A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

heirloomgal

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Lol fish eggs! But now that you mention it I do see the resemblance...😂
Taste is tart with some sweetness, very similar to reds but a bit more delicate. The black currant 'jam' I made tastes like the most delicious cough syrup, a la Buckley. Amazing that they both fall under the name currant.

Box lids, that's a good idea; do you mean shoe boxes @flowerbug? Sometimes I troll the grocery aisles looking for those shallow can or dry goods box bottoms left empty, and I use black marker to write the names on the bottom and fill with pods. Sorta similar to your set up. But now that I increased the number of pea types, it's easier to mix up pods that way if a box falls or gets bumped by kids or a dog and pods fly. The bags close them up a bit.

If you are looking for a pea variety that withstands heat well, I found Taichung snow pea mega heat tolerant and productive. But I never tried shelling those to see what they taste like. How are your peas doing?
 

flowerbug

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Box lids, that's a good idea; do you mean shoe boxes @flowerbug? Sometimes I troll the grocery aisles looking for those shallow can or dry goods box bottoms left empty, and I use black marker to write the names on the bottom and fill with pods. Sorta similar to your set up. But now that I increased the number of pea types, it's easier to mix up pods that way if a box falls or gets bumped by kids or a dog and pods fly. The bags close them up a bit.

yes, i'd see where that would be critical i don't have agents of chaos here other than Mom and myself so i can cross stack 10 box tops as they are drying. i also don't have much space so i have to be creative. on the off season i have a stack of box tops in the corner of my room plus we keep stacks in the garage. i should not really be calling them box tops as most of them are flats or item containers from the big box store like Sammy's Club or Wally's World (Wal mart). the ones we use the most in daily life here are the peanut butter jar boxes, but there are many others that are useful and as we are shopping we'll pick up a dozen or so which will get used in so many ways. i have a bean shelling box with a nice edge that i've taped up (to keep dust and dirt from escaping the corners) that comes from under some supplement bottles in that section, but where i get them from is bins that are along the checkout and exit aisles where the odd sizes and flats are tossed for people to pick through or they end up in recycling. i also do have some shoe boxes that are used for groups of the bean collection so those are kept on my bookshelves. i really shouldn't call them box tops, i guess flats is also another good way to describe them, but they do have anywhere from an inch to a few inches of edge so the beans or other items don't roll off. that edge also works out well for cross stacking them so there is air flow and i can see what's in them.

box bottoms is also a good description for many of them, but i call them box tops or flats instead. haha! :)

since i am tight on space if things come into my room i usually have to find room by getting rid of things. old papers are getting shredded and used for worm food in the worm farm so i've cleared two shelves by getting rid of junk, consolidating and paring things down. it is strange for me to have empty shelves as i am a horizontal organiser. clutter doesn't bother me as long as it isn't left-over food or packages from food or actual garbage like that which i am good about not letting stack up. after seeing what someone else did to their place (a real mess and smelly place) and also having to deal with roaches living in a poorly built apartment building down south i never again had any doubts about wanting to not live like that. but a bit of dust or things around on the shelves or counters or floors don't bother me at all. my favorite way to dust the floor is just to change my socks. :) etc. Mom is also dusting and doing things in the rest of the house fairly often but my room is off-limits unless i ask her and supervise (which almost never happens because i know how she is) when she is cleaning if it isn't "Glued, Screwed or Tattooed" it may get thrown away or moved and for me who remembers where things are by where i last put them having someone else move things is a disaster. um, so i've wandered off track here but the drying box tops are also used for sorting and organizing if needed and when i've been growing a lot of different beans and also want to keep some selections apart then it becomes more important.

my main two things to work on for selecting within a variety are potential crosses and also to select for earlier production so i often have two to four box tops per variety planted until they are dried and shelled and i can consolidate into small containers in a single box top.


If you are looking for a pea variety that withstands heat well, I found Taichung snow pea mega heat tolerant and productive. But I never tried shelling those to see what they taste like. How are your peas doing?

mine continue to flower and put on new pods so i'm very happy with how long these are holding up in spite of the heat. i need to get out and check them today for new drying pods and also to pick some for eating (along with some beans). there are some which curl and the curls hold water so they can rot if i don't pick them before that starts to happen, but the pods themselves are quite edible for a long time which isn't usual for most of the peas i've grown in the past. i'm still not eating a lot of these so it's hard to resist but the seeds are coming along pretty nicely. it didn't rain much at all yesterday and i last watered them a few days ago so once the dewfall dries off there will be some in there ready to pick. :)

the self supporting double row is kind of flopping over now from some wind and i'm not propping it up - i just let them do their own thing and pick the pods that aren't in the dirt and rotting or such. the ones with a little dirt on them can be rinsed off or left to dry completely (the worms in the worm farm can take care of those pods - a few extra bits of mineral won't hurt them for sure).

hmm... yes, a bit off track and a long reply, but i guess i like to talk about beans and peas. :)

p.s. shoe box tops are very good small quantity item stackers for continued drying but i don't have too many extra of those but perhaps a shoe store would have extras if asked. :)
 

heirloomgal

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sadly my expectations about seed saving for the peas have been dashed by a chipmunk raid. :( c'est la vie...

@flowerbug have you considered putting up a support for them? That may help you with the seed saving. A trellis is always a bit of a pain but t-posts I find really simple to drive in, and you don't need to string it all at once. I mention this because of your critter raider and also 'cause if you quite like peas, they really do produce more when given support, even the dwarfs. Some packets say 'self supporting' but I don't really find that true in the sense that at some point either the weight of the pods or the height of the vines will cause drooping, flopping over and ground contact. Which is where most pea destruction takes place. Also, peas are one crop I find especially vigorous & productive when the seeds planted were self saved. It's actually quite a remarkable difference.

Shoe stores- yes they do! And a fellow seed saver to go to a local shoe store to get boxes and silica packets, which they have tons of and probably throw away.

I tried my 'Sugaree' snap peas today, first time growing this variety. They were so good it was CRAZY! Sweetest pea I've ever eaten, should have been called 'Sugary'. But not sickeningly sweet, just perfect.
 
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flowerbug

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@flowerbug have you considered putting up a support for them? That may help you with the seed saving. A trellis is always a bit of a pain but t-posts I find really simple to drive in, and you don't need to string it all at once. I mention this because of your critter raider and also 'cause if you quite like peas, they really do produce more when given support, even the dwarfs. Some packets say 'self supporting' but I don't really find that true in the sense that at some point either the weight of the pods or the height of the vines will cause drooping, flopping over and ground contact. Which is where most pea destruction takes place. Also, peas are one crop I find especially vigorous & productive when the seeds planted were self saved. It's actually quite a remarkable difference.

Shoe stores- yes they do! And a fellow seed saver to go to a local shoe store to get boxes and silica packets, which they have tons of and probably throw away.

I tried my 'Sugaree' snap peas today, first time growing this variety. They were so good it was CRAZY! Sweetest pea I've ever eaten, should have been called 'Sugary'. But not sickeningly sweet, just perfect.

the creatures were getting anything that was even near to having seeds in it even the young peas were being targetted over 2ft off the ground... :( i have strung up supports using t-bars and some cotton yarn but generally i've not needed it before and these are very productive plants as they are so i'm not sure i'll bother next year. we'll see. :) i'm going to put out some rat traps today - as much as i don't like doing that but if the chipmunks are raiding that heavily for peas i think they'll switch to the beans. what's really annoying about this is that the chipmunk population is not that high this season and i've kinda kept after them because i know how many we can get (one year it was crazy out there and i trapped over 50 in a few weeks just to calm things down).
 

flowerbug

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the peas here are finally showing signs of slowing down and getting some yellow leaves on them, so it won't be long before pea season is over. it's already several weeks longer than what i've had in the past and purely because these new ones go longer than others have. it's held up to the heat just fine.
 

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For a while I was buying canned dog food by the case so I got several good flats. Typically I dry beans in plastic coffee cans but if a bean is producing a lot so they need to spread out I use those flats. When I need more, I cut the front out of a family size box of dried cereal, I've saved a lot of those. If you tape the corners they work pretty well.
 

Zeedman

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Years ago, when DW was working at a nursing home, they threw away a lot of cafeteria trays. Most were still in good condition, and the staff gave her permission to take some. They work great for drying seeds; they are strong enough to be cross-stacked into a fairly tall tower, and are wide enough to spread seeds out into a single layer. A few years later, a kitchen equipment retailer was selling used trays cheap, and I purchased another 100... so there are enough trays to hold all of my seeds. And last year, I scored a rolling rack that will hold 40 trays, with lots of air flow between! :celebrate

Trays are probably not a practical solution for most seed savers. I was fortunate to be in the right place(s) at the right time... but maybe something worth keeping an eye out for. A lot of places use those trays, replace them periodically, and might be happy to see them go somewhere other than the land fill.
 

heirloomgal

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the peas here are finally showing signs of slowing down and getting some yellow leaves on them, so it won't be long before pea season is over. it's already several weeks longer than what i've had in the past and purely because these new ones go longer than others have. it's held up to the heat just fine.
You may be able to plant again. If you really like them it might be worth it. The variety American Wonder, though it's a dwarf type, has come up for round 2 in one season from blowing open pods that I've missed collecting. That's another option too, grow a low type and have a chicken wire lid over top. In my case (as I've written about in another thread) weasels eat all the, well, everything on legs that might bother my garden, so maybe you could get some ferrets as pets? Release them in the garden for afternoon snacks? We have a family friend with a couple of them, they are sort of like his sneaky dogs. But they do bite visitors, so that's a minus. If you like having birds around though be glad for your lack of weasels, because my winter vacationing weasel ate the whole family of doves that's been visiting during winter for years. I think he even ate the hummingbird eggs/birds in the nest as I found the nest on the ground, before the time they should have abandoned it. Not a single living thing with 4 legs (besides bears) or wings really besides ravens/crows, and a few robins, has visited this summer. But the bird loss was the cost of that.
 
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