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Looking for seeds that will grow in South Central Alaska.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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Zone 3 tolerant would be best, but I can work with zone 4 and possibly zone 5 depending on what it is. I am looking for any and all seeds for sale and also looking for recommendations for anything that produces good food or anything useful on the self sufficient homestead. All ideas are appreciated greatly.
 
gardener
Posts: 3728
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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What are your neighbors growing? I highly recommend getting seeds that were saved by your neighbors. Or better yet, plant seeds that you grew yourself last year... I bet you'll have volunteer radishes in your garden next spring.
 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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I've never personally seen anyone grow sunchokes or sea buckthorn up here, but I'm confident I can grow those here. I definitely will take your advice and do more talking to people in my area though. Just to see what has been done.
 
steward
Posts: 2723
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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I have some seeds for sale from my own food forests and gardens.  I'm in zone 4-5 depending on the year.  The last week was -30F.  Everything that I have for sale was harvested this past summer and fall.  Maybe the list will give you some ideas for what you might start with.    

https://permies.com/t/73875


Do cane fruit like raspberries survive there?  Some varieties of strawberries could also work.  Rhubarb, horseradish, and even some types of grapes might work too.
 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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Thanks for the links Nicole turned out to find I guy I know on that thread. Didn't know he was on permies.

Craig, raspberry does great here in fact most of the food I have tried growing or know could grow here are berries. Potatoes do great kale broccoli radishes cabbage all do good. Carrots do good too. Is that link a list of seeds you sell or seed to consider finding?
 
Craig Dobbson
steward
Posts: 2723
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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Dylan Kirsch wrote: Is that link a list of seeds you sell or seed to consider finding?



Like Joseph mentioned, you'll probably fare better with seed and stock that come from your local climate.  Of course I'd be happy to sell you anything you see on the list from that link.
Thank you
 
Posts: 410
Location: Middle Georgia
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Might want to go to ebay and search for Russian Heirloom Seeds. There are a few sellers from the Ukraine that have large collections of seeds good for zones 1-4 (each is different).

Here is one seller (I am not affiliated with them) https://www.ebay.com/usr/nastjuschka06

There are all sorts of cold climate varieties including bell peppers, melons, etc...
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Buying seeds on eBay leaves a public record of the smuggling of seeds across international borders. Governments have surveillance programs that monitor those transactions, I have received numerous reports of agents showing up at people's homes to confiscate seeds from Ukraine. For that reason, I recommend that seeds not be purchased internationally using eBay.
 
Posts: 10
Location: Ozarks of Missouri
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For annuals, I’d look at growing times. You want short season crops, under 90 days. If you’re in South central you likely get plenty of sun and warmth in a summer. I’d get an heirloom seed catalog (which includes seeds from Russia and the Ukrain), see which varieties have shorter growing seasons and experiment some. A catalog I’ve enjoyed is Baker Creek, and for cheaper prices (and a text-only catalog) you can find many of he same offerings from Sandhill Preservation. We have ordered from both and experimented a bit while living in SE AK. We ordered far too much and saved all our excess in the freezer (we ordered A LOT in preparation for homesteading and then spent a few years dealing with severe illness). When we moved to Missouri and pulled those seeds out of the freezer last spring (most over 10 years old), we expected maybe a 50% germination rate and ended up with closer to 90% and had to split everything super quickly. I’d say the seed stock is pretty decent given that experience.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
Posts: 410
Location: Middle Georgia
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Buying seeds on eBay leaves a public record of the smuggling of seeds across international borders. Governments have surveillance programs that monitor those transactions, I have received numerous reports of agents showing up at people's homes to confiscate seeds from Ukraine. For that reason, I recommend that seeds not be purchased internationally using eBay.



Holy sheesh! I just ordered some Echinacea Angustifolia seeds from the UK (it is a native variety to this region but the UK was one of the only sellers).

So now I have to worry about being raided by the feds? Was it illegal to buy seeds from a UK based seed company? Am I now a participant in a "seed smuggling" ring?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Posts: 3728
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:Am I now a participant in a "seed smuggling" ring?



I won't name names, but you are in good company!
 
Posts: 61
Location: SE Alaska
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There are a couple of seed companies that specialize in Alaska varieties.  The biggest is Denali Seed and you'll find their seeds at https://bestcoolseeds.com/.  They have a mix of heirloom, hybrid, organic, and conventional seeds.  They do bred for Alaska conditions and only sell varieties that have been proven to grow here (although you do still need to be careful as some of their varieties can only be greenhouse grown).  I find thier descriptions and info about growing conditions to be really useful.  I've used them for years and had good results.

Then there is Foundroot. They specialize in open-pollinated varieties that are developed for Alaska conditions.  I just recently discovered them so haven't used them yet.  I plant to try them out this spring.

Jonny's Select seeds is a Maine company but specializes in cold weather, short season crops and I know many Alaskans use them.  

I also like West Coast Seeds out of British Columbia and Territorial Seeds from the Pacific Northwest but I'm in SE Alaska where the growing conditions are a bit more like that of BC.  Both have lots of cold hardy varieties that would likely do well for you as well.

Of course other local gardeners are your best resource.  Check out the Central Peninsula Gardening Club http://www.cenpengardenclub.org/  I would assume Homer and Seward probably have gardening clubs and would likely be worth your while to find out about some of their events.   This time of year many garden groups are doing workshops, group seed orders, seed exchanges, and the like.  

For general information on varieties and growing in Alaska the Cooperative Extension Service https://www.uaf.edu/ces/gardening/.  They have variety lists for the different Alaska regions. Lots of articles some with really good info about growing in our conditions.  

If you get up to Anchorage check out the botanical gardens there.  I know they sell some seeds in the gift shop.  Look for their spring plant sales.  Also a great resource for info especially for herbs and perienials.  

Read some of Jeff Lowenfels  Alaska gardening articles.  I know he just did an article about seeds.  I think he does one every year about this time so looking through the archives might get you some good info.  

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski does a couple of radio shows, Gardentalk https://www.ktoo.org/programs/gardentalk and In the Garden https://www.kfsk.org/in-the-garden/ and is a font of information on growing here in Alaska conditions.  



 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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Thanks alot everyone, you guys definitely gave me a lot of useful information.
 
Posts: 380
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Dylan,

What part of south central Alaska?  There's a big difference between Anchorage, Kenai, and somewhere further inland, like Glennallen or even Talkeetna, Seward is different yet again (cooler and ranier summer).  

I read an interesting article about a guy down Soldotna way growing haskap berries  

http://www.alaskajournal.com/business-and-finance/2012-09-06/kenai-peninsula-berry-grower-cultivates-masterpiece

Of course salmon berries, raspberries and blue berries are the go to plants.  Strawberries will do really well.  When I was a kid the locations of strawberry patches out in the woods (near abandoned homesteads) were closely guared secrets by some people I knew.  (they wouldn't tell me where they were, not enough berries there for everyone).  

Potatos were the vegetable part of the homesteaders food triad (moose, salmon, potatos).  Alaskan potatos for some reason are very disease free and years ago some companies would take advantage of that for seed potatos.  They are usually a bit to high in sugar to make decent chips.

Service berries grow wild all along the hillside above the Turnagain arm, so they are probably a safe bet.

I would focus on berries and root crops primarily, along with cabbages, peas and other cold weather crops.  You've heard the one about a guy who stops at a farmers market near Palmer and tells the man running the booth he would like 20 lbs of cabbage.  The farmer waves him off saying, "No, I'm not interested in cutting a cabbage in half for one customer."

Tomatoes are kind of a hearbreak plant in southcentral.  You order a fast ripening variety, baby it, care for it, and usually just when you have plants loaded with big, luscious green tomatoes, the first frost wipes you out.  This is a plant that really needs a local landrace variety developed.  

I have a suspicion that apios americana (groundnut) would do well, but I don't really know.  I intend to plant some at my daughters place in Homer this summer.  You can order some at oikos
 
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Hi Dylan,

some search like "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tree+nursery+canada&ia=web"
would get you what you want.
Good example:
https://www.greenbarnnursery.ca/pages/agroforestry-seeds

But I would concentrate on tree crops.
I.e. nuts: http://www.grimonut.com/

My recommendation for a cash crop:
Saskatoon Amelanchier species.
"Blue"berry I M H O (the forum people a zealots) *better* than the original blue berry bushes.
Way better labor / yield ratio than the Vaccinium species.

You can sell them easily to your local grocery shops (good self life) or
dry them and sell them later, out of season, dried.


 
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https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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