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Free seeds

 
pollinator
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I have free tomato and other seeds available.

A relative who has been saving seeds for years donated me a huge stash of different tomato varieties. I've worked with them for four years, and found the types that can stand up to our wacky climate. She asked me to pass on ones that don't work for me, so I'd like to do that.

I also have huge amounts of landrace tomato seed from past years that I'd like to share.

As I sort through my seed stash, I'll have more stuff. I'm trying to consolidate and focus on the stuff that is really important to me. I'll probably have lots of maxima squash seed from last year once the new batch is processed. I'll update this as I get more stuff ready to go.

Much of this seed is fairly old, but most should still germinate.

I'm going to ask that you pay shipping, but otherwise the seed will be free.

The tomato seeds can just be sent in an envelope. Other seeds will need a padded mailer.

So, if you are willing to send me a self addressed, stamped envelope or mailer, send me a PM of what you want, and I'll get my address to you. First come first served!

If you have seeds you'd like to swap, they could cover the postage; let me know what you have.

 
pollinator
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Hey Gilbert, I have a bunch of Art Coombes Ancient Watermelon seeds that I will trade for heirloom tomato and/or squash seeds -- what varieties do you have?

These watermelon seeds are really interesting. Apparently, a guy named Art Coombes found a small clay pot in a cave somewhere in the desert of Arizona or New Mexico (I forget which) and after he unsealed it (it was stoppered with clay as well) it turned out to be filled with red seeds that appeared to be from watermelons. The pot was dated at around 4,000 years old but the seeds remained viable, so he grew them out and discovered a watermelon with a handle like a squash. He kept selecting for those that had the most typical watermelon shape (oblong and rounded, and larger) until he mostly bred out the squash shape entirely. Baker Creek seeds is trying to breed them back to the original shape and size so I got my seeds from them.

I have grown a bunch of them this year -- which mostly turned out to be the watermelon-shaped type, but a few were decidedly smaller and more squash-like. I am saving seeds from both (separately of course) to grow them in separate places next year. I really want to get more of the squash-type just because they are so interesting, but I admit the larger, rounded types did taste much sweeter and were a lot fleshier. From 4 plants I set out, I ended up with over 40 melons ranging from large cucumber-size (they were late to develop and didn't mature) to a few that weighed between 25 and 40 pounds each! Of the total, I would estimate that about 10% had obvious squash characteristics and something like 25% were pear-shaped (so sort of in-between) while the rest were very melon-like.

Anyway, I can swap either kind (or both) but I have a lot more of the larger, melon type than the squash-like melons so I'd have to give fewer of those. I also have a bunch of heirloom pepper seeds (hot and sweet) if you're interested.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Hi Deb,

Those watermelons do sound interesting, though I wonder if they predate European colonization. I know many native tribes adopted watermelons and traded them from tribe to tribe, so that explorers would find the melons had got there before them. Maybe these seeds were packed into an older container, or the pitch coating or radiation in the cave through off the carbon dating? I'd also guess that the germination of the seeds would show them to be old, but not quite that old. But who knows, the world is a strange place.

In any case, I'd be interested in the seeds.

I'll post a list of the non-tomato seeds that I have when I'm done sorting. The maxima squash are a landrace; I got the foundation seed from Joseph Lofthouse. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, like twenty varieties all mixed up.

I'd rather not spend a lot of time typing up the tomato varieties; there are so many of them, and many of them are old. I was planning to just send a bunch of packets to anyone who was interested. The proto-landrace tomato seeds are a jumble of maybe 50 different varieties. Eventually, only a half dozen types stood out in my garden.

I'll update this in the next few weeks and PM you.
 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
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Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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I think I remembered some of the details wrong (or read a skewed account of it somewhere else originally) but this is the story Baker Creek got if you want to read it. Art Coomb's Ancient Watermelon. I know many people say it must have originally come over with Europeans (or more likely African slaves) because watermelons originate in Africa, but there are a few who say it may be a true American watermelon. I wish someone would do a DNA analysis so we could know one way or the other. Either way, they are interesting and well-worth growing. These are a couple that showed the most obvious ancient characteristics. These were only about 10 or 12 lbs. each -- compared to one super-sized melon that weighed over 35 lbs. (I think as much as 40 lbs. because my kitchen scale topped out at 35 lbs. on a smaller one!)



These weren't the best for flavor and had fewer seeds, but they were late to appear and I think they may have got larger if they had had more time to mature before the weather got cool. You can see that the area near the rind is only pink and a bit marbled. I think the seeds will still be okay though.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Update: I've changed the way I want to do this: here is a new thread. https://permies.com/t/96861/Free-seeds
 
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Hi Gilbert!
Do you still offer free seeds for this season 2019?
I am in West Virginia and just planning to start a garden this year.
Thank you for a short reply, regards, Anja
 
Gilbert Fritz
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No, I'm out. Sorry about that.
 
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