Author Topic: Growing Heirlooms  (Read 7469 times)

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Richard Myers

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Growing Heirlooms
« on: January 01, 2012, 09:49:02 AM »
We have discussed growing heirlooms in other topics, but we need to concentrate on them.  We are all in the dark and need more information.  I recently came to the conclusion that because of the difficulty and possible failure due to seed contamination, that it is not worth relying on them. This may be true, but there is another side to this. Every year our natural seeds are disappearing. Because of the large use of GMO and hybrid  seeds, they are infecting the natural seed stock. 

Here is a quick overview of the risk.  We know that  famine is  coming. It will hit the U.S.  One of the possible causes is the failure of gmo and hybrid seeds.   When a disease comes along that destroys that particular seed, the devastation is great because all of the seed is exactly the same.  With heirlooms, there is variation because they have small changes when pollinated. Therefore, when disease gets one, it will not effect the whole variety as it will when it hits a hybrid crop.  Also, the commercial crops are very large and when disease comes, we lose a very large amount of our food supply.

It would be wise to begin to use heirloom seeds where we can.  I think that it may be vialbe than we have experienced with a few varieties of tomatoes.  Let us begin to study the  subject and better understand the issues involved. Here is a book for those who are interested in moving ahead quickly.   http://www.seedsavers.org/Content.aspx?src=savingheirlooms.htm
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 10:02:28 AM »
That is all I have been growing for the past 3 years. I've had some failures but mostly I've been very happy with the results. I find that one year the seed will not do so well as another year. For instance this past summer I could not get ANY beets, soy beans, cucumbers or squash to grow. Other years they have been great. Everything else I planted this year was super. I think the weather has a lot to do with it too.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 03:00:11 PM »
We are learning and don't have a lot of time left to "practice".   Tell us if your seed ever is seen to have been cross pollinated so that your new crop is not true to the old seed.  Do you plant more than one variety of heirloom tomatoes?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 04:46:08 PM »
I plant more than one variety of everything and separate them. The only seeds I've saved so far are broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard, ground cherries, beans and peas. So far I have not had any problems with cross pollination. I have not saved any of my tomato seeds yet because we've had to pick them before they are fully ripe. Because of our wet summers they get late blight so we pick them a bit early just before they turn red.  If my greenhouse gets repaired in time this year I will plant one kind of tomato in there and leave some on the vine to ripen for saving seeds.

I want to replant some of my last years carrots to get seed for planting next year but we have so much wild carrots in our area I'm afraid they won't be pure. I feel an urgency too Richard to learn all I can. I wish we had enough land to grow some wheat and oats but on 3/4 's of an acre of rocky ground that would be rather difficult.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 09:05:25 PM »
What kind of beans are you growing?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 02:52:02 AM »
I had a strong impression to buy heirloom seeds this past year even before reading anything here or elsewhere for that matter about them.  I believe that impression, that prompting, came from God.   And so I now have plenty of varieties of heirloom seeds - enough seeds for probably 2 years - and have started buying extras for other family members as little gifts.

I have had mixed success in sprouting my own heirloom seeds but confident I will have more success next time around because have a little more experience.  I had wondered if some seeds that did not germinate were faulty, but I reckon I probably planted some a tad too deep.  Have been fortunate enough to find a local store that sells heirloom seedlings and so I got my garden started on these, and they have been successful.  I did not have any great success growing beans or peppers. The plants were stunted and didn't produce enough to feed a family. I doubt the problem was the plants but the gardener  ;)

Grew heirloom hailstone radishes which looked pretty in the garden but were so hot no one would eat them.  Just one gave one of my children terrific heartburn.  They mostly went to compost. 

Only one heirloom freckles lettuce seeds sprouted - in a pot about ten feet from where I had planted the seeds ???  and grew nicely. 

Kang kong, an Asian green, success.  Will grow a larger amount next time.  Success growing Malabar climbing spinach but didn't like the taste - prefer real spinach - tastes like what I imagine a succulent would taste like.  Won't grow it again.

I've yet to learn to save seeds - that's next on the list for this year.
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 03:11:35 AM »
I feel an urgency too Richard to learn all I can. I wish we had enough land to grow some wheat and oats but on 3/4 's of an acre of rocky ground that would be rather difficult.
It is encouraging to read that others, like yourself, Dorine, have this same sense of urgency.  We do our best and trust that God will help us to learn and will bless our efforts.  Our soil is not great either.  It is naturally  hard and stony in many places - push the spade in and down to 6 inches or less you hit the crunch of stones.  Amazingly, my tomato plants reached more than 5 feet in a garden bed that is six inches maximum in depth (then stones/rocks.)   I continue to build soil quality.
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 07:20:45 AM »
What kind of beans are you growing?

BUSH BEANS:

'Agate Soybean' - for fresh eating. This year I will add: Maple Glen and Flambeau for making tofu and soy milk.

Tendergreen- produces well here and tastes great.

Golden Wax - had trouble with mildew so this year I am going to try Beurre De Rocquencourt instead, I'm also going to try for the first time:

Hutterite Soup Bean
Henderson's Bush Lima

POLE BEANS:
Lazy Housewives - Every garden should have these. They are wonderful. Stringless even when mature with a marvelous flavour. I grow lots of these and supply several in our area with seed.

Scarlet Runners - mainly for the hummingbirds but we enjoy the 'young' pods when they are no more than 5 inches long and before they fill out.
Cross pollination has never happened with my beans even when planted in the same area.

Most everything I plant is for short northern climates.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 10:11:29 AM »
The Hutterite bean sounds nice, Dorine.  I have access to Lazy Housewife and Scarlet Runner beans.  Have you grown or come across Mostoller Wild Goose beans or Yin and Yang beans? 
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Richard Myers

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 12:00:30 PM »
Share the source of your seeds.   We need to begin finding good sources. Buying heirlooms is a little more difficult than buying hybrids.   And, we are depending upon the supplier to have protected his seed from GMO and other contamination.  The world is becoming corrupt, so it is an issue.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 01:06:51 PM »
Share the source of your seeds.   We need to begin finding good sources. Buying heirlooms is a little more difficult than buying hybrids.   And, we are depending upon the supplier to have protected his seed from GMO and other contamination.  The world is becoming corrupt, so it is an issue.

Here are my favorites. I'm not sure they all ship to the US. Three of these are in my neighbourhood so we can visit at any time and see them at work. They even welcome volunteers to come and learn the 'how to's' of gardening and they encourage those that buy seed from them to learn to do the same. The young fellow at Annapolis Seeds started this a few years ago when he was 16 and now has a thriving business. I'll keep on the outlook for any others that might be of interest to you.
http://www.annapolisseeds.com/
http://www.cottagegardener.com/
http://www.hopeseed.com/home
http://incredibleseeds.ca/
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 01:12:31 PM »
The Hutterite bean sounds nice, Dorine.  I have access to Lazy Housewife and Scarlet Runner beans.  Have you grown or come across Mostoller Wild Goose beans or Yin and Yang beans? 
I have never heard of the Mostoller Wild Goose bean. Sounds very interesting. I'll have to do a search for it. The Yin Yang I grew a few summer ago. The mildew got it and I've never tried since. Have you grown the Lazy Housewives? If not you should try them. Very few places offer them. I managed to save enough seed each year so I don't need to order any. The place I originally ordered them from hasn't offered them for a couple of years.
All this seed talk is getting me anxious to get planting.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 01:35:27 PM »
I forgot to mention Richard that the 2012 cat. are not on line yet. They will have them up this month sometime. The information you will see now is the 2011 info.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 08:32:02 PM »
Dorine, you are our resident "expert" on composting and heirlooms!  And I thought we were all in the dark!  God loves us!!  Something that I am beginning to see is that some of the seed I buy for collards, watermelons,  muskmelons, kale, cucumbers, lettuce is indeed already heirloom. Such a blessing!  It seems that the tomatoes are the big problem in growing and keeping seed.  And maybe they are not hard. It has been my limited experience and some of the information I have been reading on keeping plants separated to avoid cross pollination that has discouraged me.   You have been a great encouragement! Thank you!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 12:08:56 AM »
Share the source of your seeds.   We need to begin finding good sources. Buying heirlooms is a little more difficult than buying hybrids.   And, we are depending upon the supplier to have protected his seed from GMO and other contamination.  The world is becoming corrupt, so it is an issue.
I found three reliable suppliers on Ebay.  We can only have faith that they have been protected.  I believe they have been.  I bought tomato plants from an old man who sells tomato seedlings by the roadside nearby, has been doing so for years from his own seeds.
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Dorine

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 03:32:51 AM »
Mostoller Wild Goose - A very attractive white and beige/maroon speckled bean. Dates back to at least 1865 when these beans were found in the crop of a Canada goose shot by the Mostoller Family of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Mostoller saved the seeds and planted them the next Spring. The goose must have eaten the seeds nearby before its ill-fated flight over the Mostoller homestead, meaning these could be much older still. 4-5 foot vines

Annapolis Seed (I listed previously)sells these.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 01:10:21 PM »
They sound like a worthwhile try.  I'm going to grow the Lazy Housewife beans, Dorine.  The slugs go crazy for bean plants.  Plan to get some beer to set beer traps for the slugs and snails (sound like it works) but would have to wait until I can buy the beer away from home where nobody knows me.

I've never heard of wild carrots, Dorine.  Do they look like other carrots?  Are they good to eat?

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 01:41:45 PM »
That is all I have been growing for the past 3 years. I've had some failures but mostly I've been very happy with the results. I find that one year the seed will not do so well as another year. For instance this past summer I could not get ANY beets, soy beans, cucumbers or squash to grow. Other years they have been great. Everything else I planted this year was super. I think the weather has a lot to do with it too.
You must have a wonderful garden, Dorine.  It is disappointing when there are failures.  Yes, weather plays a part.  I am tempted to buy a soil testing pH kit. Learned that mushroom compost is very alkaline (I used a fair bit of mushroom compost to kickstart my gardens.)
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Richard Myers

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 08:53:35 PM »
You may want to do a little research on the mushroom compost to see what is in it.  I am sure there are different mediums, but you will probably want to know what is in yours.  There is no resting place this side of heaven. :(  But, God will continue to give us strength!   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Marelis

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Re: Growing Heirlooms
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2012, 01:47:02 AM »
You are right, Br Myers.  I only thought of that this the other day.  The compost bag said "organic" and I paid extra for it - imagined that organic meant free of animal products.  I don't remember seeing any listed ingredients.  I can try to find out.  At least it was very well composted, like black humus - beautiful (!)

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11