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While I was in the UK I picked up some seeds (Mum and I shared some packets).

These two I plan to save seed from:

broad beans: “Masterpiece Green Longpod ”
Extra long 12″ pods, excellent for freezing, sow feb-Apr, so it may not overwinter. I’ll try some in fall 2009 though.

Shelling peas: “Meteor” bush pea 18″ high, the shortest I could find. Overwinters from an Oct-Nov sowing, or sow in March.

The following are brassicas and I don’t plan to save seed, but they are OP and I can give away a small packet to anyone interested:

Sprouting Broccoli “extra early sprouting Rudolph”
Overwinters from a Apr-Jun sowing to start harvesting January onwards – good flavoured purple spears.

Sprouting Broccoli “White Sprouting”
Overwinters from a Apr-May sowing to harvest Mar-Apr – white spears.

Sprouting Broccoli “Purple Sprouting”
Overwinters from a Apr-May sowing to harvest Mar-Apr – purple spears.

Brussels Sprouts “Bedford Winter Harvest”
Sow Mar-Apr for Nov-Feb harvest. Reliable, long season, winter-hardy.

Obviously these are not part of the “project” but fun anyway 🙂

Kevin

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Here’s a list of the vegetable varieties included in our community seed-saving project.
Of course, we encourage people to save seeds of any of their favorite vegetable, flower, herb, tree etc. seeds.

This list was arrived at by knocking a couple of experienced local market gardeners’ heads together last fall. Then running our choices past Dan Jason, experienced seed saver and owner of the Saltspring Seeds.

With our focus on enhancing local food security, we chose vegetable varieties that were both relatively easy to grow and save seed from.

Plenty of beans, peas for inexperienced seed savers to learn how to save seed. And then a number of beets/chard and squash varieties, that it is difficult for an individual seed saver to save more than one variety of each type of vegetable. Per year.

A network of local seed-savers, increases more varieties of vegetables for swapping.

Here’s the list:

1)Beets(Lutz Winterkeeper, Detroit Red, Early Wonder Tall-top)

2)Chard(Rainbow, Rhubarb, Bietina(Italian)

3)Peas(Oregon Sugar Pod/Sugar Pea(edible pod) Green Arrow(fresh shelling) Carlin(dry soup) China(Snow)Sapporo(Japanese Shelling Pea)

4)Beans (Pole(green, wide Celina), Pole Blue Lake), Pole Dry(Neabel), Fava(Andy’s Broad), Dry Bush, (Ireland Creek Annie, Odawa, Jacob;s Cattle,Beka Brown, Kidney-Red/White,Ukraine, Monetezuma Red, Coco) Bush(Honey Wax) and green, (Jade)

5) Squash-
Moschata-Butternut
Pepo-Table King Acorn, Sweet Dumpling Delicata, Spaghetti,
Maxima-Hokkaida -Buttercup, Baby Blue Hubbard,
Golden Hubbard

Seed Savers of Powell River officially launched our pilot seed-saving project on February 11th.

About twenty people enjoyed a delicious potluck at the monthly Wednesday Kale Force meeting. Then we got busy packaging up seeds in readiness for Seedy Saturday, our community seed/plant swap and garden fair on March 14th.

If you’re a gardener or food security enthusiast, read about that meeting and our project at:

http://www.prpeak.com/articles/2009/02/25/community/doc49a4ced861dd5427202298.txt

I think that’s a kind of funny way to put it… after all, seeds do not process data; microchips do not grow into computers (which then spread microchips around the room hoping to spawn new computers). But they do things funny in the mainstream press. At any rate, I thought that it was worth noting that the interest in seeds and vegetable gardening has really hit the big-time: this article from USA Today contains some pretty wild information; e.g.:

What’s more, the number of homes growing vegetables will jump more than 40% this year compared with just two years ago, projects the National Gardening Association, a non-profit organization for gardening education.

I suppose it’ll take another year or two (or maybe more) for the interest in buying seeds to become an interest in saving seeds. But it’s a start.

Collected your garden seeds from last year, but never got around to putting them in envelopes, to trade at Seedy Saturday?

Got paper bags, jam jars, used envelopes of seed, earmarked for donation to Seedy Saturday?

You’re a gardening/food security enthusiast, with a couple of spare hours and a desire to have some fun and network with other seed-saving gardeners?

If your answer is, positive to any of the three above questions:

Come tomorrow, Wednesday, February 11th to the Community Resource Center on Joyce Avenue in Powell River to our seed-packing bee/party.
Pot-luck with local gardening group, Kale Force at 5:00 p.m. and work ‘party’ from 6-8 p.m.

And if you’re thinking this is a late announcement. Rest assured that, this message, has been passing around that most effective of communication devices, the human ‘telegraph’, word-of-mouth for the past few months. It’s more of a last reminder of the date to locals. And a hello!
To the international seed-saving community.

Today, the Seed Savers of Powell River sent out a letter of invitation to experienced vegetable growers in the district who have expressed interest in seed saving for the Seed Saving Project 2009. Also a description of the goals of the project as outlined elsewhere on this blog.

The seeds from the selected varieties of peas, beans, beets, chard, squash and pumpkins purchased from Saltspring Seeds, will be divided up, on a first come, first served basis.

Of course, we’d like to encourage everyone to save seeds from far more vegetables then just these variety names, in this small pilot project. What vegetable seeds you select, from what sources,and how your growing season goes over the next year. And any other subjects of interest to food gardeners.

It’s still early to plant much outside, but the warmth in yesterday’s sunshine, got me, feeling spring is on its way!