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Using Seeds Normally Used For Forage  RSS feed

 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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Hi,
This is the second year I've bought forage-type seeds. I buy clover and carrot mostly, some oats last year that I'm still using. It's a little expensive since I go though a seed company and not a seller more aimed at large commercial entities. I'd like to bring that cost down but having a hard time finding a seller with big fat bags of weird forage seed.

I use the seeds mainly as a root/legume combo to bring life to the soil. I feel like it's working, although I haven't had much experience with it.

Here's this year's buy:
kg 1 Carrot
kg 2 White clover (Trifolium repens giganteum)
kg 1 Bird's-foot Trefoil GINESTRINO O LOTUS O VERIOLO (Lotus corniculatus)
kg 1 Yellow Clover MELILOTUS OFFICINALIS

This year I bought a big 1kg bag of this kind of beet:
http://rareseeds.com/giant-yellow-eckendorf-beet.html

I was wondering generally what people think about eating either the Carrot root or the root/leaf of the Beets, when the seed comes from a source mostly destined to animals.

If I can't eat it I won't be heartbroken, at least the soil critters will be happy.

I switched to these beets since my main root staple, Daikons, are now suspect due to radiation in Japanese daikon seed stock. If someone wants to comment on that, I'd be interested. Plus I had problems with Daikons bolting in the spring, so I'm saving what I have for the fall. I got a couple big daikons this spring, but I let the earth eat them.

Or any hints about buying cover crop seed in bulk. It seems to be one of my biggest problems.

Thanks,
William

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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William James wrote:
I switched to these beets since my main root staple, Daikons, are now suspect due to radiation in Japanese daikon seed stock. If someone wants to comment on that, I'd be interested. Plus I had problems with Daikons bolting in the spring, so I'm saving what I have for the fall. I got a couple big daikons this spring, but I let the earth eat them.

Or any hints about buying cover crop seed in bulk. It seems to be one of my biggest problems.

Thanks,
William



Try here for daikon seed in bulk from Fedco. I highly doubt the seed is coming from Japan (from any US company). I guess Daikon is better planted in the fall. I did also order Barkant Turnip to plant now and can be used like Daikon (ie left in the soil to decompose).
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Bulk seeds can get very expensive to ship. Check out seed & feed shops locally, as they might beat the online sources after you factor in the shipping/handling.

If you do buy online, try to find a supplier close to home, as shipping costs are dependent on weight/distance. What region are you located in?
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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I'm trying to go the local route. And, such as for the Oats, I actually was able (after much suffering) to get in contact with a wholesale seed company via their agent. I also made the 40 min trip to get the 40kg bag of oats, since they said they'd only have brought it to me if I had ordered a pallet load. It was a hard won bag of oats, but I'm still using it.

The main problem is that you say something like Daikon, Yellow Clover, or Bird's Foot Trefoil to a lot of these people and their face starts going into convulsions.

Hence the word "oats" which I thought would be so normal that anyone could get their head around, but even then it wasn't easy. Being young-looking and a non-farmer does not help in the slightest with these people.

I was pretty happy to find the beets as a potential daikon substitute, but I wonder if I could find it from anything other than this speciality seed store in small quantities and expensive prices.

I'm in northern italy. I've found some seed wholesaler's online but they don't seem to have what I need. I even found one dedicated to cover crops, but I looked at the catalogue and it was all cover crops that I wasn't planning on using.

I guess persistence is the key.

Anyway, about eating the beets and carrots?

Thanks for the help!

W
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I would be more comfortable eating any carrot or beet that I have grown myself than I would eating a carrot or beet from the grocery store - regardless of the source of the seed.

If they are not hybrids and you save your seed and/or allow it to re-seed itself (I do both) then you would eventually have a premium product that has adapted to your local climate and you would not have to keep purchasing it. Eventually this becomes 'free' food!
 
Cj Sloane
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William James wrote:I'm in northern italy.


It would have been extremely helpful if you had mentioned this upfront. Consider adding your location to your profile.
 
William James
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It would have been extremely helpful if...


Done.
 
Jordan Lowery
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why not start with eatable cultivars and let them self seed to repopulate your area. one carrot plant gone to seed will produce over 1000 seeds. and that will seed a pretty big area. clovers will self seed by itself.

that's what we do here. using plants to build soil, and gaining eatable food at the same time.
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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why not start with eatable cultivars and let them self seed to repopulate your area.

Well. Good question. I didn't start with edible cultivars in the first place because my main goal is soil improvement with these seeds. Eating them is kinda secondary or not in my mind at all. It just occurred to me that I might be able to thin out some plants by eating them, or eating the leaves (beets) and letting the root rot in the soil.

As for 1 carrot = 1000 seeds, I wanted to start with 1 kg of non-edible seeds to get things jumpstarted and be able to cover more surface area in the beginning years. Those edible cultivars come in little packages and don't have many seeds in them. Plus, my ground isn't ready for planting a carrot seed and hoping it digs deep enough to be edible. Most of them remain about 4 cm/a couple inches. Not exactly a winning carrot. And I didn't want to go the route of mound building and tilling either.

I felt I needed to start with non-edible seeds and then slowly move to edible cultivars over time. That way, when the ground is soft, the edible carrots will have an easier time.

At least that's the plan.

ps: the good thing about clover is that it sticks around. One patch from last year came back. Will eventually have to seed less of that, which is a good thing.
William
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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Good news. I went to our Farm Co-op to buy some burlap sacks and I saw in the warehouse they had big fat sacks of a forage mix that has clover. The even better news is that they might sell it for 3.50 euros a kg, which is about 12.50 euros less than I usually pay for the 1kg "hobby" version.

That at least solves the clover problem. Oats more or less have been solved. Only need better sources for carrots, daikon, and beets now.

Also found this online, sending the google translate version.

CoverCrop Mix

And it's somewhat organic. How great.
W
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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