In order to do something different each week of the year, I have a list of challenges to undertake...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Week 4 - Participate in a Seed Swap

Although this challenge didn't have to take place this week (Foxton Seedy Sunday, for example, at the beginning of March would be relatively local and be a nice day out to boot), it does neatly coincide with the Potato Day at Ryton where I like to go an buy my spuds.

The best seeds to grow for swapping by a country mile are French beans - I'm growing them anyway both to eat the pods and to dry the beans; and they come true without any faffing about trying to keep them away from any other varieties just in case they cross pollinate.

Peas are also brilliant to save seeds from as they grow true too.

So to collect seeds for growing next year, or to swap, all I need to do in each case is leave a few pods (or beans) on the plants to mature fully, pick the pods in the Autumn. leave them spread out on newspaper somewhere cool and airy (the attic room is ideal), then when I get sick and tired of tripping over them, split the peas (beans) out of the pods & store.

Last year was the world's worst for seed saving - all I managed were some runner beans and some peas. The runners are no good for seed swapping as they easily cross-pollinate, and so won't be a named variety, but they are good for me to grow next time round. And I forgot to make a note of the variety of pea pods saved.

It's a good job that bean and peas are viable for a number of years, so I could use the 2011 seeds.

I spent a very happy evening last week making up envelopes with seeds and labeling and putting in a shoe box, and today took them to Ryton.

In return I have picked myself out a heritage variety of each of leeks, lettuce, pea and dwarf French bean, and a mystery tomato 'latah' that no one seemed to know much about.



So week 4 challenge: done.

9 comments:

  1. Didn't you come back with any potatoes?

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  2. Yes (on the Hill blog), but that isn't 'participating in a seed swap', so doesn't get a billing here!

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  3. Envious of some of the things you participate in, over in UK.

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    1. I'll bet that there's all sorts of things you can do in Oz that we can't though, Susan!

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  4. Well done for having seeds from 2011, last year was rubbish for growing and saving anything.

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    1. Understatement there, Hobbit! :-)

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  5. PS: Lovely new template :}

    Thank you {{{{{hug}}}}}

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    1. It might not settle here, I'm afraid - I still can't see my Domino avatar (with Chrome at any rate) and the RSS feeds aren't getting through despite me having the correct settings (I think!)

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    2. Hazel, I think your problem could be Chrome. Under Firefox (on the Mac) and IE (on the laptop) I can see Domino and the RSS feed is coming through loud and clear into Google Reader ... (and the template still looks great :} ! )

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