This is my first blog post. I plan on posting at least once a month to keep ya'll up to date and in the 'seed circle' on what's happening on the farm, with our growers, new varieties, pics, stories, and seed saving techniques. We also have a "Seed Stories" (click on the menu bar) podcast series you can conveniently listen to right here on our website. You can also check it out on itunes for free as well if you want to download and listen later. We're going to be getting those seed stories out there and hopefully inspiring a new wave of seed savers.
So, I just moved to my new farm and was lightly asking my neighbors neighbors what they were growing in their garden so I would know about isolation distances for seed saving. They were growing cukes and squash, so I had to plant mine about a 1/4 mile from their garden so the pollen of their flowers wouldn't cross. I gave them seeds of the super sweet and delicious Ukrainian Squash among some squash seeds in case they wanted to grow and try them. These seeds have been well adapted to Minnesota by long time organic grower Dave Massey. They have been bred and saved in organic conditions (much like most home gardens). I am also growing this squash this year and it is coming along nicely. This squash is a cucurbita maxima (winter squash) and is so sweet that you can actually eat this squash raw and juice it! Dave juiced some for me and it was just as sweet as orange juice, but I thought tasted even better.
Last week, my neighbor came up to me as I was driving by and said, "I don't know what you're doing up there with your whole seed project, but that Ukranian squash was the only one that came up in my garden!" He explained they got conventional seed for most of their garden from the hardware store and didn't germinate well at all. In these trying times with our more-than-wet Springs and our changing climate we need all of the reliability we can get! Most seed companies out there, and one's you wouldn't even expect are more like 'seed packing' companies. Their seeds are not only not bred in organic conditions (used to the aid of chemicals) so they are not bred to be strong and tough in those conditions, but too often are not even grown in this country and not adapted to our climate. All of our seeds this year are grown right here in Minnesota by our circle of seasoned seedy growers. That's what this seed company/collective is all about. Supporting our local seed economy and sharing the wealth of seed that is and has been growing right here in the North Country!