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I am cheap, am I dumb?

 
Fritz Charlton
Posts: 18
Location: Indiana near Chicago
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I found cheap seeds *25cents a pack* , from a company called Plantation products.  Is there bad news? 

Second question, 

local fruit veg stand.  I asked and they are willing to give me(fill my garbage cans with) all of their unsellables.  Is there any reason to not use this to build my compost... hugel? and or pick and sow seed.

Just a newbie, trying to jump on a giants shoulders for a second, so fee fi

and I welcome a foe fum

 
John Morelli
Posts: 18
Location: Southern California
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LOL! I don't know what just happened there but it gave me a good chuckle

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with using that stuff for compost. Decaying organic matter is decaying organic matter I guess, right? Only thing is if we're talking decaying fruit here, then you might have problems with fruit fly's seeing it as a wonderful place to raise their larva so if you've already got some compost started, just make sure you put any rotting fruit toward the center of the pile or bin, that way the flies don't get to it and the heat helps it break down faster.

Also, whenever I put any kind of decaying edibles in my compost it get's overrun with ants. I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing, and it may just be indicative that my compost isn't getting hot enough if ants are comfortable in it.


As for cheap seeds, the only thing I've heard is that seeds that are "old" are often the ones found at discounted prices and old seed can mean low germination percentage (aka a lot of them may not grow), but you might get lucky so I don't see anything wrong with giving it a shot.

Admittedly I'm somewhat of a newbie too though, just repeating what I've heard from more knowledgeable folks so I dunno, I'm sure others around here will have more to say on the matters.

Good luck.
 
Al Loria
Posts: 395
Location: New York
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Fritz, I agree with John's post.  Also, seems like you have found a way to get free material for your compost.

Cheaper seeds can be older seeds with low germination rates.  Still, might be worth a try, especially if you are going to start them indoors.  I don't think waiting and sowing them directly into your bed would be a good idea if a high percentage of them may not germinate.


 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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Just make a germination test.

Use some coffee filter paper put 10 seeds of one kind in it, label it. Fill a glas with a little bit sand, place the filter paper on top of it and put the glas on a bright place inside. Keep it moist, not wet. Some seeds are dark-germinators, they need a dark place (obviously).

After a couple of days (for some even weeks, like carrots) the seeds will germinate. Then you count how many sprouted and you can calculate the germination percentage.

I would've bought them, too.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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for one thing a lot of that unsold produce might be edible, canned, frozen, dried as well as animal food or as you said compost so I'd go for it.

as for the seeds..check the dates on them..a lot of seeds are viable for a long time but some are only usable fresh..

for those that are viable for a long time like lettuce, it is a great deal, but for those that aren't, like parsnips..forget it..they'll just be throwing away a quarter
 
Burra Maluca
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Our local agri shop sells really cheap seeds from a local supplier every now and then - they are about a tenth of the price of their standard range, the varieties are perfect for our climate, and the germination rate is excellent.  It isn't always a case of 'getting what you pay for'.  Sometimes it's more a case of 'suck it and see.'

I got rid of that rather weird spam and most of the confusion that followed - turn my back for a moment and the spammers are creating havoc...  Oh, and welcome to the board!
 
Fritz Charlton
Posts: 18
Location: Indiana near Chicago
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Thank you all so much, so far. 

Great points. 

Waste.  Well we saved it from the dumpster and the land fill.  Is there a forum dealing with what chickens/ ducks/quail might want outta this mess?  If so I am sure, I can make sure anything worth more than dirt (sorry but lol), gets into the beaks of some birds.

Flies/ Larvae, bury it deep.  Funny you should say that, I was thinking somewhere between the wood and the leaves in a HugelK bed.  (My Deutsch Frau asked me... "Hill culture?"  I said, "ohhhhhhh, Yeah!"  Am I correct in thinking I can use this in such a manner?  Whatever, I cant keep up with though, I will try to bury deep in the compost. 

Most of my novice steps here are based on hours of reading watching and learning from all of you.  I am sure that few here have read or watched THE sepp holzer without being inspired.  (Surprise:  I am not rich *monetarily)  But when I watch him reach in his bucket!  Then I look over at the $20 bag of 80 packets of seeds.  Then I finish dissecting my  Carrots love Tomatoes and begin sprinkling families of seeds over the HK beds...

The main thing I am growing... hopefully... is knowledge and ability.  for my must have/ love to eats, I will probably still resort to old, time tested work and reputable seed,  but every experiment needs a control.

New Questions/ concerns.  My gardens get no junk that I can avoid.  No GMO, Pesticides, chemicals.  Is there reason to have concern from this "more commercially grown" fruit and vegetable matter may introduce bad things to my good environment... OR dont be silly?

I am zone 5, many of the fruits/ veg seem to be coming from more tropical areas (mango for ex.).  Is there anything to suggest this would be a no no in the compo? 

OK I think i have asked enough for now.  Many thanks again to all. 
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
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I love being cheap... but, in polite company I label it "Frugal."   

I doesn't hurt to pay less for something.  If you can negotiate a better deal with someone, do it!  My local nursery owner knows me when I walk though the door.  He takes me right over to all the spent pots from Easter lillies, tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc that didn't sell and we haggle over the price.  I buy a 100 - 150 pots for up to $1 each (I save money to splurge) and end up with 500 - 1000 bulbs to plant (they put 5 - 10 bulbs in each pot).  Not, to mention I get bunches of top quality potting soil (custom blended from a great local manufacturer) to boot!  I take all the pots and plant markers back to the nursery after I plant. 

I do the same thing in the fall with any lingering perennial crops he wants to clear from the greenhouse.  Last year, I swipped-up 125 quarter cell packs of everbearing strawberries!  I covered my new hugelkultur in them.  I can't wait to see how they're going to produce this year.

I, also, pay him $10 (for his time and diesel fuel) and he loads my 10 yard dump trailer with his waste for my compost pile.  I pick through the pile as I mix my compost to rescue any good perennials ( 85 mums and 20 lovely ivy, last fall) and the rest goes to the microbes.

I'm still busy designing my gardens.  So any cost savings are, really, appreciated and needed.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Mustang Breeze wrote:
  I take all the pots and plant markers back to the nursery after I plant. 



I keep my pots, wash them in a solution of water and simple green, even let them soak over night and reuse them down the road for my seedlings.  Very economical way to get the pots I need for future seedling growing.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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If the 'waste' food is going to grow maggots and such, you might let it do so and THEN let the chickens scratch around in it -- they'll get more protein and fat from the bugs than from the fruit. 

Kathleen
 
John Morelli
Posts: 18
Location: Southern California
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
If the 'waste' food is going to grow maggots and such, you might let it do so and THEN let the chickens scratch around in it -- they'll get more protein and fat from the bugs than from the fruit. 

Kathleen

Aha! Awesome Kathleen, I'm still slowly wrapping my brain around the permaculture thought process of thinking of problems as solutions to other problems wherever possible, so thank you for reminding me.
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Some people aren't keen to introduce industrial ag produce into their systems.
I'm no purist: as far as I'm concerned, if you can remove it from the wastes-tream and create a garden from it for free, it's all good by me!
Apparently hot composting transforms many ag chemicals into inert, long-chain molecules. Something something.
We ostensibly don't have GMOs here so can't comment.
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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The only "concern" I have with composting tropical fruits are Avocado. The skin of those evil little things decompose VERY slow. Chip them up or leave them be, worms love to live in them. Everything else is no problem. Even citrus fruits in large amounts decompose fast. Despite of their microbes-killing substances everyone is talking about. I juice 12 oranges and 4 grapefruits a week. After a week in the heap they aren't distinguishable from the rest of the compost. Lemons take 2 weeks for that.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Seeds might be GMO, but are probably fine.
 
Mike Dayton
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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You may want to check to see if the seeds are hybred or open polinated varietys.  The only difference would be if you wanted to save the seeds from your crop for next year.  Hybred seeds will not reproduce true.  I see no problem with the compost,  but I can't say that I am an expert on chemicals.  I dont think you can use them and call it hugle kulture.  You need woody sticks loggs etc for that.  The wood slowly rots and acts like a sponge to hold water.  The produce will rot in the ground and improve the soil alot,  but it won't last long term like the logs will.  I saw a video on here about black solder flies that will eat and decompose the veggie waist like it was their job.  They also produce a great food for chickens

PS  What is GMO?  Turns out I am a functional illiterate
 
                    
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pa_friendly_guy wrote:
PS  What is GMO? 


Abbreviation for Genetically Modified Organism.
 
Fritz Charlton
Posts: 18
Location: Indiana near Chicago
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I am absolutely with you on the wood side of HK beds.  My son, neice and nephew(4,4, and 6 year olds) , have helped me pick the forest floor clean of various woods of varying levels of composition. 

My thoughts are to use the VEG/Fruit in between the big log layer and the  top soil layer with the smaller branches, spoiling hay, forest floor leaves and compost.

According to Plantation website, "Q:  Are your seeds genetically altered in any way? A: You can be assured that none of the varieties we sell are genetically enhanced through biotechnology"

I have noticed that they offer hybrid tom and cuke, but most of the others make no reference.


thanks again everyone
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
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I would layer the fruit thinly between much thicker dry layers, rather than just chucking it deep into the middle of your pile. Fruit is better than half water, and too much moisture = anaerobic decomposition = an unhappy compost heap. As for sprouting seeds, there's no reason it shouldn't work. The preferred method is to make a slurry of the fruit and seeds both by rotting it in a five gallon bucket with water to cover. Once the fruit has broken down enough it's pulverized and the seeds screened out (or more often floated out in a gutter slough with clean, moving water). The only issue I can think of would be offspring untrue to the original fruit, as most popular commercial varieties are hybrids.
 
Fritz Charlton
Posts: 18
Location: Indiana near Chicago
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As for sprouting seeds, there's no reason it shouldn't work. The preferred method is to make a slurry of the fruit and seeds both by rotting it in a five gallon bucket with water to cover. Once the fruit has broken down enough it's pulverized and the seeds screened out (or more often floated out in a gutter slough with clean, moving water). The only issue I can think of would be offspring untrue to the original fruit, as most popular commercial varieties are hybrids.

SO.... I just got my first canful!  Average size can, 1/6 pinapple (guessing that of all things this will be harder to breakdown)  1/4 was seedables!  Tomatoes, plums, peach, cukes, peppers, strawberries (?), the rest was oranges and leafs and brocs...

Now, I am wondering which of the seedables would just do their own work if I just toss them in some sunny spots.  Or, should I definitely go the slurry route which sounds very effective?


Thanks to all and always!
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
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The slurry method is for dealing with extracting seed from large quantities of fruit. If you just want to plant a handful, throw them in a furrow and let them go. The method of extraction isn't important, just so long as it's mature seed. I'd sow whatever variety I was looking to germ in a temporary furrow lined with weed fabric and gopher wire, then pick the choicest saplings to plant in permanent homes while they're dormant over the winter (depending on the variety of tree).
 
allen lumley
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Jan S.B. : Its the 'fat' content in the Avocado, all fat should be saved for bate for flies. Flies = Fly larva= maggots = chicken feed !
I will try composting citrus again, generally if my compost isn't hot I recycle them or not separately ! For the Craft Future Big AL
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
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@ Fritz

Here is a site that rates all seed and plant sellers; this is their rating on your seeds:

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/1720/

it reads about 50 / 50, and, the negs are fairly bad
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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hey I bought expensive OP organic seeds and have been having horrible germination problems..of my sweet sugar pumpkins ..1 seed germinated..1

of my summer squashes none so far..0

so hey if you get plants from your 25 c apiece packets you are doing better than these expensive ones !

if it is edible it is likely to be fine for your compost pile and super ripe veggies if they aren't hybrids might give you some seeds as well

also ask neighbors and friends for starts, cuttings, etc ..you can take a cutting off of a tomato plant for example, and grow it on.

 
Matu Collins
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I like the word frugal too

If I buried food in my hugelbeets critters would burrow in and dig it out.
 
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