A “SEEDY” Story

What a fine HOT summer we are having…again!
The gardens (in Manitoba) are now…baking. Good thing we received so much rain (over 8 inches by us…) HOWEVER…there are huge cracks developing everywhere between the rows and in the walkways. Like a tomato loving family (friends of mine) said last week…they simply put a FOOT of water to replenish its thirst in all this heat. No moderation here…think its time to move to the coast! BUT then I must say, after following other weather systems  across the continent…so many of our compatriots/gardeners and farmers are, once again, suffering the some sort of weather wrath.

I must say that litterly EVERYTHING, even the oak leaves and my orchard fruits, in so much as we received a lot of moisture, are SMALL…from ? water stress! My tomato plants are less than half their height and later than usual. I started them 2 weeks later…never again. Had I started them on April 1st as usual…they would have been far larger and more able to take on the deluge of rain that the skies offered. Other vegetables are faring modestly. On the other hand, the beans, “wintered over” potatoes, beets, peppers and sweet potatoes are in a “giant” race as I have never seen. Yes…you heard me…”wintered over” potatoes! I have at least 5 varieties of “volunteer” potatoes coming up all over the place, where last years’ crop was…under the straw mulch…blooming their hearts out. Seems –40C for several weeks in winter, was brushed off like rain! Will be interesting to see the final harvest.

Before I ramble on too much…I had a smashing great time in Brandon last Wednesday (August 13th). I was invited to speak on Seed Saving and my gardening experiences in general. Was quite hard to stay focused…had soooo much to share. Thank you folks for having me…I know we had fun! I also brought along my last bunch of seeds to share…which they drove into.

A batch of my extra seeds have been donated to an (newer) organization calling themselves S.A.F.A.R.I. Grow Project, working in hand with the Canadian Food Grains Bank. I am told it is a local project of Springfield area farmers, families (and churches) aiding relief internationally, esp. Africa. They will grow out my seed and the proceeds from the sale of resulting vegetables will help fund any necessary relief.

As an extra note: Because I feel a great responsibility to preserving and maintaining heirloom genetics...I (won’t/can’t) get rid of all my seeds. I will keep a % (most rare) of the 1400 varieties that I carry, in my personal collection. From time to time I will have some extra seed. THESE I will simply mark with “$”. IF there are NO markings, then N/A.

Till we meet again,
Happy Growing and have a great harvest!
Mandy


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