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Seed exchange in Scandinavia  RSS feed

 
Posts: 45
Location: South/Southwestern Finland
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Hello!

I was wondering why we don't share seeds inside the scandinavia (or people who are interested to do so from outside), so I started this topic. If there is already one, please excuse me!
And by Scandinavia I of course mean the Nordic countries .

So what do people have/need? I am foraging for wild japanese quinces (Chaenomeles japonica) this fall, already know few good places, so their seeds I can definetely send. Apple scion wood I could send also, I love our old tree and it's taste. I collected also siberian pea shrub seeds, if anybody is interested?
Since I don't have that much to send, I am willing to pay a little bit for seeds of course. Especially if someone has hardy quinces (genus Cydonia) , I'd be MOST iterested. Also all kinds of nuts are things that interest me.

Regards, Janne from Southwestern Finland
 
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Wow, this is a great opportunity!

Some of my favourite seeds are from Finland.  I don't know what to call them, but basically, they are a kind of turnip that grows in recently cleared land and likes ash in the soil.  These are ready to eat in 4 to 6 weeks.  I think it's because there is such a short time between frosts, many Finnish plants are quick to mature.  Does this sound right?
 
Janne Lassila
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Could the plant be Brassica rapa, or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga ; ? It has been grown traditionally in recently burned areas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash-and-burn)  , very old type of farming in Finland.
Those seeds I don't need back though .
 
raven ranson
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Janne Lassila wrote:Could the plant be Brassica rapa, or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga ; ? It has been grown traditionally in recently burned areas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash-and-burn)  , very old type of farming in Finland.
Those seeds I don't need back though .



It could be.  I call them Ash-neeps because I don't understand the Finnish name.  They taste very sweet like turnips, they grow about 3 to 4 inches across, and are very flat, almost like someone sat on them.  They make the most amazing pickled turnips.  
 
Janne Lassila
Posts: 45
Location: South/Southwestern Finland
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raven ranson
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That's the one.  AMAZING TURNIPS (or turnip like objects).

I guess my point is that Finland has great seeds! 

I'll have a look in my seed collection and see what I have that might work for you.
 
Janne Lassila
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I collected these japanese quinces today, and I'm about to make marmelade this monday from some. I will have LOTS of those seeds to give away. Some are of thornless variety 'Sirius' , cultivated in Finland, others are from an unknown bush with thorns. Still, they produced quite nicely those thorned ones (majority of this is that).
I am trying to get northern variety of good nut trees, persimmons, true quinces, paw paws, and dream of growing a truebreed red mulberry one day here.
japaninruusukvittenit.jpeg
[Thumbnail for japaninruusukvittenit.jpeg]
 
Posts: 51
Location: Finland
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Hi  Janne­čśÇ, we are living about 35 klm from Savonlinna. Seed swap....brilliant, love it.
We grow most of our own veggies and the usual friuts,but not Japanese Quince,so we would love to give it a try.
We do have seeds but they are  flowers and veg. I can send a list if you are interested­čśÇ.
I would love a mulberry and some nut trees, but I think we are just too far north.
We have chickens and sheep, we grow extra winter squash for the sheep and pretty much everything else goes to the chickens­čśë.

 
Janne Lassila
Posts: 45
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Yeah, drop me a list of anything edible, for now I don't want to grow flowers. Well except something that attracts the bees!
I think that white mulberry might do okay there...and nuts, well,  just check http://www.taimet.net  ; , for some nut trees around you..veery close .

-Janne
 
Janne Lassila
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Gonna bump this up again, did you R Ranson and Nicola have some seeds, or is it too early still?

 
Posts: 23
Location: Eastern Norway
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In Norway, we have a group called Plantearven- or plant heritage.( It is currently in the business of changing its name thought.) It saves and grows heritage-plants
https://m.facebook.com/groups/1391231524517621
It might not be helpful for other countries, but worth a look for other Norwegians.

Maybe we should find, or start, a joint nordic group for seed exchange? Set rates for sending seeds in the mails and such? Whaddya think?
Anyone here who knows anything about any such groups already existing?
 
Janne Lassila
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I think it would be an excellent idea to unify our seed saving efforts here in the North...after all, we have quite unique climate being so north and relatively warm (compared to Alaska for example). And also to inform others of new and hardy cultivars, and how-and-where to get them. For example I just found out that there is a swedish cultivar of mulberry, morus 'Mulle' , that is close to morus nigra. And should be hardy enough for me to try it. But how and where to get it? My swedish is rusty enough that I for one can't be sure what nurseries will send plants abroad, even if we are neighbours .
You know, all these things would be super!
With a quick google I found this : https://myfolia.com/groups/539-nordic-seed-savers-and-swappers/swaps?page=1
But I am afraid that there are only few users. And of course dave's garden provides seed, plant and cuttings excange, but even there it is hard to find fellow nordics. SO should we form our own Facebook page, or try to activate existing ones?

-Janne
 
Tina Horsefield
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Location: Eastern Norway
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The page you linked to looks promising! The group has only 3 members it seems, so it would need a lot of new members to be efficient. But so would a new group.

Personally, I would like to breathe life back in existing groups, and help those, rather than start a new "competing" group
 
Janne Lassila
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Well I say let's do it and breathe life into it! I am going to try and apply something to exchange.
 
Tina Horsefield
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It's definitely worth a try
I'm going to register too.
 
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Make that 4! Hello all, a Scottish/Norwegian islander here
Really interested in the concept of seed exchange, but also native traditional build methods, friendship, being an extra pair of hands on projects etc
 
Janne Lassila
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Location: South/Southwestern Finland
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Great to have you along. I for one would like to travel and give my helping hand in building something. Excellent way to meet people, I think.
 
Lou Myriddn
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Hi Janne,
Thanks!
I agree, I'm working hard at the moment to secure funding for land, expecting to be able to purchase in the next 12 months and hoping to be able to subdivide it to allow a small community to develop. I'm very keen on exploring traditional farming (livestock, husbandry, and native arboriculture) and building methods to allow for the study of sustainable housing (ie full turn-key price of under 50k) and hope to meet and exchange with similar minds in our lovely 'north' it often is a lonely journey learning it by yourself!
Lou (louise)
 
Janne Lassila
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I wish you best of luck in finding suitable lands! I guess I am lucky, since I come from a farm(ish) place in the archipelago of Finland, and have plenty of fields to try different plantings etc. I've planted many nut and fruit trees, and going to plant even more, so I guess I am kind of preparing that place for me after my dad, for one reason or another, doesn't want to keep living there. For now I reside in Helsinki, where there are opportunities for green building and designing peoples yards more...ahem..permaculturish ways. Well at least that's my plan when I graduate as a gardener .
-Janne
 
Lou Myriddn
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Thank you
It sounds beautiful (your home), a lot for you to care for but its amazing to hear of your love for it!
The island where I am from is very hard to buy land, sadly it is very expensive due to the tourist trade, however I know the piece of land I am meant to look after is out there waiting for me somewhere, I just have got to find it and the people who will benefit from it too
I loved being able to spend lots of time in Finland a few years ago, truly a magical place, and from my readings today it seems an excellent place to farm!
If you ever need help when you return home after you graduate I'd be more than happy to help!
I'm working in the UK at the moment for a young persons charity (saving money) and hope to in the future be able to help as many people as possible
It's lovely getting to know people here!
Louise x
 
Lou Myriddn
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Ps Facebook group sounds an excellent idea
 
Janne Lassila
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I'll post this here, and also in the folia Nordic seed swap group: Yesterday I was going to lunch, but I opened the wrong door (the restaurant was the next door), only to find that I had ventured to a vegetarian cafe that served lunch made from food that they ordered from a local farm, directly. And there sat one of the gardeners of that farm. He had a red beard, I have a red beard, we talked. In the end he gave me 2 kilos of broad beans (Vicia faba), cultivar 'Kontu', a Finnish cultivar. He gave it for free! Said "here's something to grow".

Soo now I have really a lot more broad beans than I could possibly need in my gardens! I'm open for a swap, especially in different cultivars, since I want to try landracing that (thanks for J. Lofthouse, you are an inspiration!). Of course I am very keen to get anything else too

-Janne
 
pollinator
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yup beware blokes with red beards

says man with red beard

David
 
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Hi,

I would just like to bump this again, how has the seed exchange gone so far?

I am looking at moving to Finland at the start of 2019 and am looking at starting my own food forest from scratch. Anyone in the Lahti area?
 
pollinator
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If you're still looking for quince tree seeds I have some whole quinces in my freezer.  Not sure that keeping the fruit frozen is ok for the seeds, but very well might be.  Happy to send them your way, just PM me.  If they don't work out I can send more in the fall.  Cheers!
 
Janne Lassila
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Evan Lyons wrote:Hi,

I would just like to bump this again, how has the seed exchange gone so far?

I am looking at moving to Finland at the start of 2019 and am looking at starting my own food forest from scratch. Anyone in the Lahti area?



Well hehe..It has been totally quiet . I've been busy bee sharing graft material, and not so much of seeds. I am from Helsinki, so it is quite near to go to Lahti, do you have some seeds that you need?

-Janne
Oh and if the quince message was for me, I'd have to say that those seeds I don't need right now thanks.
 
Posts: 62
Location: Fryslân, Netherlands
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Seed exchange with Scandinavia would interest me. My summers are colder, 16┬░C is my average temperature at the height of summer. My winters are warmer than the Scandinavian ones.

I did actually grow a Finnish field bean last year, called Hankkijas Mikko. If anybody in Finland has some info about this bean I would like to hear it!
Also just sharing info about seeds would interest me.
The country I live in is pretty good for seeds in general, and when I can grow something in my cold and short summer it should also do fine in most of Scandinavia, not all of it, I must admit, but I think I would have good seeds for most Scandinavians.

I'm in a busy time right now due to family circumstances, but I thought to just drop this post here (and that way I can always find the thread back again as well).
 
Janne Lassila
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J Grouwstra wrote:Seed exchange with Scandinavia would interest me. My summers are colder, 16┬░C is my average temperature at the height of summer. My winters are warmer than the Scandinavian ones.

I did actually grow a Finnish field bean last year, called Hankkijas Mikko. If anybody in Finland has some info about this bean I would like to hear it!



Hi!
From what I could gather, Vicia faba 'Mikko' is evolved from old heritage varieties from eastern Finland, and it is the oldest listed commercial broadbean in Finland. I have two years old 'Kontu' also, I haven't checked how well will it germinate. It is the most profilic and early of our Vicia faba. I can send you some, if you are interested in trying.

-Janne
 
Posts: 129
Location: Maritimes , Eastern Canada
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Good to see this thread!
I have connections to Scandinavia(Denmark and Norway) Living in Maritimes , eastern Canada, very similar climate.
I was not aware of the broad beans , good job you are doing Janne to keep these things going. So much heritage is disappearing.
Happy planting !
 
J Grouwstra
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Janne, thanks for the info on the Mikko.
I've sent you a swap request on 'Folia'. I would expect 2 years old beans still to give a very decent rate of germination.
 
J Grouwstra
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I'm gaining more knowledge about Finnish broad beans! It turns out 'Mikku' and 'Kontu' are both releases from plant breeding company 'Hankija'. Landraces have been gathered between 1969 and 1974 in the south-east of Finland, and with these they started testing, selecting on earliness and small seed size - small, because small seeds dry easier.
From this program 3 beans were released: 'Mikko' in 1977, 'Ukko' in 1984 and 'Kontu' in 1997. Kontu has improved earliness, with a growing season of just 107 days.
It must be that the Finnish summer is very short, shorter than I thought, to make a short growing season important. Where I live this is also an issue with many crops, but not so much broad beans. By the way; these Finnish beans wouldn't be called 'broad beans' where I live, only the much broader sized beans are called that here.

'Mikko' and 'Kontu' are about the same size, the main difference  in appearance is what Hankija considered an 'improved seed colour'. I believe I personally prefer the near-black of the Mikku. Here I'm holding a few seeds of both; the Kontu has the lighter colour (ignore the bean furthest right; that's just a blister):


I'm looking forward to growing these. The Kontu I received in a swap with Janne, I hope my package has also arrived safely. I'm open to more swapping, and I would love to have more of these Scandinavian varieties!
 
Mark Deichmann
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Interesting !

I didn't imagine the colour and size to be like that.

Interesting with the objectives of the breeders. The small size for drying as the summers can end quickly and get very wet , so I can see how something pea sized would be more successful.

Thanks for sharing !
 
J Grouwstra
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I suspect the small size purely serves the interest of commercial growers. The best info on these beans I found here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322860931_There_is_hope_for_faba_bean_cultivation_Grain_Legumes_Magazine_56_4.
There it reads, "Selection at the Hankkija Plant Breeding Institute was then practiced for earliness and also for small seed size in order to enhance efficient post harvest drying, since crops are generally harvested around 25% moisture content and energy for drying of seed is, in most parts of Finland, the largest single component of energy consumption in a cropping cycle. Small seeds also present less of a challenge to sowing and harvesting machinery than large seeds might."
It often happens that commercial growers are looking for different characteristics in a crop than home growers, and I think this is a good example. I just leave beans in the attic if I want to dry them, and they'll be dry next season, no matter how big they are. If they're smaller, it'll be more work harvesting them; I don't think anyone growing for hobby or self-sustainment is interested in a smaller sized bean.

About the colour I can add that the Mikko was already dark like this when I harvested. The common, large broad beans I know are green when harvested, but will turn pale or brown when dried. This black colour on the Mikko was there from the moment I picked them, and I quite like it.
 
Mark Deichmann
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Interesting about the size.

I see your point about the larger beans better for home growing, that has been my experience as well. I like the tall /pole beans for that reason, they are up high on what becomes a "drying rack" .

I wonder if the small dark beans are not descended from  "black turtle " beans?
 
J Grouwstra
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I don't think that's possible. Broad beans are 'Vicia faba' and originally European. 'Phaseolus vulgaris' are new world beans and unrelated to the European ones.
Until America was discovered the only bean present in Europe was the broad bean. Some people say 'Ficia faba' shouldn't be called a bean.
 
Mark Deichmann
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Thanks, yes I rather suspected there was no relationship other than vague similarity of appearance.

There seems to be a fairly wide range of bean types that were cultivated by the native americans and several of these are now being sold as "heritage" .

I happen to be living in the area that was the northern limit of agriculture in Pre -colonial North America.  Tobacco, squash/pumpkins , beans and Maize  the basic native american staples grown by the Maliseets.  North of here was all hunter-gatherers (Mig Maw)

A good hertitage site here that might be of interest is " incredibleseeds.ca"    This was given to me by another member "Jordan Johnston" and has many interesting offerings.
 
J Grouwstra
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There won't be much swapping without specifically offering things. Let my introduce a veg that I have that I think will be interesting for more northern climates: the St John's onion. It's a shallot. This is some online info about it: https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/saint-johns-onion/.
This is a tough onion. I know someone in Norway has grown it and the onions got a harsh treatment there. First they were planted 3 inches deep, while they should be planted as onion sets, still partly above surface. They came up mid November, a month later. Then disaster struck, a small stream appeared and sought its way right over the area where the shallots were planted. After that: snow, and for months the shallots were buried under a layer of the white stuff. But the onions simply appeared again by early April, and 19 of the 20 onions planted had survived their ordeal. This is a picture of how they looked April 22 in Norway:


And this is how they looked around the same time on my allotment in The Netherlands, in milder conditions:


It's around harvesting time now for the onions, and replanting for next season is normally August, but can happen a bit later. So now is when I've got them available, and I can recommend them for harsh, cold climates, considering the Norway report.
 
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