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Posts filed under 'Seed Bank news'

State of the Garden – August

It sure feels like autumn’s coming up, and I’ve even spotted some leaves starting to change. I’m not overly thrilled about that, but I am sure thrilled with the tomatoes and how amazingly well they’ve been doing this year. I’ve had the best tomato harvests and plants I’ve ever grown, and the weather has been perfect for them. It’s been a banner year, and I’ll be sad to see it go, but at the same time it makes me really excited for next year.

Yesterday I harvested about 9kg. It’s probably my biggest haul in one day, but as of right now (including yesterday) I’ve harvested 20.65 kg. And that’s not even half of what’s on the vines – I won’t be surprised if I get 100lbs easy.

I’m going to have so many seeds to share this year, I’m ecstatic! I’ve already started the seed saving, which has had to be moved to the garage, because I don’t have enough room in the house for all the cups anymore.

I’ve also been slowly updating the database – mostly with photos right now, but specific growth information is slowly going up as well.

What a great year, I’m over the moon.

This year I got two sports that don’t show the characteristics of what they’re supposed to be:
Tomato 'Kimberley' (Sport)Kimberley Sport – small rugose leaf (rather than potato), grows only about 1ft so it’s a dwarf. Determinate. Shiny skin with lobed fruit, no characteristics of either Tiny Tim or Siberian (Kimberley’s parent plants).

Tomato 'Mary's Austrian' SportMary’s Austrian Sport – large 5ft indeterminate plant, produces grape shaped pink jewel toned fruit. Nice flavour, nothing like the roma-type this is supposed to be. I contacted the seed seller who received the seeds from the family, and she’s never grown a tomato like it (so it’s not cross contamination), and she confirmed it was nothing like what Mary’s Austrian is. So this one is officially a natural cross that I’ll be regrowing and stabilizing because it’s wonderful.

I’ve also got some freak tomatoes this year, which is always fun:

The first photo is Tomato ‘Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovyi’ with a hole that’s grown into it (doughnut tomato!), the second is some dirty ‘Stupice’ (because I’m immature and it made me giggle).

And here’s some more tomato eye candy for you, these varieties (and many others) will all be offered in varying quantities.

Top L-R: ‘Fargo Yellow Pear’, ‘Kootenai’, ‘Chocolate Stripes’, ‘Perestroika’
Bottom L-R: ‘Purple Prince’, ‘Green Zebra’, ‘Lancia’, ‘Tangerine’

Kelly in Growth Notes,Seed Bank news on August 31 2014 » 0 comments

Seed Saving Workshop Announced!

I’m pleased to say that I’ll be hosting a beginner level seed saving workshop, hosted by the Richfield community garden in Edmonton, Ab! There’ll be lots of information and hand outs provided to those who come, and lots of questions answered. I’ll be going over the most common (and maybe a few uncommon) edible plants to save seeds from, along with demonstrations.

The topics will include:

  • Specifics of saving seeds for different edible plants
  • The difference between heirloom, open pollinated, and hybrid plants
  • Modes of pollination, and how it affects your seed saving
  • How to store your seeds for the short term and long term
  • …plus any questions people may have!
  • Location: Richfield Community Garden (pipeline right-of-way at 86 St & 36A Ave)*
    Cost: $5 requested donation, 100% of proceeds going to the Richfield Community Garden
    Date: July 27th, 2-3pm.
    *In the case of inclimate weather, the workshop will be located indoors at 19 Keegano NW, the Keegano Housing Co-Op community hall.

    Please RSVP to k (at) populuxe (dot) ca if you wish to attend

    Hope to see you there!

    Thanks to Sustainable Food Edmonton and the Richfield Community Garden for support.

    Seed Starting is Upon Us

    Seed Starts After what’s seemed like a winter that just won’t stop, we’ve finally hit normal temperatures for this time of year, and the seed started last week are all starting to pop up. Every year I have this crippling fear, which I’ve dubbed “Seed Starting Anxiety Syndrome”, that centers around me being positive that none of my seeds will germinate, and it’ll be a big bust.

    Of course that never happens, and except for the few odd seeds that are extremely old and have come to me, maybe not stored in the best conditions, they all germinate just fine.

    But yet, I still have that anxiety every year.

    I use a website called Folia to log everything as it’s happening. I have no direct affiliation with the site, besides being a fan (and an initial beta tester many years ago), but it’s become indispensable for my record keeping, just to see when everything happens (is that variety actually 60 days to maturity, or was it longer?). If you’re interested in the day-to-day of how the seed bank plants are doing, follow the link above, and you can see it all go down there.

    The seeds that have popped up for the seed bank this year only the tomatoes currently, and they are:

      Zapotec Pink Pleated
      Sophie’s Choice
      Yellow Lemon
      Green Grape
      Green Zebra
      Sibirsky Velikan Rozovyi
      Fruhe Liebe
      Keeping Tom
      Pink Zebra
      Mary’s Austrian
      Chocolate Stripes
      Fargo Yellow Pear
      Yellow Pear

    Still waiting on a few tomato varieties, the peppers, and the eggplants.

    Today I’ll be starting some short season melons, and some squash.

    As they grow, I’ll be posting more pictures. Stay tuned!

    Kelly in Seed Bank news on April 06 2014 » 0 comments

    Seeds for Distribution: Out of Stock

    Thanks to everybody who ordered seeds this year through the distribution page! The seed bank is officially out of all varieties for this year.

    The new list of varieties that will be available after this season will be posted later in the year (generally around November), but I will keep everybody updated via the newsletter, twitter, and this blog. We should be able to offer more varieties this year than ever before, so stay tuned!

    In the mean time, if you’d like to make a donation to keep the seed bank’s efforts going, you can visit this page to make a contribution of any size.

    Thanks again to everybody who ordered seeds this year!

    Kelly in Seed Bank news on March 18 2014 » 0 comments

    A New Database, Grow List, and More!

    Spanish Seeds Hello seedsters (is that a thing? It should be!). I’ve been feverishly working the past few weeks to get a whole bunch of stuff updated around here. Not only that, but a bunch of you have ordered seeds through the distribution page so I’ve been working like mad getting all of that out. I’m starting to see seeds in my sleep. Not that I’m complaining, we’ve had unseasonably cold weather here, so it’s nice to amuse myself with all the seeds in order to try to block out the -30C temperatures outside.

    Newsletter – The first quarterly newsletter has been sent out for 2014. I like to announce some things on there first, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up by entering in your email address in the little box to your left. You can be sure I don’t share your email addresses with anybody – I don’t even use a third-party service to send the emails, it’s all done right on my own desktop. The next newsletter will be emailed in May.

    2014 Grow Outs – This is going to be a big, big year for the bank. My wonderful volunteers have really stepped up to the plate this year, and between myself and my four volunteers, we’ll be growing around 80 varieties of edibles this year (the majority of which are tomatoes). That in turn means that we’ll hopefully have that many different varieties to offer gardeners and growers all over the world in late 2014/early 2015. You can check out all the varieties slated to be grown in one handy list, here.

    The New Wiki – In 2011 I started constructing a database/wiki of detailed grow out information that’s been collected by myself and the volunteer growers. It might have taken me a while (due to my inability to garden because of the move), but I’ve officially launched it. This is not a compendium of all tomatoes ever, but strictly for varieties grown out by the bank. This year we’ll have a big push to enter in a lot of new info as these varieties are being grown out. Please be sure to check it out, and if you have any suggestions for information to add, please let me know by contacting me.

    Seed Bank Holdings – I’ve finally gotten all the information in the seed bank’s database re-entered, so the current holdings list is now completely, 100% up to date with all the varieties, and information I have on them. There’s about 38 pages of it there, so if you want to read it all, I suggest grabbing yourself a coffee first and getting a comfortable chair.

    That’s all for now, but stay tuned! I have a few more articles planned here for the site, as well as general updates slated to happen. As the gardening season ramps up for me here on the prairies, I’ll be using this site more and more to keep all you lovely folks up to date on the status of how the garden is coming along.

    Kelly in Seed Bank news,Site Updates on March 02 2014 » 0 comments

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