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William Schlegel

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since Jan 23, 2017
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Recent posts by William Schlegel

Experimental Farm Network has a section for landraces on their store. Josephs seedlisting says he's going to sell through it this winter.

William Schlegel wrote:I am going to try growing Salsify and Leeks for the first time. Hope to get a couple packets of each to start a grex.

I ordered another short season rice for my rice project. Supposedly an upland strain from Sherk Seeds.

I am going to try growing Solanum arcanum and Solanum chilense wild tomato species. I may also plant some Solanum cheesemanii and Solanum galapagense also wild tomato species to add to those varieties and species I currently grow. Also got a packet of a late blight resistant tomato F1 to cross into tomato grexes and to dehybridize. Going to grow Fairy Hollow and some other new selections from Joseph. Andrew sent me a bunch of tomatoes. Will grow out as many as possible. May save one reputably difficult tomato species for next year.

Going to try growing a cool looking moschata squash land race from native seed search called Rancho marques to cross with my Lofthouse moshata. Another new moshata squash a hybrid with a pretty green and yellow rather agrosperma like color pattern from territorial seed. Will add it to the grex.  

Two or three new parsnips including Kraal to turn my semi feral parsnips into a grex.

Perhaps another turnip or two to turn my turnips into a grex

Got some gaspe flint corn.

Some more pea varieties for the pea grex

White seeded poppy seeds

Welsh onion which is a progenitor of walking onions. Will plant next to Lofthouse onion to see if can recreate walking onions.

Black Spanish radish for my radish grex

Pima club wheat

Several packets I just haven't gotten planted yet:

Neandercorn and orange flint corn from Joseph. Will probably just start a flint corn grex by doing packet to row planting.

Tartar buckwheat 2 packets I need to keep separate

Several beans including a grex from Carol Deppe and Josephs.

Lofthouse landrace zucchini which I plan to cross with Mandan pepo squash for a new grex.

Probably will find a few others and buy a few more. Have my eye on another leek for my future leek grex called Blu de Solaise that my local seed coop only sells on their seed racks.

My eyes were a bit bigger than my head on these. I finally planted the short lived allium seeds at the end of the season and the packet of salsify. A lot of the others still await planting in 2020.

The Solanum arcanum gave me back seed. Solanum chilense did not. Most other new tomatoes I saved some fresh seed for including galapagense and cheesemanii.

Rancho Marques squash didn't set fruit but may have contributed some pollen. May be my latitude might have been too far from a soaker hose. Did get seeds back from a F2 with a similar Thai squash a friend sent.

Would like to grow another variety of salsify next year and Tetsukabuto squash.

Would also like to grow all the seeds on this list I didn't manage to get planted in 2019.

Also have already planted bulbs for five species of Camassia for 2020.
1 week ago
Eliot Coleman has written a lot about using Claytonia or Miners Lettuce and Corn Salad as winter market crops. You might check his books out from the library and read the relevant sections.

I have an odd curiosity about Miners Lettuce but it belongs in the seed saving / plant breeding forum. It turns out that there are many wild strains including three species, interspecies hybrids, and many varieties named and unnamed. The currently domesticated version doesn't capture much of this diversity. It seems to me that with a some seed collection and perhaps a little plant breeding, that we could have much more diverse miners lettuce more akin to the varied fancy lettuces. My only tie in for that is that I think it would make marketing even easier if you had more varieties.
1 week ago
It partly depends on what you want to do with the seeds and partly on what you want from them.

If you wanted to trade tomato seeds, have seed bourne pathogens, or wanted to use a seeding machine, then fermentation or even further steps like heat or chemical seed cleaning might be needed.

If you simply want a few seeds for your own use, the paper towel method works.

Richard Clemence a Ruth Stout coauthor had a technique where he buried a few tomatoes next to a stake in his Ruth Stout style hay mulch each fall. Then dug up and planted the seeds in the spring. They never left the garden.

I do a lot of direct seeding with a garden seeder. I find intentionally planted seeds always outperform volunteers in terms of germination in my garden. I think the stake and mulch method could be an improvement over random volunteer germination. Though I haven't tried it and don't trust my rodents not to redistribute the seeds.

I also do some trading. So I ferment. Fermenting reduces some pathogens. I've watched YouTube videos of heat treatment which is a better pathogen removal tool, but is more advanced than I need. I've  read about an entirely chemical means to clean the gel off the seeds but never tried it.

For trading or selling, cleaner is better.

It sure doesn't need to be complicated though. The tomatoes in question volunteered this year, with luck or maybe a little help from a stake or a little strip of paper towel there is a good chance they will be back next year.

2 weeks ago
I ferment mine. I cut at the equator and scoop the seeds into a open container. Most of the tomato, minus the seeds still gets eaten. Then I check the container of seeds daily until the gel sac is broken down a bit. Then I use a fine wire mesh strainer and the sprayer on the kitchen sink to rinse. Spread them on a plate, air dry, crumble, and into an seed packet or envelope.

Also, tomato seed is long lived. So you can keep seed from older years as backup. That cuts down on the need to collect from multiple plants. Best plants sometimes end up being natural hybrids.
2 weeks ago
In 2011-2012 I planted parsnips, turnips, Siberian kale, and daikon radish among other things. Then I left for a few years of field work in California, Nevada, Utah and Montana and when I came back in 2016 they were still growing in the garden in varying degrees of abundance- and still are! Since I have added some California native edible annuals including miners lettuce (actually a species complex of which I have two with two variants of one), red maids, and native golden chia and they all volunteer reliably in Montana. Orach seems to volunteer reliably, so does corn salad. I got a packet of New York hardy corn salad three years ago and its volunteered since in the same spot, but this year I found a patch in my parent's hayfield four miles from my garden that has probably been feral or wild for decades- collected some seed. Lettuce volunteers reliably if I help it a little by providing yearly disturbance. I think I've found a strain of Austrian field pea that volunteers reliably. Amaranth was reliable for three years but not the fourth. Tomatillos are reliable.

I get volunteers of carrots, tomatoes, amaranth, arugula, mustard, ground cherries, this past year even a few fava beans, and others but don't consider them reliable yet.

I suspect that more diverse populations like a segregating F2, a breeder's grex, or a landrace style population will have components that show a greater potential to volunteer successfully. I tend to save the seed of volunteer vegetables preferentially in the hopes that the capability can be encouraged.

Some areas of my garden are managed now for the volunteer populations. I essentially just weed them.

3 weeks ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Maximoss: Interspecies hybrid between maxima and moschata. Re-selected for skinny vines, skinny peduncles, and maxima flavor. The idea behind this breeding project is to move the thin vine (vine borer resistant) of the moschata into a plant that produces the lovely flavors of maxima squash.

I really like this. It seems to me like a great way potentially to improve both species and it's just fun.

Of the four squash species I am most partial to maxima for winter squash because of the great flavor, and Joseph Lofthouse maximas have some great flavor. Had a second or third generation in my garden Lofthouse buttercup for dessert last night.

It's great to see more color in the population. I recall 2017's as being pretty green.

In my own garden 2018 was a bad year for Moschata in my garden and I didn't get much after a great 2017. However somehow at least a little maximoss genetics made it to into 2019 and will be seed saved for 2020.  
Just adding a bit to that sawdust thought. I've found that fava beans grow well for me in sawdust. So a simple cycle of adding a really concentrated carbon source could be adding sawdust then doing a fava bean rotation. Maybe two or more fava bean rotations. The favas fix their own nitrogen so don't seem bothered in the least by the sawdust tying up nitrogen as it decomposes.
4 weeks ago
Acorns are indeed what we call a recalcitrant seed and those are plenty ripe enough. You must store them moist. In temperate climes moist and cool, that is refrigerated. Not too moist. Think wrung out rag or paper towel moist. In a sealed zip lock. 10% bleach solution for a few minutes can help with surface pathogens. Then rinse throughly. Check them frequently in storage and as long as radicles haven't emerged you can bleach again with 10% bleach.

Immediately plant or discard any imperfect ones. Particularly with holes. They may still grow into trees, but won't store in the fridge and fungi can spread to the good ones.

Do not freeze them or dry them. That will kill them. Ship them, if necessary, quickly. Best to plant them asap.

Jay Angler wrote:In the summer I harvested some camas seeds from a road-side where I knew from observation that there was a healthy patch. I have planted it in two spots, had a friend plant some, and have some set aside for another friend. I really hope it germinates! (Waiting impatiently for signs - I didn't find info on the web as to when the seeds germinate, just a recommendation to plant in the fall.)

I found two Camassia species listed for 60 days of cold moist stratification and another suggesting planting outside in the fall on the Prairie Moon Nursery website, where I just got seed packets for two eastern species. This is very local ecology driven with native plants even within species there is variation on germination requirements. Typically populations in mild winter areas of a given species will germinate sooner than those from harsh winter climes. Camassia are supposed to get to about pencil eraser sized their first year and take ~5 years to bloom. Which could really mean anywhere from say ~3 to ~10 years to bloom depending on soils, competition, and complicating factors.

1 month ago