Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Landrace Seeds

A backyard crop of Buckwheat.
With the approach of the Seed Swap this Saturday it is a good opportunity to visit a little about Landrace varieties. In the home backyard varieties of edibles such as corn, melons, spinach, beetroot, peas, beans and the like are often grown in conditions that benefit the home gardener and seed saver simply by being able to increase their genetic diversity.
The word landrace literally means 'country-breed' (German: Landrasse).
They are regarded as some of the oldest types of crops having originated from selected wild populations of plants. They have been domesticated by traditional farmers over time, through adaptation to the natural and cultural environment of agriculture and pastoralism, and due to isolation from other populations of the species.
Over centuries the crops adapted to conditions in the environment such as soil type, levels of soil fertility, water availability, frost, drought and with the traits preferred by growers such as flavour, ripening times, cropping, early/later fruiting, increased disease resistance etc. and have become domesticated or are partially domesticated.

Seed saving is integral to landrace gardening. We can locally adapt our seeds and plants to our specific growing conditions and way of doing things by planting genetically diverse seed, allowing them to cross pollinate, and then saving and replanting the seeds.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Seed Swap Update

It's all falling into place behind the scenes for the Heritage Apple Festival & Community Seed Swap. We've been sorting through the boxes of seeds available and packaging up extra seed for the swap.
We encourage people to bring heirloom and open-pollinated varieties, and seeds you have saved yourself and that you know grow well in the local area. 
Seed swapping is the sharing of seeds - and your ideas and knowledge - with your local community. The benefits of swapping locally-grown seeds are many:
  • you save money,
  • connect with your community,
  • find rare and locally adapted seeds,
  • preserve bio-diversity and seed genetics,
  • learn from experienced gardeners and increase the resilience of local varieties,
  • and all this whilst making sure that species of plant varieties are preserved and passed on.
  • What’s more, seed swaps have the added benefit of connecting like-minded gardeners - both new and experienced seed savers.
A whole lot of benefits.
Seed saving, sowing and sharing are a crucial part of a much wider sustainability and self-reliance agenda, where 'small is beautiful' and where we must think globally and act locally.
Since back in the day when humankind evolved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers, communities have had a vested interest in making sure the quality and security of their food supplies is kept intact. This included the saving, storing, and sowing of the most reliable and productive varieties of crops. It was a matter of survival.
We hope that the up and coming seed swap will allow you to explore the vast array of genetic diversity in seeds that is out there. What better way to do that than sharing seeds at a community seed swap and enjoying the home baking delights of the Heritage Apple Festival.
This years event is at the Community Garden's new location of lower Humphreys Street in Lockyer, Albany.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Seed Swap

Packaging for Seed Swapping

Here is a little reminder of just one technique you can use to create packets for seeds should you wish to take part in the up and coming Community Seed Swap at the early variety Heritage Apple Festival.

A couple of things to note: no commercial hybrid seeds please and no GMO seeds. Heavy emphasis is on locally grown heirloom and open-pollinated seeds.

Use recycled paper, glue/tape and a pen to write the plant variety.

Useful information to record is:

  • The plants Common Name or names.
  • Genus and species if known.
  • When harvested.
  • When to sow and any specific requirements of the plant or seed for propagation.
  • Roughly the quantity of seeds in the packet.
  • Growers name can sometimes be of assistance if you are a member of a group.
A variety of ways to package seed for swapping.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Seed Swap!

If you’re a gardener whose dabbled in growing various edible varieties in your backyard, you’ve probably often wondered what to do with all the extra seeds that you start to accumulate.
Or perhaps the seed packages you purchased were bigger than you thought they would be. Or perhaps you didn’t give any thought to the size of your garden area or have reduced it to save time or water.
Perhaps you’re a seed saver and have collected the seeds from the open-pollinated plants in your own garden and now have more seeds than you had dreamed imaginable. It’s a good problem, and the good news is, there’s a way to keep those seeds from going to waste. Plus you can benefit in a bunch of other ways at the same time.
A Community Seed Swap will be held on the 18th of February 2017 at the NEW Rainbow Coast Neighbourhood Centre Community Garden. Seeds will be accepted between 2-3 pm with participants taking part in the swap from 3:15 to 4.
This is an event where gardeners come together and swap the seeds from their best plants. This helps to improve local biodiversity. It’s also a time to swap stories, skills and ideas.
The seed swap is a fundamental part of human history. Seeds were one of the first commodities valued and traded. Today, modern gardeners collect and exchange seeds for many reasons ranging from cultivating rare, heirloom varieties to basic thrift. The exchange of seeds perpetuates the natural bio-diversity through the act of giving and sharing these life giving marvels.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Heritage Apple Festival & Community Seed Swap Event

The annual Heritage Apple Festival returns this year with the addition of a Community Seed Swap. This event will focus on early season apples and heirloom / open pollinated seeds of edible garden produce.

Featuring a Community Seed Swap, Apple Tastings & Apple Tree sales, Apple Chutney Competition, activities and much more.

More information will be forthcoming - so book the date, dust of your extra seeds and get your prize winning apple chutney on the stove!

NEW GARDEN LOCATION !!! - The venue for this event is THE NEW RCNC COMMUNITY GARDEN on lower Humphreys Street, Lockyer.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wheat Seeds in Thatched Roofs

English botanist John Letts has found thatched roofs are a very rich source of historical seeds. Seeds of rivet wheat, bread wheat and rye have been found in 250 thatches dating from the 15th Century in Devon, England.

The seeds have survived because the houses were built as open halls with a central fireplace. The heat kept the seeds dry and the smoke prevented them from rotting. The fact that some thatches consisted of straw from rivet wheat, bread wheat and rye woven together, has lead Mr Letts to speculate that medieval farmers grew them all in the same field. This would have minimized risk – if the season was dry, the rye would grow well, but if it was wet, the wheat would flourish.