A Seed Saver's Garden

heirloomgal

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Message to my future self: DON'T GROW SO MANY PEPPERS NEXT YEAR.

The radish pod de-seeding adventure has been a failure thus far. I tried the pillowcase method, and the pods are just way too spongey. I even upped my game to smash and bash with the pillowcase, nope. Some seeds sprung lose, but probably only 10%. So shelling individual pods it will have to be. Ugh. To get them brittle enough I'd likely need a small room and a dehumidifier for a few days. Maybe.

4 more cookie trays of mini peppers to go. I tackled the 2 biggest ones this weekend. I'm glad to see all the peppers came true to type, considering how many different ones get grown together. I'm really beginning to appreciate peppers that just dry up whole. Next year, I go back to sweet peppers. Easier.

Last of the cicerchia pods are off the dried, bagged vines, they just need shelling. The last 3 huge bags of pea vines need to be plucked clean & shelled tomorrow. We need the dining room back. A good sized dry down barn would be so handy.

So close to the end now. I put things off a bit, to log in all the new seeds into the seed exchange. That took some time, more than I thought. But now it's back to finishing this year's seeds storage and putting lids on all the jars.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Yesterday, I gave a check to the tomato plants, and to my surprised there were ANOTHER two tomatoes on it! AND is still is making flowers. If I didn't have no room left for more plants, I might contemplate hauling that tomato pot in and seeing if it would keep making me tomatoes through the winter.

On slightly less good news, my most recent seeds came today, and it looks like my suspicions proved correct. The seeds were listed as Prince of Orange sweet peas, and that is indeed what I got. The problem is that Prince of Orange sweet peas look like this

1668707094739.png


While the picture that came with the auction looked like this.
1668707130688.png

That latter picture is, I think, wild pea, Pisum eletius which I would have really liked to play around with (and which, since this seller does exotic seeds as well, it was just possible he actually had gotten). But the seed looks like regular sweet pea seed, so I assume that is what I am going to get.
 

heirloomgal

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Well, even if you got the regular Prince of Orange sweet peas they are very pretty. So, the loss isn't too grave. But I can see the lure of the second flower's coloring - it's sort of like a sweet pea that has the coloration of some pansies. When I google 'Pisum elatius' though, this flower doesn't come up as an image for me. A pea that looks more like the flowers of certain edible peas does. I wonder if that photo is photoshopped?

I've grown this PoO variety years ago, along with a few others that are the 'super old' heirloom types. Can't even remember the names clearly, Black Knight, King Edward vii, Janet Scott, Queen Alexandra, Pained Lady were a few. I'm surprised to say that I wasn't as thrilled with them as the newer sweet peas, that have bigger flowers. There is some thinking that the older varieties are more fragrant, superior, but I didn't find that. I found that they smelled the same, or less intensely.

Have you ever grown Celeste? It's a whopper of a bloom. The dinner plate dahlia of the sweet pea world. Images online don't do it justice. Tough to save seeds for it though.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Well, even if you got the regular Prince of Orange sweet peas they are very pretty. So, the loss isn't too grave. But I can see the lure of the second flower's coloring - it's sort of like a sweet pea that has the coloration of some pansies. When I google 'Pisum elatius' though, this flower doesn't come up as an image for me. A pea that looks more like the flowers of certain edible peas does. I wonder if that photo is photoshopped?
No, I just got my wild pea species mixed up. The photo is of Pisum fulvum, not eletius. The three wild pea species (the third is P. humile) tend to grow in the same places in the Middle East, so getting them confused is easy.


It is slightly possible I actually DID once have a few seeds of the real thing. Back when the lentils from India I was hunting through were full of vetch seeds I found one (well one and a half, there was also one half of a broken seed) that more or less matched what one of these pea seeds would look like, small, mottled, a pea type hilum (that's how I knew the ones I just got were sweet peas; the general size and shape of the two seeds are similar, but the hila do not look the same) and (this being the distinctive trait of these peas (a seed coat that was covered with fine bumps giving it a frosted appearance). I DID plant them, but neither came up (I think I got the wrong half of the half (the half that didn't have the embryo, and I held onto the whole one too long).

I've grown this PoO variety years ago, along with a few others that are the 'super old' heirloom types. Can't even remember the names clearly, Black Knight, King Edward vii, Janet Scott, Queen Alexandra, Pained Lady were a few. I'm surprised to say that I wasn't as thrilled with them as the newer sweet peas, that have bigger flowers. There is some thinking that the older varieties are more fragrant, superior, but I didn't find that. I found that they smelled the same, or less intensely.

To be honest, I tend not to grow the basic sweet pea much. Most of the time, I have opted for other species in the genus, like sativus (grasspea), chloranthus, (a small acid yellow one), benelensis (a yellow and red tiny one) and so on. For a time, Thompson and Morgan sold in their catalog a sweet pea species mix, packets of mixed seeds of all of the other species of Lathyrus they had been trying out to see if any of them would work in gardens (remember, Thompson and Morgan is a British owned company, and sweet pea breeding and competition is MUCH bigger in the UK than the US.)

The only time I tried to grow true sweet peas was about two or three years ago, when I planted a massive number of seeds of an old one called Tommy (pale blue, very simple flowers) I had bought from someone in Ukraine (I had bought a single packet before, but held onto it for too long, so none germinated. So I though maybe upping the number would work better. Unfortunately, the seed must have been old when HE sold it (or something happened to it in transit, like a trip through an irradiator) because, out of the thirteen packets worth of seeds that went in, NONE came up.
 

heirloomgal

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@Pulsegleaner I don't know much about the seed situation in the US, there is probably MUCH more to choose from than Canada since we are so much smaller a population. (I think we have a dozen, or less, of what i would call 'big' seed companies.) But I found a pretty neat, very tiny little seed company in BC. Stuff in there I've never even heard of, though you likely have. Peppers that survive in -15C! In the snow! And a plant called Conopodium magus, Earth Chestnut. I thought at first it was chufa nut, but no. Wild fennel, and the nightshade section is really eclectic. Not all the listings are rare, but many seem to be. I found it all quite interesting and think I'll put in an order. Free shipping too!

👉 Small Island Seed

Just some FYI since I know you order rare stuff from distant locations, this might be a little more economical if you see anything you like.
 

Pulsegleaner

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I've looked. There are a few interesting things (if I were you, I might try the olive rocoto peppers). But unfortunately, it appears Etsy (which is were I found the company listed), appears to have proactively made it impossible for people to order seed from outside their own country (probably, they got too many complaints from people whose seed was confiscated by customs). But at least I now know that the problem I was having with my seller in Ghana isn't unique to him (and can therefore try and work out some other method, since he DOES file phytos and his seed therefore IS legal to import.)
 

heirloomgal

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I've looked. There are a few interesting things (if I were you, I might try the olive rocoto peppers). But unfortunately, it appears Etsy (which is were I found the company listed), appears to have proactively made it impossible for people to order seed from outside their own country (probably, they got too many complaints from people whose seed was confiscated by customs). But at least I now know that the problem I was having with my seller in Ghana isn't unique to him (and can therefore try and work out some other method, since he DOES file phytos and his seed therefore IS legal to import.)
Were you able to get to the site directly? I wasn't aware this seed company was connected to Etsy in any way. If you go directly to the website he may not have a problem with over the border shipping. As far as I know, Canadian seed companies are reporting about 50% of packages are not making it to destinations. But I think if put together correctly they would make it through okay. I don't see anywhere on the site that says in Canada orders only.
 

heirloomgal

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Seed exchanges - they're a wonderful thing! 🤝

For anyone who has never requested seeds within the format of a seed exchange, I highly recommend considering joining one. I didn't participate in ours for years because I thought the seeds would be of a lesser quality, along with many other doubts & hesitations. It's turned out to be such a fantastic experience, far beyond what I imagined it might be.

I've had the opportunity, through the exchange, to get seeds that are no longer being offered in catalogues or are sold out, and seeds that are rare (a favorite category). But even more than that, the correspondence with other gardeners and seed savers has been such a pleasure! I've received many lovely cards and letters in the mail, from people all across the country. Often, I have been gifted with seed packets from people requesting seeds from me. One lady sent me these incredibly large naked pumpkin seeds, a line of Lady Godiva pumpkins I believe, where she is selecting for larger and larger seeds. These are really jumbos, and I so appreciated such a special gift from her. Others have sent with their request a little packet of their favorite seed, whatever species it might be.

This membership has enabled me to connect people in parts of the country that I've never been to, but have always been curious about, and the hospitality shown to me by many requesters, even inviting me to come and visit if I ever make it to their province, has been just so touching. Connecting with the senior gardeners, in the prairies in particular, has been a joy. It's difficult not to admire these folks whose growing zone is often a 2! I have a whole stack of envelopes and letters sent to me this spring with their incredible penmanship, some I had to really look closely at to see if it was actually real. The printing was so perfect & refined it didn't seem possible.

Needless to say, I got to enjoy a whole bunch of new seeds but also 'meet' all these other seed savers and gardeners. They're such a nice group of people! Meeting other collectors has been a special experience as well, the tomato seed collectors and the bean collectors especially. These two veggies have a lot of devotees! It's been great fun to exchange information with them and chat about growing techniques. It also gives me a chance to get some of the rarer seeds in my collection into the hands of people who have a particular interest in keeping them going.

@Zeedman I was recently contacted by a very nice seed company who is interested in DV 2371 (I think that's the title) --->the marbled soybean. Wouldn't it be nice if it got picked up? I'm happy that even though it's still November, I've been contacted already by someone interested in it.


Yay for seed exchanges!
 

Zeedman

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@Zeedman I was recently contacted by a very nice seed company who is interested in DV 2371 (I think that's the title) --->the marbled soybean. Wouldn't it be nice if it got picked up? I'm happy that even though it's still November, I've been contacted already by someone interested in it.
Awesome! That wouldn't by chance be a U.S. company?

In response to the SSE comments I submitted for 2023 (that this might be the last chance to request some of my offerings) someone has requested samples of nearly ALL of my soybeans! :celebrate That request will take time to fill... not only because of the size, but because I will germination test all of my older soybeans prior to sending them. I will contact them for any varieties with low/no germination, to ask whether they want to make the effort necessary to revive old seed, or just cancel them.
 

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