L Munro wrote:would you recommend we continue waiting for a 2018 seed listing or change plans and make our US orders from one of the other Oregon seed houses who carry some of Carols excellent varieties?
Until further developments, I'd recommend alternate sources. Many of Carol's varieties are carried by growers with the open seed source initiative: http://osseeds.org
Some of my varieties are stable and consistent. Others are unstable, and inconsistent, for example Maximoss Squash, which is recently descended from an inter-species hybrid between maxima and moschata squash. It's a new project for me. Some of the plants are male-sterile, and thus don't produce male flowers, so I recommend that they be grown near a maxima and/or moschata pollinator. Due to the rearranging genetics, germination averages about 50%. I don't typically release seeds with such low germination, but this is experimental seed, and well worth the risk.
I am releasing Maximoss early in the breeding cycle, because I think that there is a lot of value in getting seed like this into as many hands as possible. People will select for things that I never would have thought to select for. Traits that I might eliminate in my garden may be just the thing that someone else is looking for. I want to switch traits between species, for example, what if someone finds a squash that has the glorious maxima taste that grows on a plant with the squash bug resistance of moschata squash? That would be really clever. What if someone finds a squash that combines the taste of a maxima with the long-necked traits of moschata? Or how about a long-keeping squash with the flavor of maxima? Hmmm. Can you tell that I am really impressed with the flavor of maxima squash?
Because of how I grew this seed, there is even a possibility that pepo or argyrosperma genetics got into the mix. Wow! The possibilities: Kobocha squash on bush plants? Summer squash that make excellent winter squash? Zucchini that are not bothered by squash bugs? And no telling what sorts of disease resistance might show up.
Anyway, I expect that a number of people that grow this out during the coming season will discover great new varieties, and ways to grow squash. That's what I do best: Create novelty. Then I pass that novelty on to others who select something more stable and consistent from among the diversity.
John: I have spent a lot of time and effort the past few years selecting for species and varieties with anti-freeze in their veins. As I like to think of it, for varieties that grow even when covered with snow. So far this year, we are enjoying a maritime influenced weather pattern, and have missed the cold arctic jet-stream blasts. Snow is a great insulator, and we had snow cover since December. Still, the ground here freezes, to an unknown depth, and all the plants pictured were able to survive that, and even grow through frozen ground. I have been eating fall planted spinach, parsley, and bok choi all winter. I've been really impressed with sorrel as a winter crop.
I planted the poppies too late. They germinated through the snow, and got way etiolated. Perhaps I'll see how they do. Perhaps I'll replant.
In addition to the domestic species, I have been paying attention to wild-things that grow during the winter.... We have sorrel, mallows, chickweed that are pretty much edible any time that they are not covered with snow. The sunroot tubers survive the winter outside.
The genetics keep getting more and more refined. We are able to grow peaches now even into zone 4b. Yay! Bit by bit, decade after decade, we grow trees from seeds, and gradually find combinations that extend the range of our favorite crops a little further north, and a little higher into the mountains. We find varieties that flower a little later in the spring, and avoid the early frosts more reliably.
In recent years, I have been changing my planting strategy, to plant as many crops as possible in the fall, so that they can take advantage of the moisture in the ground from the fall, winter, and spring precipitation. I have been screening lots of crops for winter hardiness, and making great progress.
Grace Gierucki wrote:how small is too small to leave for seed production? Unfortunately I already pulled the bigger parsnips and all thats left are ridiculously small ones.
By growing seed from the smallest parsnips, you will be tending to select for parsnips that are less productive in your garden. One of the great sadnesses for me while growing my own seed, is that the best of the best stays in the garden for seed production, and I take my seconds to farmer's market.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with pollen in honey. How much actually makes it into honey. What we might learn from it. Can you tell if honey has been pasteurized from the pollen. etc... I don't even know enough, about what I don't know, to even know where to start asking about this topic...
If peat, vermiculite, perlite, and coconut coir are off-limits, due to concern about fuel used to manufacture and/or transport them, or due to concern about mining/disrupting Earth's resources, then perhaps there are local resources that could be used and collected in a wheelbarrow or wagon. Some combination of soil, compost, and/or sand might work well. If I put damp soil in a closed container in the greenhouse, for a couple weeks during the hottest part of the summer, that more or less kills the weed seeds. The container can be something like a bucket or plastic bag. It helps to plan ahead to kill the weed seeds so that I can use the soil for starting plants the following spring. I can also minimize some types of weeds by putting soil in shallow containers, and keeping it watered and sometimes stirred for a few months before it's needed.
Here's a photo showing my fire mitigation strategy.
1- Mineral dirt only within 5 feet of the dwelling. That keeps a grass fire from catching the dwelling on fire.
2- No tree branches within 6 feet of the ground. This helps to stop a grass fire from catching the trees on fire. That worked well for this fire. The grass fire burned under the trees, but it didn't become a tree fire. I haven't finished the pruning yet, but eventually, all trees within several hundred feet are intended to be pruned in this manner.
3- No trees within 30 feet of the dwelling. That way, if a tree does catch on fire, it's far enough away that the radiant heat from it is unlikely to catch the curtains on fire. Eventually, I intend to cut some trees through about permaculture zone 2, so that no tree is within 30 feet of another tree. That will help to minimize fire jumping from tree to tree.
Another note. In this area, fire tends to run quickly uphill, and to work it's way slowly downhill. So with limited resources, focusing on areas downhill of the dwelling may produce a higher margin of safety. And in like manner, in an area with prevailing winds, fire tends to run with the wind, rather than against it.
My irrigation habits are very much influenced by my life... For example, I commute to the farm by bicycle. The round trip to my closest field is 14 miles. I'm reluctant to bike after dark. Therefore, if I turn on irrigation water at night, it stays on until morning. Our irrigation system is designed for sprinkle irrigation, 12 hours per week.
I irrigate the squash field in furrows. Therefore I stay in the field the whole time the irrigation water is running. Thus I like to irrigate the squash field in late evening just before sunset while there is some shade. The squash field doesn't have shade any other time of day.
Yes, irrigation washes pollen away, and promotes the growth of micro-organisms, and insects. But those are minor inconveniences compared to a plant that's dead from lack of water. Irrigation washes the desert dust off leaves, so they photosynthesize better, and it kills insects like aphids that harm the plants.
I am not an advocate of mulching large gardens. Because obtaining that much mulch requires mining the surrounding areas of organic material, which tends towards desertification of the mined areas.
I have a number of events planned for this winter, and would love to meet some of you.
9th West Farmer's Market Seed Swap/Sale Saturday February 3rd, 2018 4 to 7 PM ·
660 N 300 W
Salt Lake City, Utah I'm intending to bring with me most of the varieties from my current seed catalog, plus some free seeds that were left over from last year, or that people have gifted to me since the last swap.
9th Organic Seed Growers Conference February 16-17, 2018
Corvallis, Oregon I'm driving to the conference, so might be able to meet some of you along the way if you are near Missoula, Spokane, Seattle, Bend, Boise, Pendleton, etc. PM to see if we can make arrangements.
8th Annual Ogden Seed Exchange Seed Swap Saturday, February 24 10 AM - 12 PM
Ogden Preparatory Academy
1415 Lincoln Ave
Ogden, Utah I'm expecting to take many of the seeds from my catalog, plus plant starts like garlic, onions, and cactus. This is my favorite swap of the year, because it is well attended.
Cache Valley Seed Swap Saturday, March 17 10 AM - 1 PM
Salt Hollow Park,
200 N 300 W,
Hyrum, Utah Sweet and simple swap. No fuss.
OSU Alumni Center
725 SW 26th Street
Corvallis , Oregon
Following the Organic Seed Growers Conference, the Open Source Seed Initiative will be hosting casual breakfast roundtable conversation event. If you are a current OSSI partner, connect with other plant breeder and seed company partners. If you are new to OSSI, come learn more about what we do and how you can join our efforts to build a decentralized and open source plant breeding and seed system. Meet and talk with the plant breeders, seed companies and thinkers that make up the Open Source Seed Initiative community as well as representatives from international sister organizations in India, Zimbabwe, and Thailand.
The following OSSI partners and board members will be around to talk and answer your questions between 8:45am-11am (confirmed participants, more to come):
Carol Deppe, Plant Breeder/Fertile Valley Seeds
Frank Morton, Plant Breeder/Wild Garden Seed
Petra Page Mann, Fruition Seeds
CR Lawn, Founder of Fedco Seeds
Jack Kloppenburg, UW-Madison
Tom Michaels, Univeristy of MN, Plant Breeder
Irwin Goldman, UW-Madison, Plant Breeder
Don Tipping, Plant Breeder, Siskiyou Seeds
Gryphon Corpus, Irena Hollowell and Ken Bezilla -Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Claire Luby, Executive Director OSSI
Joseph Lofthouse, Plant Breeder
International guests from sister seed initiatives: Center for Sustainable Agriculture (India), Desi Seeds (India), Earth Net Foundation (Thailand) and The Zimbabwe Seed Sovereignty Programme.
That would be fine. I already started the thread for you. Pearl's Photos. It's in a private forum that you have access to, so it's not going to be bothering the search engines, and the photos are hidden from the general public until you link to them in a public post. Think of it as a perk of being a pollinator.
I suppose that if it's in the 50s, that the bees will be flying, so that seems like warm enough to me. You might try lifting the closed hive. See how heavy it is. If it's full of honey still, no need to open it at all.
Rebecca Norman wrote:The nutrients we produce in our urine and feces are largely equal to the nutrients we eat, and the nutrients required to add to land in order to produce the food we harvest off it are largely equal to the nutrients harvested. Another lovely cycle, like the water cycle.