J. Cardina

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since Dec 09, 2012
Zone 7A, Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest, Canada
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Recent posts by J. Cardina

Shawn Aune wrote:The cheapest and most accessible bulk seed I've been able to find is to grow Food Plots for Deer.

I've found big bags of alfalfa, clovers, chicory, rye grass plus many more useful plants.

Great idea! I just discovered my notifications were going into spam so I didn't see this message before but this is an excellent idea and I'll look into it.

6 years ago

Judith Browning wrote:I did plant a pound of alfalfa this fall along with several clovers and some rye grass. The problem here is that blister beetles are attracted to alfalfa.
I wonder what amounts in bulk you are needing and what you consider high prices? Those prices you are finding might just be the going rate for that particular seed especially if long distance shipping is involved.

It's the local feed store and as I said the minimum is 55lb / 25kg bags which is why it's high priced. I'm doing at a rough overestimate guess a quarter acre, the recommended sowing rate I've researched is 2.5 grams per square meter, a quarter acre is roughly 1000 square meters so that's 2500 grams or 2.5kg. I'd probably double that to have on hand / overseed when the birds inevitably eat it or something goes wrong.

So I need a tenth or a fifth as much as they are selling as their minimum order and I don''t know 9 other people with quarter acres interested in buying the rest.

It's an awkward amount: too much to get shipped cheaply or get a good price on and too little to buy locally or get a good price on. Hence my post asking about other possible sources I hadn't thought of.

I think I'm going to take the suggestion to start small and harvest my own seeds and build up from there (maybe not for the alfalfa since it's the major green manure I'm looking for but definitely for other even pricier stuff).

6 years ago

Judith Browning wrote:
Feed stores here carry bulk seed you can buy by the pound or fifty pound bag if they have it. They have always been willing to order me a bag of most anything...Last summer I bought fifty pounds of buckwheat for fifty dollars...It wil last me a few years but the seed keeps well. I wanted that much vetch too but it was two dollars a pound so I found another feed store that had it in bulk but sold you any amount. If you haven't already, maybe see about getting some place like that to special order if you are talking about fifty pounds at a time. I think alfalfa is just expensive anywhere. I think any area that has ranchers would have bulk cover crops at reasonable prices.

I did try that with the local feed store but the prices they quoted were very high and they would not get anything in under 25kg (55 pounds), sounds like they have a crappy supplier or maybe they just don't think it''s worthwhile. I'll have to drive to some other towns I think and walk in and see if they have anything in their stores in bulk bins or smaller sizes.

Alfalfa *is* expensive but it seems to be totally worth it, I'm very surprised there is not more talk of it here to be honest, it has very deep roots, lots of vegetation for cutting down and fixes nitrogen.
6 years ago

Alder Burns wrote:What you need is what in the US we call a "feed and seed"....sort of a farm supply store cross nursery cross feed dealer. .

Thank you Alder, that''s very helpful, I recall seeing places like that years ago, mabye if I look further afield from here.
6 years ago

Tom Reeve wrote:Not an endorsement. Covercropsolutions.com

Tom thank you, but that's exactly why I said in my post that I'm specifically not looking for cover crop websites based in another country; I'm looking for a type of place and not a specific one, there are dozens of sites like that in the UK that actually also sell the seeds directly online. Unfortunately it''s not very economical to get big bags of seeds delivered from another country be it the UK or the USA.
6 years ago

laura sharpe wrote:http://www.brettyoung.ca/html/forage-seed/index.cfm

definitely canadian

google wholesale x seeds

Laura, thank you but as I said in my post that's specifically the type of place I was referring to that only sell huge amounts, nothing like what I or most of us here I imagine would be after.
6 years ago
I'm not asking for a specific place since most of them would be in another country not here in Canada but what *type* of place? I've yet to find any reasonably priced source for bulk cover crop / green manure seeds.

I've found lot's of suppliers of very small quantities at high prices (garden centers, internet shops, traditional retail seed companies) and lots of suppliers of extremely large quantities only at very high prices (farm supply places) but nothing on the scale of what you'd buy to cover a quarter acre or so of ground.

For example: alfalfa. Farm stores have it in giant containers for big dollars and don't sell small bags, sprouting places online have the closest but still pretty pricey for organic edible sprouting seeds, not what I need.

I see lots of green manure type web sites based out of the UK selling seeds at hobby farm sized packages but seemingly nowhere else.

Any pointers on where to look greately appreciated.
6 years ago
How is your topsoil? They say it's the best place to store water.
I didn't quite understand what you said about the land and swales but I guess you're not lacking water just a way of moving it from place to place. Have you considered a steam engine or sterling engine connected to a pump?

I grew up with a hand pump for a few years and carrying buckets of water to the house before we put an electric pump in and it was no fun. I can't imagine any human powered pump is going to be a practical solution for more than drinking and washing up water unless you plan to have a lot of children involved.

I don't see any reason though that you can't have some kind of pump that you can either run by hand (turning a wheel or something) or off a steam or sterling engine. Steam engines are a lot more common but they do require water; a Sterling engine only requires fire as it's sealed on the inside and fire is applied to the outside and if you're coppicing willows for fuel I'd power everything I could imagine with such a setup since it's entirely renewable and requires no input other than naturally occuring.

Hodge podge of systems is of course nothing to turn your nose up at, it's perfectly ideal in permaculture circles isn't it? At every turn I see stressed strength through diversity, multiple things filling a role; sounds like you're doing that with your setup.

You might want to challenge your preconcieved notions: about city water for the house there are *always* alternatives if you want to get rid of that and you might find it better to find alternatives that make it far less important to have to move all that water around in the first place. I don't know if that's possible in your case or not, only you can know that but if you were to imagine that you simple can not have city water or can not pump water anywhere what would the alternatives be? Maybe something useful.
6 years ago

Julia Winter wrote: Oops! West Coast North America, not United States! Sorry, my bad.

What is a "triffid"?

No worries, here on the west coast of Canada we often tend to feel more allegiance and commonality with our friends to the immediate south and I'm a proud "pacific north wester" even though I'm actually in the south west from a Canadian perspective.

There are rumblings every few years to make a new country called "Cascadia" that comprises the whole Pacific Northwest.

Here's the wikipedia definition of a triffid: "The triffid is a tall, mobile, carnivorous, prolific and highly venomous fictional plant species—the titular antagonist in John Wyndham's 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids and Simon Clark's 2001 sequel The Night of the Triffids."
6 years ago

Julia Winter wrote:I'm sorry, but I have to respond to "easiest of all, don't water it where you don't want it to grow." That's climate specific advice--West Coast United States advice, to be specific.

Well I'm not in the U.S. and technically it's sound advice for anywhere on the planet with a dry summer or dry patch of ground; but there's a reason I presented it as the last and least of my four options I presented if it's viable in a person's area.

I assumed people here understood that containing something by not watering it would only apply in a situation where there wasn't water to begin with.

Honestly I bet most people will find it more of a challenge to grow a lot of it fast than they will trying to hold it back, that's been my exeperience and the common experience of others on bamboo enthusiasts online forums.

I just don't like to see such an incredibly useful and productive plant dismissed by people as a result of wildly overblown rumours when it's simply not the reality for all but a very rare set of circumstances with neglect at their heart which I assume won't apply to people who likely take an active role in their farming or gardening.

Bamboo is no "triffid".
6 years ago