

*Comparison of non-toxic methods of pest control

*He makes an important point about saving seeds for the future:  The weather had interfered with saving seeds from one particular crop for seven straight years in a row (they were moldy, I believe he said), so we cannot depend on future seed-saving, and I infer that we need to save more seed than we expect we'll need in years when seed-saving is favorable.  Perhaps a substantial number of plants in each crop will need to be allowed to go to seed, meaning all of that ground is left alone for a time?

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YPrXx2i-Dk8/maxresdefault.jpg)
Definitely need to watch the video as he sounds like he's on target. 

And seedsaving is going to be crucial.  I almost lost my beet seed and how have a substantial stand of seed beets planted in the same garden as the beets for eating.  As the guy points out seed can be lost and unless you know someone nearby who saves the same thing, you may never be able to grow it again.  Scary proposition! 

Weather is definitely making itself known in gardening/growing circles.  As you suggested re my parsnips, it was the constant rain this past winter that caused my parsnip seeds planted in December to perform so poorly, i.e., to have such low germination rates.  They were soaking all winter long in cold water, sometimes freezing, and other times alternately freezing and not freezing.  Poor seeds didn't know what to do.  Per your suggestion, next parsnip crop won't be planted till late January or early February, after most of the winter rains are finished.

The guy couldn't get a crop for seven years!  That is amazing that he even continued to try.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on June 22, 2019, 06:10:56 AM
Good for you Ilinda, for expanding your beet crop to hedge your bet.

Am not sure whether he had no crop at all for 7 years, or if maybe the weather was unfavorable for it setting seed that was salvageable?  Either way, I guess that would have meant purchasing seed all over again each time.

So his advice would seem to run somewhat counter to those who advocate squeezing every bit of harvest out of the land each year via succession planting, which would involve ripping a finished crop out and sowing another one immediately.

Seems another way of hedging our bets would be to mix permaculture with seed crops, so that something is always cropping in the garden, even if not everything produces in a given year?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 10, 2019, 03:03:12 PM
For those who live in Southern U.S. planting zones 8 and 9, it's time to get your fall and winter crop seeds in the ground, if you intend to plant cole crops, etc.  :)

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vegetablegardener.com%2Fassets%2Fuploads%2Fposts%2F5545%2Fkg29-california-garden-14_lg.jpg&f=1)
A winter vegetable garden in southerly temperate latitudes
of the Northern Hemisphere
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 10, 2019, 06:43:49 PM
For those who live in Southern U.S. planting zones 8 and 9, it's time to get your fall and winter crop seeds in the ground, if you intend to plant cole crops, etc.  :)

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vegetablegardener.com%2Fassets%2Fuploads%2Fposts%2F5545%2Fkg29-california-garden-14_lg.jpg&f=1)
A winter vegetable garden in southerly temperate latitudes
of the Northern Hemisphere
Perfect timing.  Been planning to plant a fall turnip patch but it's been so long since we've grown turnips as a late season crop.  Would August 1 or so be a good time?  IIRC, turnips don't take nearly as long as some crops, so even if 60 days that would take them up to October 1, and imagine they will continue going until a frost or two.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 11, 2019, 05:17:12 AM
Having never sown turnips, I can't answer that question, but hope you'll experiment and then report back :)

But after looking at this buttered turnip recipe, I might just be persuaded to plant some!

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ffood.fnr.sndimg.com%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Fimages%2Ffood%2Ffullset%2F2016%2F3%2F19%2F0%2FRF0602H_Butter-Roasted-Turnips_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.406.305.suffix%2F1458569959582.jpeg&f=1)
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nancy-fuller/butter-roasted-turnips-3279832
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 11, 2019, 08:08:43 PM
Looks easy enough:  turnips, garlic, thyme, black pepper and butter.  Also sort of mouthwatering!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 22, 2019, 07:40:03 AM
Back to the tomato comparison:

Glacier and Bloody Butcher are at this point eliminated from the trial, having only put on growth measurable in inches.  Glacier may need a longer day length appropriate to Arctic summers?

Here are Stupice on the left and Volkov on the right, with both producing green fruit presently.  Volkov is becoming gangly at this point, and I've had to prune several bottom branches off of it.  The tire planter idea was from Solani:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48346973722_be4e908c2d_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gEfSUs) (https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48346837471_b0eea98bdd_n.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gEfbpi)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 22, 2019, 11:09:19 AM
Follow-up on the mini-sweet-pepper trial:

Bangles Blend is still a bit ahead of Mini-Belle in growth and had a 100% germination rate compared with an 83% germination rate for Mini-Belle.  Overall growth rate for both has been slow, and since they are frost-tender perennials, am thinking of moving them in early October into extra-large zip-lock bags to a sunny indoor location for the winter to give them a head start next spring, as yet another trial.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48346937882_953325a323.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gEfGfw)
A tulip poplar tree seedling has snuck into this planting bed, which needs to be weeded out :)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 22, 2019, 12:20:56 PM
These seed/plant trials are really what is needed--we read all these glowing ads in various catalogs and articles, but really need to know what a given plant does in the real world, as reported by a real person!  Thanks for keeping your comparisons going and reporting them here.

Now for one of my comparisons:
As mentioned before my Zelenolistnaja 42 beets showed rather poor germination this year, but the survivors are growing nicely.  The strange thing is that because of the germination problem, I planted five, yes 5, other beet varieties in the same soil and they germinated poorly as well, and in fact some even worse.

The varieties are Robushka, Feuer Kugel, Golden, MacGregor, and Three Root Griex.  It appears that ZERO Feuer Kugel, ZERO golden, only 1 Three Root Griex, and a few stragglers of MacGregor survive, while there may be about 10 Robushka.  But it should be noted that a few did peek through the ground, but not all of them survived.

So, am wondering what is going on with beets this year.  My separate seed beet crop, is not a disaster, but could have been.  The rule of thumb is to plant 6-12 of your best saved roots the following spring for seeds, which I did, but checked yesterday to weed the bed and discovered most of the roots had rotten in the ground.  Was it because they were too close together?  I plant them close, then cage them or the wildlife will gnaw away at the roots till there's not much left.  At least there are some seed stalks on the 2-3 remaining beets.  This will mean reduced genetic diversity if these seeds are not interplanted with the same variety from a different year.  Always something to learn, eh?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 22, 2019, 01:17:08 PM
That's quite a quandary Ilinda.  Am guessing that the seed supply is completely organic?  Were they winter-sown?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on July 25, 2019, 07:19:00 PM
That's quite a quandary Ilinda.  Am guessing that the seed supply is completely organic?  Were they winter-sown?
Yes, all the other beet varieties are/were organic.  They were sown not too long after the Zelenolistnaja 42 beet which I always grow.  The best guess I can make is that since beets don't germinate too well in hot weather, possibly the temps has risen enough that the other five did not germinate readily, due only to temperatures, but not to fact of being deficient in some way.  I'll not likely plant any of those varieties again.

I do plan to contact the USDA, as someone in seed circles stated that anyone can obtain seeds from the USDA's own seed bank, so that is next.  Update to follow.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on July 26, 2019, 09:49:56 AM
I wonder if your Missouri Ag Extension agency might have some information about the experiences of other farmers in your area with those and other beets?  There could be an issue arising that needs to be shared among growers maybe?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 18, 2019, 05:42:14 PM
Pictured is the harvest from one volunteer potato plant, which grew from a potato I accidentally left in the ground while harvesting potatoes last year.  The question is always this:  why is it that with careful digging, planting, mulching, weeding, more mulcing, my volunteers are always more prolific than those I plant!   
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 18, 2019, 05:56:00 PM
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 19, 2019, 01:28:12 PM
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 20, 2019, 10:56:51 AM
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48586184427_8bf00977e3_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h2oTUX)
As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 20, 2019, 01:20:01 PM
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.

My own experience is that Purple Peruvians don't root cellar well.  Have you had better luck?  Am thinking of trying the sandbox method this winter, but will need to cover it since the cats like to explore down there... ::)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 21, 2019, 09:30:29 AM
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48586184427_8bf00977e3_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h2oTUX)
As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
Truly beautiful specimens.  Have you made a list of characteristics of tomatoes in general, such as taste/flavor,  sweetness, hardiness, ease of growing, productivity, best use such as drying or canning, etc.?  It would be interesting to compare them like that.  Judging from their size, the stupice might be good for salads, and the Cosmonaut Volkov for slicing?

Nice work!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 21, 2019, 09:40:11 AM
Astounding Ilinda!  Maybe the volunteers are so successful because they've actually had 2 seasons to establish themselves, creating a network of mycelium in order to wick up and utilize probiotics from the soil (per Matt Powers) which supposedly make minerals bio-available to the plants?

(Did I get that sequence right?)
Good point about the extended time they have to sequester minerals and other nutrients from the soil.  It makes me think it might be a good idea to plant at least part of the 2020 seed potatoes this fall, then compare them to the rest of the bed which won't be planted until around April-May 2020, all of which will be harvested around August to September, 2020.

On a related note, I had three beds of Purple Peruvian potatoes this year, and have only dug one.  The oldest bed was the one planted in late 2018, which didn't have time to flower and mature, so I just buried it under lots and lots of hay for this past winter.  They have mostly flowered, and could be dug now, but after reading about optimum temperature for potato storage in Carol Deppe's book, The Resiliant Gardener, I decided to wait as long as possible, so that when the last two beds are dug, it will be cool enough that they can sit in a back, unheated room.  So much to think about.

My own experience is that Purple Peruvians don't root cellar well.  Have you had better luck?  Am thinking of trying the sandbox method this winter, but will need to cover it since the cats like to explore down there... ::)
Our root cellar has not been redone yet, so we just store potatoes in a back, unheated room, that stays just above freezing when it's really cold, and will still remain very cool once the weather changes, so that back room is perfect for Purple Peruvian.  However I'd love the root cellar for large potatoes.

Last year I had several boxes (the size of old-fashioned beer boxes holding 24 cans) full of the Purple P. potatoes, lying in monolayer, with boxes stacked on top each other, and all was covered with cloth for added darkness.  They remained looking in perfect condition even when they were ready to plant.  The only difference I noticed by April is that many were sprouting.  Good.  Hope it works again this year.

Does your root cellar work good for large potatoes?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 21, 2019, 09:46:44 AM
Well, what I refer to as the "root cellar" is really an unheated garage that's partly underground.  Have had success in the past with crates of vegies like you described, with shallow layering. 

Last fall I placed the harvested purple Peruvians in single layers on wood & wire stacking bins, and kept them in the cool and dark down there, but they still rotted within a couple of months.  That could be due to the fact that other wire stacking bins nearby had apples and onions, and maybe the ripening gasses from those affected the potatoes?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 21, 2019, 09:47:12 AM
Here's a comparison between Cosmonaut Volkov (left) and Stupice (right) tomatoes:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48586184427_8bf00977e3_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h2oTUX)
As you can see, the Russian Cosmonaut tomato is beefsteak-size, while Stupice produces golf-ball size.  Both vines are equally sprawling right now, and really should have been pruned weeks ago.  Both are also ripening at the same time.
Truly beautiful specimens.  Have you made a list of characteristics of tomatoes in general, such as taste/flavor,  sweetness, hardiness, ease of growing, productivity, best use such as drying or canning, etc.?  It would be interesting to compare them like that.  Judging from their size, the stupice might be good for salads, and the Cosmonaut Volkov for slicing?

Nice work!

Thanks Ilinda!

That's a good thought.  My issue with growing slicing tomatoes is that they begin to ripen here in late August, just when I'm nearly ready to transition my meal plan away from summer salads and cold sandwiches (we don't use the oven in summer except briefly to melt cheese!).  So I'm getting ready to blanch a batch of these, remove their skins, and either sauce or dice them for winter stews.

The main reason that I'm trialing these is because, since I don't start getting ripe tomatoes until less than two months to our usual first frost date, I'm hoping that these hardier types will continue bearing for a while beyond that point.  And I may need to bring the picked tomatoes indoors to ripen for a while in later Autumn.

What is your experience with that issue in your location?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 22, 2019, 08:49:46 AM
Well, what I refer to as the "root cellar" is really an unheated garage that's partly underground.  Have had success in the past with crates of vegies like you described, with shallow layering. 

Last fall I placed the harvested purple Peruvians in single layers on wood & wire stacking bins, and kept them in the cool and dark down there, but they still rotted within a couple of months.  That could be due to the fact that other wire stacking bins nearby had apples and onions, and maybe the ripening gasses from those affected the potatoes?
They say apples and potatoes don't store well together due to the ethylene gas that ripening apples emit, which then causes potatoes to ripen (rot).  Have always wondered if there might be a way to sequester the apples from potatoes in the same "cellar". 

Just looked up molecular weights and oddly enough ethylene gas and dry air have about the same weight, eliminating the likelihood that one would sink and the other would rise, in relation to the other.  So sad that you lost all that produce!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 23, 2019, 03:23:26 PM
I actually didn't let it go bad past the beginning of soft spots - managed to cook the good portions up all at once, thankfully!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 23, 2019, 06:34:33 PM
Today I spent literally hours online searching for info. on public access to the USDA seed accessions.  Followed many links, to no avail.  Am looking for the special beet, Zelenolistnaja 42 which is a variety I've grown for years, but now am concerned about "inbreeding recession".

Will contact our local university extension office to see if they can steer me in the right direction, which I think you had suggested weeks ago!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 24, 2019, 04:41:01 PM
I've made special written requests to the USDA in the past and never heard back from them!  Maybe Seed Savers?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 25, 2019, 11:09:45 AM
I've made special written requests to the USDA in the past and never heard back from them!  Maybe Seed Savers?
Bingo!  I did manage to find the old SSE seed yearbook for a year in which that beet was listed.  Can't believe the information was right here all this time and in a cleaning frenzy I/we had threatened to throw away a lot of old magazines including SeedSavers Exchange yearbooks!

Interestingly, it appears that SSE came into possession of the Zelenolistnaja 42 beet and offered it, then a "Listed Member" offered it, as I had bought it from the listed member.  The listing description reads:

Zelenolistnaja 42     green leaves have beautiful dark red veins, leaves of mature plants are quite large--up to 8 wide at the base and up to 9" long, beets are dark burgundy, can be harvested at any size,  when allowed to overwinter (and for seed production) these beets can grow as large as giant mangels,  currently offered seeds are second generation from those at Heritage Farm (from Iowa Seed Savers Exchange), originally from the world-famous seed bank at Gatersleben in the former East Germany: IPK), original seeds were given to SSE in the mid-1990's during seed collecting expeditions to the former East Block countries, this beet was said to have come from the USSR.  SSE BEET 114.

So now there's a trail to explore and fingers are crossed that someone, somewhere will still be growing this or have its seeds in cold storage.  Also I note that the leaves can be even longer than the 9" stated in its description.  It's definitely worth maintaining such a versatile and nutritious crop, which incidentally is much more amenable to cooler climates.  It tolerates summer heat, but enjoys moderate and even cool temps.  Thanks for listening everyone and anyone!   LOL
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 25, 2019, 02:20:49 PM
East Germany - No wonder it's so rare now.  Sounds like a very valuable crop for Northerners during the GSM!

What are mangels?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on August 25, 2019, 06:39:09 PM
Youtube channel Homestead Family, located in northern Idaho, shares its list of 20 crops that can be grown in Autumn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwGhlG0zRpY

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MwGhlG0zRpY/hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEjCPYBEIoBSFryq4qpAxUIARUAAAAAGAElAADIQj0AgKJDeAE=&rs=AOn4CLATjUbcRKWFwKZqiA4hVyrhGfa1NQ)
They make an important point in the film: Our earliest frost or few frosts often represent a false start to winter from a harvest perspective, and if we can just get our seed crops through that hurdle, we might be able to extend the growing season another full month, which then extends the length of time we can feed ourselves and our family on fresh, rather than preserved food.

They also suggest trying something new each year for variety, and especially mention some new fruit-flavored radishes!

(https://www.rareseeds.com/assets/1/14/DimRegular/Radish-Shawo-Green-meat-LSS-DSC_7240.jpg)
Chinese Shawo Fruit Radish


Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on August 26, 2019, 07:15:14 PM
East Germany - No wonder it's so rare now.  Sounds like a very valuable crop for Northerners during the GSM!

What are mangels?
They are considered a fodder beet,, are very sweet and also delicious.  I used to grow them  (both yellow and red) and they grew well for years then they seemed to not do so well.  The source of my seed was somewhere in B.C., and their climate was much cooler, I think, than here, and maybe the years they seemed to peter out were too warm here.  They can get truly huge!  Worth a try for some areas, I believe Pennsylvania included.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 05, 2019, 09:48:55 AM
Good to know Ilinda - Thank you!
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on September 05, 2019, 10:07:37 AM
For those areas that are beginning to cool down in anticipation of Autumn, now is an ideal time to be focusing upon salad greens in the garden, for a number of reasons:

1. Damaging insects such as cabbage moths are winding down their reproduction for the year

2. Cooler highs mean less likelihood of plants bolting, in which they send up a gangly seed stalk in lieu of producing a nice bouquet of leaves

3. Home-grown greens can begin to replace summer's bounty for fresh eating

4. Now that earlier seed-sown garden crops have already been harvested, space becomes available for succession planting.

5. Baby greens take up relatively little space, and can be kept near the house for ease of tending

6. With a cloth draped over them during frosts, they may withstand the cold all the way up to Thanksgiving in the North

It can be both fun and nutritious to mix up a bunch of different cultivars for fall eating.  Here's what took over this 2 x 4 raised planting bed just outside the kitchen door:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48684138962_263ec866be.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hb3Wof)
Included in this mix under protective mesh are curly endive, bolt-resistant red butterhead lettuce, arugula, escarole, Ruby lettuce, and heat-tolerant Muir lettuce for those Indian summer days.
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 08, 2019, 12:29:53 PM
The verdict is in on the tomato seed trial:

Of the final two contenders, the Polish Czechoslovakian tomato, Stupice is the clear winner.  The runner-up was the Russian tomato, Volkov.

The superiority of Stupice became clear by the beginning of October, when Volkov virtually ceased producing, and what was produced ceased ripening on the vine due to some nights with temps here dropping down to the low 40s.

That did not deter Stupice one bit: The vines have continued both to produce and ripen at the same rate as in summer.  In addition, the golf-ball-sized tomatoes have been juicier than Volkov, and have managed to achieve a deep red, tender stage of ripening that Volkov couldn't reach without forming black spots after sitting in the basket for several days til needed.

Others may have different experiences with these tomatoes, but I'll definitely hope to be growing these again.  Will report back on the date when they stop producing for the year.

One other test won't be complete until a year or two from now: whether they can be grown in the same soil in subsequent years without forming a disease cycle.  If they can achieve that with help from my end on soil stewardship, then they will truly be one for the Ark  :)

(https://smhttp-ssl-17653.nexcesscdn.net/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/n/snv8198_1x.jpg)
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: ilinda on October 09, 2019, 10:40:27 AM
Stupice comes across like an amazing find.  Hubby grew it years ago but was not interested (at that time) in longevity or cold tolerance, but I'll show him your comments and when he gets back to gardening, am betting he will seek out this variety.

Isn't it amazing how much you learn when you closely examine and compare two varieties (of anything)?
Title: Re: SEEDS...
Post by: R.R. Book on October 09, 2019, 10:41:57 AM
It's true, and I can't wait to complete additional trials next summer!