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Messages - Ellendra

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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Breeding Goldini Zucchini Podcast
« on: 2020-02-06, 12:31:07 PM »
I don't want to get in the middle of Carol's business, other than to say that she is OK and there is no question in my mind that there is no fraud going on.  I have no doubt that she will get things sorted out, even if it is taking much longer than expected.

I really, really hope you're right. Carol's books changed my life. I'd be happy to help in any way I can, but a lot of the trust people had in her is gone. It's going to take a long time to rebuild that, even if she sorts this all out tomorrow.

There is no centralized or long term storage of OSSI varieties, although we are looking into a possible mechanism for distributing varieties that otherwise wouldn't be available.  That is not likely to happen quickly.  Having the OSSI potentially become a competitor to the mostly small seed growers who pledge varieties is a tricky subject and has so far be strongly resisted.

There might be a way to make OSSI a partner and not a competitor. Some of Reed's suggestions are very similar to the way Baker Creek handles a lot of their varieties. The person who first offered them the variety gets first dibs on the growing contract. The grower sells the seeds, in bulk, to Baker Creek, and then Baker Creek handles the packaging and distribution.

What if OSSI had something similar, but in more of a co-op format? Instead of buying the seeds in bulk, have a commission taken out when the seeds sell. Have a standardized label for growers who don't want to design their own, but also have a reasonable range to which they could customize their labels, provided that it works with the same printer and uses the same paper. Use the same kinds of packaging machines to process the seeds, just to streamline that part.

If a grower decides that they're unwilling or unable to continue a particular variety, the co-op asks if any existing members would like to pick it up. If not, it goes in a seed bank.

(Slightly off-topic: if you ever get the chance at a behind-the-scenes tour of Baker Creek in MO, take it. That place is amazing! They have an entire warehouse full of seeds that aren't in the catalogs, because if they tried it would be the size of an encyclopedia. Even when they discontinue a seed, they keep some in their seed bank.)

How to fund this kind of a start-up? I don't know. Might it be possible to partner with an existing seed company? Or even contact several smaller seed companies and see if they'd be interested in teaming up?

OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Breeding Goldini Zucchini Podcast
« on: 2020-02-04, 04:06:54 PM »
Someone was looking around for Goldini over on Homegrown Goodness not long ago. Wonder if Carols 2020 catalogue will be out soon?

Be aware, for the last 2 years she has been cashing people's checks but not filling their orders. The first time, she gave a long apology after a year of silence, and promised to fill all the back-orders if people just contacted her, but as far as I've seen she still hasn't filled a single order during that time. 2019 orders also weren't filled, but the checks were cashed, and there has been no communication whatsoever. If anyone here has gotten their order from 2018 or 2019, I'd be curious to know, because in every gardening forum I frequent, not a single person has gotten their seeds.

I hate to say things like this, because I respect her work, and I think the varieties she's developed are awesome. But I kind of hope she doesn't put out a 2020 catalog. There's talk on some forums of reporting her for fraud.

I even tried to contact her through a private message on this forum, and offered to help process and package orders. No response.

I suggest looking for her varieties elsewhere. I've been putting together a list of alternate sources for her varieties. I'll keep an eye out for that one.

Tomatoes / Re: Article: GMO Spicy Tomato
« on: 2020-01-15, 10:49:26 AM »
It's normal for insects to be absent in the middle of January,

Ohio vs New Zealand :)

Seed Saving / Re: Customs destroyed my seed order from Britain.
« on: 2020-01-14, 09:31:28 AM »
Sad when that happens :(

I've gotten that same note from customs, after I ordered from someone I thought was in the US but turned out to be from Taiwan. Did yours make it sound like you're being put on a watch list because of it? Mine did.

I don't think it's "turning a blind eye" when seeds are allowed through. I think the sheer volume of packages being sent back and forth every day is such that they can't possibly inspect all of them. They just intercept the ones they catch, and the rest get through.

Signed up!


what I had not previously known is that each plant seems to have it's own frequency,
so you should be able to water the plants you want and not so much the weeds.

What I really need is an automated weed zapper. This is giving me an idea on how to better identify them. Thanks!!!

Seed Saving / Re: seeds from parthenocarpic fruit
« on: 2019-12-20, 11:14:59 AM »
One of my seed growing assignments last year was for a parthenocarpic cucumber variety. It was my experience that they produced fruit with or without pollination, but when they were pollinated they produced seed. Not nearly as much seed per fruit as most cucumbers, but enough to maintain the variety.

  The upshot seems to be that leafy greens are the most nutrient dense, in providing more of the RDA of essential nutrients per weight.   

Something I've noticed in my own nutritional research is that nutrients per volume can sometimes be a more useful ratio than nutrients by weight, or by calorie.

As an example, spinach is the food most commonly thought of when looking for something high in iron. A cup of raw spinach contains 5% of your RDA of iron. You'd have to eat 20 cups to get your recommended allowance. Or, you could nibble on pumpkin seeds, which have 115% RDA of iron in a single cup.

(These are being taken in isolation. Of course they would be eaten in combination with other foods. This is just an example.)

It depends on what you're looking for, and what you're more likely to eat.


Also would it be better to spend $10 on his book or $10 on a particular organic fertilizer?

I'm not familiar with his work, so I can't weigh in on the rest of your questions. But false dichotomies bug me, so I'm answering this one. Check your local library, and see if they can get it for you. You can also sometimes rent ebook versions for really cheap. That way you can read it first, and decide for yourself if you want your own copy.

Community & Forum Building / Re: Multi option staple poll
« on: 2019-11-24, 02:39:49 PM »
My staples for survival (in no particular order):

Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds

These, plus meat, eggs, and milk, can be used to create a diet that will provide 100% of all macro and micro nutrients needed by the human body. Granted, I'm still working on being able to grow these reliably, but I consider them essential to my dreams of self-sufficiency.

(Several years ago I suffered from deficiencies in a few essential minerals. My appetite was just too small to get much out of what I was eating. It got bad enough to land me in the ER twice. Since the supplement pills made me throw up, I started researching and playing with spreadsheets to find ways to get better nutrition through real food, and pack it into as small a volume as possible to account for my appetite. I was very surprised by the results. This list is the bare-bones version of that research.)

I'm still doing research to try and come up with a similar list for livestock feed, to supply those meats, eggs, and milk without having to buy supplemental feed.

Other gardening stables, just because I love growing them:

Beans (both green and dry)
Corn (I alternate between flour and flint)
Squash (both summer and winter)
Other assorted fruits

I'm sure I'll think of more.

Grains / Re: Golden Rice
« on: 2019-11-04, 01:50:52 PM »
My professor in plant genetics at OSU had an question to make us think about this. Why are some folks kept so poor they can't afford to devote some ground to growing vegetables to go with their grains for needed vitamins? Or afford to buy a few vegetables to add to their meals?

Edit: That said I think they should release the rice. I don't think it's harmful and people need it. But I do think we shouldn't have people so poor in this world that they can't have a few carrots or a tomato plant. Does this economic system of disproportionate poverty subsidize my lifestyle in the U.S.?  I also think we should carefully think before we release such technologies, though this one has probably been considered long enough.

Sometimes the problem is cultural. If the prevailing culture of the area is that grains are the best food to grow, and that leafy greens are only fed to animals, then people will grow and eat primarily grains.

There was an article put out by Heifer International about that once. I remember that part of it included an interview with an Ethiopian woman who had gotten some cooking and nutrition classes from Heifer, in addition to garden seeds. She said she honestly hadn't known that greens were good for people, so she had been planting millet in her garden and nothing else. After the training, she added greens and other vegetables, and her kids grew healthier, with the same amount of land.

I've run into this in varying degrees, in all sorts of places, including the US. I have no idea how much of a factor it is worldwide, but it is definitely a factor.

Cucurbits / Re: Breeding a perennial dryland squash
« on: 2019-09-21, 04:02:04 PM »
I grow C ficifolia. It seems to be day-length sensitive, so the plants grow huge, and don't flower until just before my fall frosts arrive. Just before is good enough. So this year, I only saved seeds from the first fruits to form. I don't know how susceptible the day-length genes are to selection pressure, but I figure that I aughta at least try. I have successfully grown two generations now. Next year will be the third generation, which often turns out to the the magical generation where projects seem to thrive.

Has anyone tried setting up something to shade day-length sensitive plants in the morning and evening? Sort of like a reverse sundial?

Seed Saving / Re: Drought resistant Australian varieties
« on: 2019-09-15, 08:23:02 AM »
I'm not Australian, but I do know that prickly pears grow really well there. They're actually considered an invasive.

Community & Forum Building / Re: How's your weather 2019
« on: 2019-09-10, 11:32:16 AM »
Lots of rain here in southern WI. Reasonably warm weather between storms. This has been one of those years when I'm glad my farm is on such a steep hill. I watched my grandfather's farm get flooded out 3 out of every 5 years, so "not in a flood plain" was on my list of dealbreakers when shopping for land. It may be near-vertical in spots, but it will never flood!

I'm hoping for a late fall to make up for our late spring. I am seeing a weather indicator that I've never seen before: this year all the woolly worms on my property are blonde!

Seed Saving / Protection for "naked" ears of corn
« on: 2019-08-28, 01:11:05 AM »
My two favorite corn varieties (Magic Manna and Ruby-Gold Cascade) both have a problem with poor husk coverage. Some ears are fine, others have the ends sticking out. And others are completely husk-less. The ones with the end exposed tend to be bug-eaten and rotted, because rainwater gets in and is held there by the husks. The ones that are completely naked are the first to get eaten by rodents.

I'm selecting for better husk coverage, but this year I have a growing contract for Magic Manna, and I really need the income.

Is there an way to supplement the protection normally given by the husks? My area has had a ton of rain, so paper bags are out. They'd disintegrate within a week. I'm looking at the possibility of using old socks from the thrift store, but that's a LOT of socks, and they might soak up the rain and hold it there, making the rot worse. I have this crazy thought of gluing leaves in place of the husks, but I haven't tried it yet.

Any ideas?

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