brewboy19
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Looking for suggestions on seeds

I'am interested in dealing with heirloom plants. Where should I get them from and what kind would you suggest. I'm a noob on this site and I've only been growing a garden for 2 years now. There are a lot of heirloom survival seed companies out there, but when I asked my local flowerland store they told me to stay away from heirlooms that hybrids were better. I know they grow easier but I want to get into saving my own seeds and such. Help Please.

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Sage Hermit
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You are on the right path, Heirloom seeds is all about prized selected in some cases totaly organicly grown to seed and some cross bread selected types. In you area I think its rather common to find both seeds just remember its about selection. What do you want to accomplish? You will figure that out this year.

My personal question now is how to identify, select and store seeds from my own crop. Certain plants take some research. Mint seeds are so tiny I need to learn the anatomy of these plants first. .. lotta work.

I wish you the best was just in grand rapids!

its like -16 F 8-)

Could be mistaken but that makes it 15 degrees warmer this year than last year, global warming I think

Here is my take on heirloom seeds: People who love a certain plant like me mint we will have the best seeds. Someone who loves potatoes will have the best potatoes. Don't go out of your way. Go to the source.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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lorax
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Brewboy, you're on the right track. I'd actually start by asking around the membership here - almost all of us grow heirlooms of one kind or another. You may be able to set up seed swaps for SASBEs with some members, and they'll definitely know about performance for those plants. For example, I grow a number of North American herilooms here, particularly tomatoes and sweet corn, as well as a number of South American heirlooms, particularly Tree tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. I've also got Canadian heriloom hops.

Good commercial sources include [url=https://www.johnnyseeds.com]Johnny's Seeds[/url] and [url=https://www.mcfayden.com]McFayden[/url].

Hermit, your mint seeds will be in those tiny little capsules against the stem, that were left behind after the flowers dropped. I find it's easiest to pop a little paper bag over the entire flowering stem, snip it at the base, and pull it that way - the bag prevents you from just reseeding your mint patch.

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applestar
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Not specifically organic seeds, but FYI we're talking about seed catalogs in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31150&highlight=]this thread[/url].

When considering heirloom seeds to grow, you also have to learn about preventing cross pollination/contamination and properly preserving the seeds. I was also intrigued by some discussion we had in the tomato forum about limited genetic diversity in the heirloom seeds.

brewboy19
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I am mostly interested in heirlooms because I have read that to perpetually get your own seeds to continue a self sufficient garden hybrids today will not work and you will get mutated plants w/ far less nutritional value. I don't have a wealth of info on the topic just a few books I have read. I am mostly concerned that; lets say the worst case scenario happens and we need to rely on our gardens for food, I want to be sure we can continue to grow from the plants we already have. I don't have any seeds to swap since I am new to this but I would definatly be willing to buy some. I am really looking for staple vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, gourds(squash etc..) etc.....

I like gardening, so its not like I'm just some sort of survivalist. I just don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject and local flower stores have been less than helpful and have basically just tried to steer me back towards hybrids and genetically modified seeds/plants.

Any info or online reading people could suggest for a beginner would be appreciated as well. Thanks a lot guys/girls.

P.S. I would love a ryzome of that herloom canadian hops :D

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soil
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there is nothing better you can do than save your own seed. for a start i suggest that you start with quite a few varieties, the more the better. there will be some you don't like and some that don't grow well. cull those, do not save seed. only collect from the best of the best and the ones you like best out of those. in a few years your production will be equal to or greater than any hybrid can do. over time the plants will adapt to your local climate and your garden/soil.

and finally after a few years of tremendous fun you will have your own open pollinated varieties that no one else in the world has. and the best thing is they are exactly what you want.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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lorax
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Brewboy - check out my location. Postal regulations here don't permit me to send live plant material (or receive it either, boo-urns :evil: ), but I can send you seeds! The 'Drummond' hops are the only ones I currently grow, so they're true to type. And I'm sure you appreciate a challenge.... :twisted:

brewboy19
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That's a terrible law! I don't know anything about the drummond hops. Even a google search gave me nothing. But I would love to get some seeds and give it a whirl. How much would you like for some?

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lorax
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Heck, I'll give them to you if you pm me your address!

I'm not surprised that you can't find anything on the hops - they've been in my family for at least 100 years, but I don't think they've ever been sold commercially. They're passed on to each generation's brewmaster, which in this case is me.

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!potatoes!
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fyi, there are many seeds/varieties that aren't heirlooms per se (a word that is defined differently by different sources), that breed true. as long as it's open-pollinated, you'll be alright saving seed. i only say this because while there are many (many many) older heirlooms that are quite good, there are also newer, 'improved' varieties, that frequently perform similarly to modern 'improved' hybrids, but breed true.

just sayin' more-recent breeding results aren't necessarily ruled out by the desire to save seed.

brewboy19
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Thank you for the info. Like I said I'm a newb. Is there a chart on what kind of open pollunating plants to keep apart etc.....?
Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden. ~Orson Scott Card

cynthia_h
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Seed Savers Exchange has that information. Unfortunately, I can't remember whether I read it in their seed catalogue, a seed-saving book, or on their website: www.seedsavers.org

Truly a wonderful organization. They're located in Decorah, Iowa.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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farmerlon
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Re: Looking for suggestions on seeds

brewboy19 wrote:I'am interested in dealing with heirloom plants. Where should I get them from ....
I have been pleased with the service and selection from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Lots of Heirloom and OP varieties to choose from. :)

brewboy19
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Baker creek by far looks the best. I have watched a few youtube videos on them; pretty cool.
Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden. ~Orson Scott Card

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!potatoes!
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they're good, but order sooner than later - the have ever-increasing out-of-stocks as the seed season progresses.

ameliat
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another fan of Baker Creek - their print catalog has beautiful pics. I just ordered seeds tonight.

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grondeau
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As soon as you start saving seed, you become a plant breeder whether you want to be or not. Hybrids are a quick way to solve the "inbreeding depression" problem and produce seed that seed companies have control over. There is nothing wrong with hybrids - in fact you should make your own from time to time! Or, take your favorite hybrid variety and "de-hybridize" it the old fashion way with years of selection. Once you start saving seed, you will want to know more... For inspiration and general good advice I cannot recommend too highly Carol Deppe's "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties". My friends over at Adaptive Seeds have the book and they send all of the proceeds back to Carol, so it's a nice way to be supportive of this wonderful gardener and author. (There is a link on my web site or there is Google.)

A good reason to save seed is that your local climate is very likely very different from where commercial seed is grown. As soon as you start saving your own seed, you get the benefit of selection for your own locality - just by what grows. Learn about in-breeders and out-breeders, isolation distance, and minimum number of plants to ensure vitality down the road, and you will be ready to improve your store-bought seed.

Good Luck!
gary

Dixana
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, Baker Creek isn't a seed catalog, it's a coffee table book. It is bar none the beautiful seed book there is. And aside from everything wonderful about them (great customer service, decent shipping, etc) I'll buy from them if nothing else but to help support their "pure" food movement! Their catalog even tells you who to write to to boycott GMO's. 8) How can you not love that?

Territorial also has a LOT of OP varieties and their catalog can teach you a lot! It has so much information about each type of plant it's almost overwhelming and it's great when you're thinking of trying something new! My only issue with TSC is their shipping cost and their recommendation to spray EVERYTHING with pyrethrin. Natural or not it still kills bees and can be toxic to kids.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

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grondeau
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Dixana,

Territorial Seed Company is just down the road here, so it is a common name in my community. It certainly is a useful resource - especially their catalog as a general planting guide. But... here is what I wrote about them last spring - and I don't think anything has changed:

"Then there is Territorial Seed Company, a major regional seed producer – but they don’t produce all of their seed locally. Territorial grows about 20% of the seed it sells; the rest it buys from other seed companies – including Seminis, a large seed company owned by Monsanto. This has tainted Territorial’s reputation with many of us, so buy from Territorial after you have tried other sources first, and let them know you do not want Seminis seed."

DoubleDogFarm
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In other news, I got an email from Territorial Seed Company today. Last I had communicated with them, they had said they would send me the list of Seminis seeds they are selling for 2009 when they got it, but I should email them back in the new year if they forgot. I had just thought about emailing them back in light of my post yesterday, and sure enough, I got the list. Here it is:


BNO28 Romano Gold
BN042 Liana
OK533 Cajun Delight
BN045 Etna
ON542 Mercury
BN059 Helda
ON559 Candy
BR091 Packman
PP663 Northstar
CF188 Cheddar
PP673 Holy Mole
CN203 Seneca Horizon
PP674 Gypsy
CN207 Passion
PP684 Senorita
CR266 Thumbelina
PP689 Big Bomb
CU294 Pearl
PU727 Wyatt’s Wonder
CU295 Cool Breeze
SQ792 Butterstick
CU302 Orient Express
SQ797 Gold Rush
CU312 Babylon
SQ798 Portofino
EG325 Dusky
SQ804 Sungreen
EG332 Fairy Tale
SQ825 Early Butternut
EG333 Twinkle
SQ827 Ambercup
EG334 Hansel
SQ831 Bush Delicata (Conv Only)
LT387 Esmeralda
TM870 Celebrity
LT388 Simpson Elite
TM871 Big Beef
LT400 Summertime
TM885 Yellow Pear
ML456 Fastbreak
TM896 Viva Italia
ML458 Pulsar
TM924 Super Marzano
ML459 Earlidew
TM938 Window Box Roma
ML463 Ambrosia
WA989 Yellow Doll

This list came from here.
https://ft2garden.powweb.com/sinfonian/?p=432

and more here.
https://www.dropstonefarms.com/2009/01/the-relationship-between-monsanto-and-territorial-seed-not-as-bad-as-you-think/

Eric

magicjeep
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Brew, thanks for starting this thread. I'm also looking to start doing some heirloom gardening. I've had gardens in the past (last 2 years we didnt, just too busy w/ kids) and now I'd love to try some heirlooms.

Lorax, any chance I can mooch a few of those hop seeds?

My question is are there any heirloom fruit varieties out there? I'm in NJ and looking to possibly plant some blueberries (my little guy loves'em and I think he'd get a kick out of growing his own).

Thanks to everyone for all the info on the site.

DoubleDogFarm
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For the purposes of this publication, the term "heirloom" is used broadly and synonymously with such terms as traditional, vintage, antique, heritage, or classic, since each of these terms conveys the age and perceived value of heirlooms, but says little about who grows them, or where, or how. This usage follows that of plant breeder, Carolyn Deppe, who describes the seed-propagated vegetable heirlooms as "any old open-pollinated variet[ies] that [have] been around for a while." Also for this publication, the term "historical varieties" denotes the distinct plant types known from historical documentation; when they still exist today, they are called "heirlooms" or the equivalent. Otherwise, the terms used to describe old varieties are adopted, or inferred, from the respective authors' more specific or contrary usage.
If you would like to read more.
https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/heirloom/heirloom.htm

Eric

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lorax
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magicjeep wrote:Lorax, any chance I can mooch a few of those hop seeds?

My question is are there any heirloom fruit varieties out there? I'm in NJ and looking to possibly plant some blueberries (my little guy loves'em and I think he'd get a kick out of growing his own).

Thanks to everyone for all the info on the site.
Mooch away - PM me your address, and keep me in mind if you've got interesting heirloom tomatoes, any variety of Daikon, or sweet corn of any type (so long as it's not Monsanto).

There are indeed heirloom fruits - I grow a number of them here, although since mine tend to be plums and peaches, I can't really send them anywhere outside of the country. In Canada, I used to grow heirloom high-bush Saskatoons and Blueberries, so they do exist.

Check out the selections at Baker Creek, Johnny's, and McFayden - they often have heirloom fruit varieties.

gershon
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I buy my seeds here: https://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com/

The prices are reasonable and they have plenty of variety. I generally go with varieties said to be "most popular" as I figure they got that way for a reason.

The exception is green beans. I use Black Valentine which are very tasty and produce well for a long time. I just searched on Amazon to find them by the pound.

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