Posts filed under 'Seed Bank news'
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
Sibirsky Velikan Rozovyi
Fargo 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!
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!
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.
Just a quick update to let all you fine folks know the seeds for distribution is now up, and ready to be chosen from by you. I have limited quantities this year due to the move (and lack of proper garden!) so choose early if anything on the list strikes your fancy.
The list can be viewed, as always, here.
Happy new year everybody! Stay tuned for some good site updates in the next few months, and the next upcoming newsletter which is due out in February.
Hello seedy folks! I’ve been busy like a bee over here the past month, processing the last of the seeds (thankfully due to the help of some fabulous growers, we did get some seed to offer for next year, despite my lack of a garden in 2013!).
Seeds of Diversity’s AGM
I also made the six hour drive to Saskatoon for Seeds of Diversity’s annual general meeting, as I sit on the board of directors. It was three days jam packed with meetings (great meetings – we have some fabulous things coming up for our members!), but possibly most exciting, we got to visit Plant Gene Resources Canada, including their seed vault. PGRC is the national seed & gene bank here in Canada, so needless to say for a seed and garden nut like me it was like visiting the holy grail of, well, seeds! The curator, Axel, gave us the tour and it was wonderful to be able to see what they were doing, how, and to drool a bit at the seed vaults.
I’ll be adding a post all about our trip to PGRC in a bit, which is also slated to appear in the Seeds of Diversity magazine for our spring issue, so stay tuned on that!
On The Technical Side Of Things
I’m also suffering from a bit of a data loss at the moment – the latest version of the seed bank’s holdings was unfortunately corrupted, which in turn has made it so I have to reconstruct a good chunk of said database. Let’s just say the backup failed and leave it at that.
Anyhow, with the number of seeds coming in at the moment, it’s a bit of a job, so I’ve been doing it in bits and pieces when I have time. Once I get that up and running I’ll be uploading the latest version, as well as seeds that will be available for distribution this year.
The Mailing List
You guys just keep joining! I know the list has been very, very light this year, but I fully plan to rectify that by shooting out a quick message to all the members of the list when the seeds are up for distribution (I’ll have some lower quantities, so those on the mailing list will get first crack at them before I release them to the general public!), and then in 2014 we’ll be back to our quarterly newsletters.
2014 Plans – Growers, Growouts, & More!
Not having the database means that figuring out which seeds need growing out for 2014 is happening a bit later than expected, but in a few weeks I plan to have all the information available, and of course I’ll be looking for my helpful gardeners to grow out varieties that I won’t have room for/my climate doesn’t allow for.
I’m also busily planning on my fabulous new garden for 2014! The house we moved into might be small, but the huge yard makes up for that. Which means, I get to turn just about a third of it into fabulous garden space! I’m intensely excited to have this much room to build a garden into – while Victoria gave me the long growing season, the space limitations really hampered how much I was able to grow out. Edmonton’s season might be shorter, but the big, full sun yard more than makes up for it.
That’s all for now – thanks for everybody’s continued support for this little project, and for everybody who sent in seeds to be banked. And an extra big thank you to my wonderful, amazing growers who help out every year by donating their time and garden space to ensure that this bank continues to be able to offer seed to the public.