Seed Hunt Begins again, FINALLY

Pulsegleaner

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Well, barring a few odds and ends over the last few years, today marked my first OFFICIAL seed search since COVID barred me from Manhattan.

On a trip today, I decided, on a whim, to pop into Bhavick (the nearby Indian grocery store), with the intent of trying to see if I could find any bags of mothe beans that seemed to have any black or "scribbled" (mottled) seeds (I did get one relict mottled seed into the ground this year, but, while it has survived and grown to a decent length, it made no flowers, so I need to try again.

That hunt came up empty (every bag of mothe beans they had was pure "normal" pale tan.)

However, as I was was walking down the aisle, I saw the pile of bags of mung beans, and noticed, to my surprise that some of the smaller bags were marked, and contained, the smaller size of mung bean (up until now, I assumed that India, China and such soley grew the large seeded one, with the small one being confined to Thailand and places south of that.) So, in the hope of finding a few "golden" mungs I did a check over, and grabbed three likely looking bags.

The Swad brand was a bit of a dissapointment. Not only were their "smalls" more along the lines of mediums (or undersized larges) but, being so, there could be no "golden" mungs, only mustard colored ones (like the strain @Zeedman grows sometimes).
But the two bags of Laksmi proved a better run. I'm not sure if I found any true golden mungs (despite being smaller, these seem similar in color to the large ones, rather than the much lighter, brighter green I am used to for little ones, so again, mustard may be the best that can happen, but also a possible "jade" one (sort of the opposite of a golden, a jade is one where the bluish color pigment in the mung seed coat is present, but the yellow one isn't, so you get a bluish green seed, and, best of all, a surprising number of what appear to be BLACK mung beans (enough to make me plan to return later to get more bags from Bhavick (which doesn't have many, the tend to favor the Swad brand for their products and only get others when they have to.) AND take a close look at the shelves at Bombay Mart the next time I'm over in Nanuet (since they carry a much wider selection of brands, and so would have a lot more Laksmi.)

Exactly what I managed to get I won't know until tonight when I can get them upstairs and get the flashlight beam on them (it's been raining and cloudy all day, so my color vision is a little compromised.) but there should be something interesting.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Well, they've been under the light, and things are a LITTLE different than they seemed. The "black" ones turned out to be green with mottling (which is still useful) and a lot of the yellow ones were patchy yellow (yellow and green areas) so I discarded them (a patchy one indicates a color failure in development, not genes, so if planted, it'll go back to plain green).

Only one yellow light enough to be considered "gold"
 

flowerbug

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Exactly what I managed to get I won't know until tonight when I can get them upstairs and get the flashlight beam on them (it's been raining and cloudy all day, so my color vision is a little compromised.) but there should be something interesting.

you sound like you feel like i do when you're sifting through your beans/seeds as i do when i'm shelling out and sorting looking for new and interesting treasures from nature. :) on these rainy and cold days it's nice to have something that gets my fingers in the piles of beans for the tactile feedback and the color and shapes give my brain happy fizzy chemicals. :)
 

Pulsegleaner

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you sound like you feel like i do when you're sifting through your beans/seeds as i do when i'm shelling out and sorting looking for new and interesting treasures from nature. :) on these rainy and cold days it's nice to have something that gets my fingers in the piles of beans for the tactile feedback and the color and shapes give my brain happy fizzy chemicals. :)
Well, until your fingers begin to cramp and your eyes go bleary because you've been doing it for three to four hours straight (remember it is not uncommon for me to be going through 15lbs. of beans at one sitting).

But yeah, there is that feeling. It combines with the predatory feeling I get when looking for the beans in the first place in the store. The chase, the hunting, the glimpse, the stalking, the approach, the closing in, the STRIKE!

And it really is like hunting, going into detail observation mode, reading the spoor (in the form of the other things I am finding in the grouping, which give me clues as to what to expect.) and ultimately bringing back the trophies.
 

Pulsegleaner

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While browsing around Etsy on an Indian medicinal herb site, I discovered the true identity of one of my unknown weed finds, the one I was always calling Hellweed. It's actually Achyranthes aspera, commonly called Devil's Horsewhip (figures). Ironically, given it left me with a permanent finger scar, it's supposed to be good for treating wounds.
 

heirloomgal

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Have you found any more intriguing seeds in your searches?

On the topic of herbs from India, I'm tempted to try growing Ashwaghanda again. The last time it was just as easy as cilantro, but I wonder if it's worth bothering because it's the root that's valuable, and there isn't much there I found. I can buy a generous bag of it for less than ten bucks.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Have you found any more intriguing seeds in your searches?

On the topic of herbs from India, I'm tempted to try growing Ashwaghanda again. The last time it was just as easy as cilantro, but I wonder if it's worth bothering because it's the root that's valuable, and there isn't much there I found. I can buy a generous bag of it for less than ten bucks.
Not as yet. As I mentioned, those mung bean bags were the first odd things I have seen since COVID started, and I cleaned that store out almost instantly as they only had five bags of that kind. With the one in Nanuet shut down, I don't really have anywhere to GO to hunt at the moment. The senna seeds sold at H-mart haven't had anything of note for a few years now (ever since they switched distributors) and, if I recall, the same thing applied to all of the beans being sold at Golden Village (you have to remember that all of these things are mistakes that slip through, so the better quality control gets on the packing end, the less stuff I'm going to find.)

If you mean seeds found ONLINE, not that much there either. Customs has gotten a lot more vigilant about checking packages so non phyto'd seed from outside the county has basically no chance of making it to me now. And my seller in Ghana (who DOES provide phyto's and so still should be legal) has something odd going on in his shop where every time I click on anything, it is marked as "not being available in my region". Maybe the U.S. has tightened things again and said that even a phyto is no longer good enough for importation, or that they don't consider Ghanian phyto's valid anymore.

The wild luffas I was in that Indian online store looking at are technically being sold as medicine, not seed, but I'm not sure that will allow them through customs either (I suspect the ban applies to ALL natural organic material). And, as yet, none of the seed companies inside the country have anything new to really interest me (I mentioned the nutmeg possibility, but since I'd have to plant that AS SOON as I got it, I'd need room I just don't have now. Not to mention that really cold weather is not the ideal time to transport recalcitrant seed through the mail, especially given how much slower the Postal Service has gotten.)
 

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