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Seed Saving Circle 2021

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JanG:
Yes please on providing as much info as possible for the seeds donated. I was going to ask shortly after Christmas but great that you've raised it. Galina has already supplied lots of info and others some too but it's really good to know where the seed originally came from and any known history, as well as how it grows and possibly any recommendations as to how best to use the resulting crop.

At the moment, Airtable is the best arrangement I can come up with as anything else I looked into either carried a cost or was studded with adverts. I hope the Airtable arrangement was acceptable but do let me know if it worked for you or if you have a different idea for collating the information.

JanG:
I've at last got round to some fuller noted on the varieties I contributed to the seed circle. I'll add some photos to the database when I draw it up. It would be good to have any remaining details on varieties provided by other donors. Some of you have provided a lot of very valuable information already which I'll add to the database.

In the absence of any other satisfactory platform, I'm intending like last year to put all the notes received so far, and any which come in the next week or so, on an Airtable base and send out links so that you can all access it. Hopefully that will all happen in the next few days.

Tomatoes
Azoychka A productive yellow beefsteak tomato. A Russian heirloom found in Moscow on a collecting trip by Kent Whealy, founder of Seed Savers Exchange in US, who made it available in 1995

Sweet Aperitif Bred by Mark Rowland (Gourmet Genetics). Itís a very sweet small red cherry tomato, some might say over sweet. It carries an AGM and is commercially available.

Jenís Tangerine This is an orange mid-sized tomato with good flavour found and grown in the French Pyrenees. Itís sold by Real Seeds (https://www.realseeds.co.uk/tomatoes_vines.html) though my seed came from an exchange

Primabella Also offered by Real Seeds. Impressively blight resistant. I grew this out of doors and it soldiered on happily producing mid-sized red tomatoes into October when all other plants had succumbed and died.


Peas
Rosakrone. My seed came from Real Seeds. Itís a crown pea with pink flowers. Real Seeds describes it: A very unusual heirloom from Sweden, with beautiful red/pink flowers borne in 'crowns' above the foliage.
It grows to around 4 - 5 foot tall, and looks stunning on a wigwam or peasticks for a decorative feature that also produces lots of tasty peas. Given to us by Vivi Logan, we are delighted to add this to our collection.

Opal Creek. This is a yellow Sugarsnap Alan Kapuler variety which grows to about 5ft. Thereís an excellent full review of it by Rebsie Fairholme at https://www.angelfire.com/az/garethknight/dots/opalcreek.html.
My original seed came from Plants of Distinction

Champion of England. A tall growing pea bred by William Fairbeard in Kent (1843) and apparently grown by Charles Darwin, and mentioned in his book 'The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, 1868'. It was judged as the best pea by the Journal of Horticulture in 1876. In the 1970's, taller growing peas fell out of favour, but HSL rescued it and offers it from time to time. My seed originally came from Real Seeds

Dwarf French beans
Saint Esprit díOeil Rouge A productive bean with markings rather like Soldier and perhaps one or two other named varieties. My seed came from Deaflora
https://deaflora.de/Shop/Bohnen/Buschbohne-Saint-Esprit-d--8217-Oeil-Rouge.html?language=de

Squaw One of my most productive dwarf beans this year with attractively patterned seed. I found it good to eat as a shelly/demi-sec or as a dried bean

Rosso di Lucca. This was also amazingly productive for a dwarf bean. Itís an Ark of Taste Heirloom from Italy

Climbing French bean
GialŤt Also from Italy and also adopted by the Slow Food Foundationís Ark of Taste. Itís known for its delicate taste and is still grown using traditional methods in the Valbelluna district. My seed came from an Italian donor, as did Rosso di Lucca and GialŤt


Lettuce
Bijou. This is an attractive blistered leaf, frilly lettuce with the darkest red leaves Iíve come across. It remains loose and in good condition for a good long time. Iíve sown it in January for polytunnel planting and in March for outdoors, and it did well grown both ways.

Brown Dutch. A very old variety mentioned in 1731 by British botanist Stephen Switzer. Itís a loose-headed variety with large, floppy, blistered outer leaves tinged reddish-brown. It was grown and documented by the US president Thomas Jefferson. My original seeds came from the Monticello shop on the site of his original home and garden.

JanG:
I've now gathered all the information which you, the seed circle, gave about your varieties and I've put it all, as before, on Airtable. I've sent the link by pm this morning, so do let me know whether it works and whether you're happy with the information. If you'd like to add info that would be great. I can't remember whether you can only read or can also edit, but I'm happy to add or change anything if you let me know.
It's quite a  bank of information added to from sundry internet sources, so hope it proves useful.

We didn't have  any ongoing comments arising from growing 2020 varieties but I think it would be good to have follow-up so that's something I'd like to encourage - and must remember to do it myself!!

Deb P:
A seed advent calendar, what a brilliant idea! Where was that from or was it home made?

markfield rover:
Deb P , it was a gift via Amazon, Own Grown I think was the brand . Everything was included to  hang the calendar like bunting and the quality high enough to refill and reuse. Seed count was good and I am not sure I could have made it much cheaper myself about £25 . Cheers.

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