Author Topic: Seed Saving Circle 2020  (Read 16710 times)

penedesenca

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Seed Saving Circle 2020
« on: March 10, 2020, 11:47:29 »
Sorry for the delay, yes folks here is the 2020 seed saving circle thread, jump in and shout if you wish to join.

For those who havenít joined in before some information to help you decide if you would like to join ;
The Seed Circle is open to all A4A members, itís great to have new people join too. The group is all about setting aside a little growing space and time to raise some crops for seeds, keeping the group informed of how the season is going and at the end of the season sharing some growing information and the all-important saved seeds with the group.

Each person decides what 2 or more crops they will grow and save seed from (although we do inc. tubers, bulbs and cuttings just make sure they are well wrapped so they don't dampen any seeds), saving enough seed for every other member to grow a crop the following year. The group could be up to 20 people.. Veggies will generally need to be heritage or open pollinated so that they will come true from seed, (potato seeds wonít come exactly true) if you include grown out hybrids please state this clearly.

I think most of us have found out, some vegetables are easier than others to grow from seed and everything can change with the weather. But generally peas, French beans, tomatoes, perhaps potatoes and some herbs are the easiest. Chillies, Sweet peppers, squash, courgette and lettuce will need isolating from other varieties to keep seed pure.  Parsnips, onions, leeks, beetroot, carrots, celeriac and many brassicas only go to seed the second year and need isolation from other varieties and so are more time consuming and a little trickier.

Real Seeds gave the idea for the circles. Their site gives some great seed saving tips as well as being a great seed catalogue http://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedsavinginfo.html

For anyone interested in the previous years Seed Parcels and what we finally shared from 2017 onwards they can be found at https://seedsaverscircle.home.blog/
For anyone interested in the previous years Seed Parcels and what we finally shared from 2016 and oprevious they can be found at http://seedsaverscircle.org/seed-circle/

And some previous threads for the Circles;
Seed Circle 2019 https://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php/topic,82221.0.html
Seed Circle 2018 https://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php/topic,81651.0.html
Seed Circle 2017 https://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php/topic,81010.0.html


Could a kind Mod please pin this?  :wave:
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 11:49:07 by penedesenca »
I don't have a seed addiction. I just have a lot of good intentions.

Seed Circle 2018 - https://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php/topic,81651.0.html
New Seed Savers Site - https://seedsaverscircle.home.blog/
Old Seed Savers Site - http://seedsaverscircle.org/

Allotments 4 All

Seed Saving Circle 2020
« on: March 10, 2020, 11:47:29 »

Vetivert

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2020, 18:36:42 »
Count me in  :icon_cheers:

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2020, 08:16:59 »
Me too!

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2020, 14:29:48 »
And me! :happy7:

penedesenca

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 06:54:40 »
Hi folks hope you are all keeping safe and well. With everything that is going on I hope you are raring to save lots of seeds.

Just wanted to let you know I am handing over the circle baton (as of now) to JanG who I am sure will be fantastic.

Take care and stay safe
I don't have a seed addiction. I just have a lot of good intentions.

Seed Circle 2018 - https://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php/topic,81651.0.html
New Seed Savers Site - https://seedsaverscircle.home.blog/
Old Seed Savers Site - http://seedsaverscircle.org/

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 09:40:19 »
Thank you both , I am forging ahead ,one of my choices is Hangmanís Door pea sounds a bit Farrow and Ball !

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 21:15:48 »
Great! And quite a name. I wonder what the history of that is. There's not much on line about it, just Adam Alexander saying he had a disaster with it!

Do you know anything about it or its history? Mangetout? Shelling?

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 08:11:26 »
Morning, yes the pea was from Adam Alexander, the only information I have is that it grows 1.2 meters is purple podded and from his picture on his seed list looks like a shelling pea , he also described it as unique, so armed with this Iíll keep you informed,especially on the flavour front.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 08:35:39 »
Seed circle for learning how to save seeds and share with the group Ė 2020

First of all, Iíd like to thank Penedesenca for so ably running the seed circle distribution for the last three years, thank those who have already expressed interest in joining this yearís seed circle and welcome new members. 

During lockdown, there has been an unprecedented interest in growing vegetables at home, and at the same time massive disruption to seed availability. Restrictions on agricultural workers and problems with supply and demand due to Covid and Brexit might well bring about shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially salad crops. This spring has already seen many shortages in the seed industry. Our seed circle can help with exchanging seeds and with seed saving advice.  To be able to exchange seeds has never been more important and when we save seeds for ourselves and share with others, weíll have great variety and wonít go short on seeds next spring.

The start of the growing year is a good time to reach out and welcome anyone who would like to save seeds to join our group of experienced seed savers who have already signed up. As the year goes on, we can keep seed saving in mind both for ourselves and to share within the group. We welcome new members who are happy to commit to growing at least two vegetables to seed, irrespective of their previous experience.

With that in mind it would be great if we have some ongoing discussion about what seeds can be saved, when and how, and share experiences. A reminder that  peas, French beans and tomatoes ae especially easy to keep pure but there are plenty of others too and that you can join the circle seed sharing with just two crops. This is all explained more fully in the first post of this thread and you can find very helpful seed saving guides on the Real Seeds website at, http://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedsavinginfo.html

It would be great if old and new members could share what seed saving experience you have, whether just starting, or interested in very specific varieties. It would be good also to share what youíre particularly interested in saving, contributing or receiving this year. Thank you again to those who have already expressed an intention to take part. And to those who are thinking they might like to join in, please do express your interest.

Iíll start the ball rolling in a separate post with lambís lettuce and land cress and one or two suggestions.
 
I look forward to your posts.  Do join in any discussion or ask any questions about seed saving in general or for specific crops. 

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 08:45:03 »
Good to know that Hangman's Door came from Adam Alexander. Worth growing for the name alone! There must be a story behind it.
Good luck with it.
Yes, it will be good to hear how the flavour is. I think quite a few purple podded peas are a bit bitter - but always good for stews, soups and stir-fries even if they aren't very sweet.

I'm growing two of his varieties this year. One is Jaune de Madras which is a yellow-podded mangetout which he thinks might be the same as Golden Sweet, and the other is Avi Juan which he gives quite a story for. I hope to able to  contribute seeds of those if all goes well.

1.2 metres is a nice height. easier to support perhaps than a very tall variety.

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2020, 09:52:28 »
 I donít know if this would be enough interest to the group , but I am growing Nasturtium Blue Pepe , this is the one fancy pants chefs use . Iíve had a number of seeds from Adam Alexander, he also gave me extra Syrian broad beans to share with some chaps from Syria .
JanG ,seed saving and sharing is very satisfying too, I shared the ones I had from the 2019 circle and I know some of those have  been passed on and on.
I noticed some volunteer runner beans on the plot, and after two frosts some are still magnificently defiant, I shall ear mark those although unnamed for growing well on our plots  and share with newbies who sometimes plant out too soon and get despondent, being very careful how to label them or we end up with another Hangmanís Door.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2020, 10:15:26 »
Right now in my garden I have lambís lettuce and land cress flowering and beginning to set seed. They are both great salad ingredients to grow through the summer, but I think theyíre especially good sown in about September and left over winter and into spring.
If theyíre left to go to seed itís easy to gather copious amounts or leave them to self seed and create a patch for next year. Both are great crops for minimal effort and at a time of year when other salad leaves are probably in short supply.

Itís also good right now to leave some lettuce to flower and go to seed. It rarely crosses with another variety and so if itís reasonably on its own or you just save one type, you can be sure it will stay true to type. Or, of course, for your own purposes you can let different varieties cross and see what emerges. The result will probably be well adapted to your conditions. I have a reddish lettuce which lasted in good condition outside and unprotected all winter. Iím interested to save seed from it and see whether it becomes a good winter performer.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2020, 10:26:57 »
Nasturtium Blue Pepe sounds great to me, Markfield Rover. I shall google with interest.

Yes, the passing on and on is a big part of the pleasure I agree and how lovely to be able to share a Syrian variety with some Syrians. they have such a rich heritage of growing which must be much missed.

I think unnamed varieties with special attributes are really good to save too and pass on with an explanation of their usefulness. I guess that's contributing to the adaptation to particular conditions which is another advantage of saving seed rather than relying on commercial companies.

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2020, 11:25:49 »
That reminds me I have lettuce Bloody Warrior which can be sown as late as October to over winter ,always seems counterintuitive but works.

Vetivert

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2020, 12:03:28 »
Thank you penedesenca and JanG  :icon_cheers:

It's nice to see renewed discussion on the subject. As mentioned previously, peas are extremely easy to save for seed.  Though it is best not to attempt to save seed and eat pods from the same plants. The reason being that the earliest pods yield the highest quality seed - but if you leave pods to mature, the plants stop cropping. So if you want both a good crop for the table and the best seed, just leave a few plants at the end of the row unpicked. The same is true of other legumes. This year I'm growing 3 pea varieties for the HSL, and 15 others for eating & seed saving. Many of those are just blocks of 8-10 plants, which will produce hundreds of seeds.
 
Celery here is just starting to bloom - another easy one but biennial. Mark out your finest plants and leave them to overwinter. In cold areas you should relocate to a covered spot. In spring they will bolt.

The staple crops Sweet Meat Oregon Homestead squash, Beefy Resilient Grex drying beans, and Magic Manna flour corn are going in direct-sown this month. I hope to add these to the circle if there is interest - not sure how popular flour corn is with British gardeners. Note that all kinds of corn requires a population of a few hundred to prevent inbreeding depression.

Something I'll be experimenting with this summer are late sown broad beans. June - early July sowing for September crop. This may be the only practical way to avoid crossing with the neighbours' plants.

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2020, 17:52:27 »
I was wandering if I should sow the Syrian beans later , so I will now and hopefully have enough for the circle , I believe you eat them small and whole.

galina

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2020, 17:59:51 »
I have sown broad beans later and also at the back of the greenhouse to prevent any chance of crossing with broad beans and agricultural field beans.  And it worked out well.  :wave: 

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2020, 18:12:38 »
Good luck with the Syrian beans, Markfield Rover. Not too late for them I shouldn't think. Looking forward to hearing later how they are taste wise. Small and whole sounds good. we don't often eat mangetout broad beans, or at least I don't, but a variety particularly suitable sound very interesting.

I have a courgette from Adam Alexander from Syria which he simply calls Syria. I think he had a seed gathering expedition there a few years ago and has a special interest in the richness of Syrian growing and in saving varieties which otherwise might be lost.
Also I grow a lettuce called Spotted Aleppo. Perhaps we could gather a few Syrian varieties for swapping this year. So many must have been lost over the years of conflict. It feels important to grow and save any which we can source in the hope that that might help in some small way.

For me keeping courgette (and squash) seed true to type by hand pollination is new. I hope to experiment and post here a bit later in the season how to do it and how I get on. But if anyone else has experience with cucurbits it would be great if they could share their experience.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2020, 18:17:06 »
Thanks for the advice on the best practical way to save pea seed, Vetivert. I'm growing more varieties of peas, by far, than I've ever grown before and was wondering how best to go about saving seed for sharing. I'll certainly go for the method you suggest.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2020, 18:24:21 »
vetivert wrote: 'The staple crops Sweet Meat Oregon Homestead squash, Beefy Resilient Grex drying beans, and Magic Manna flour corn are going in direct-sown this month. I hope to add these to the circle if there is interest - not sure how popular flour corn is with British gardeners. Note that all kinds of corn requires a population of a few hundred to prevent inbreeding depression'.

That's really interesting. I'm interested in making flour from the flour-type varieties of corn but have no experience. Have you made flour from corn? I've done some reading but haven't tried it.
Are you thinking of growing 100 plants of Magic Manna? I have Hopi Blue but don't think I have the space to grow enough to save seed.