2008 was a year of introduction to gardening and herbs for the beginning gardener who is concerned about real time food production. The events in the world’s economy, now striking here warrants we must accelerate our Back2theLand advice on how to grow more food, store it, and form a seed savers exchange.
Following this article we are undertaking a serious look at building deep, self watering boxed garden beds that can be expanded into small solar greenhouses-with intensive growing techniques if undertaken will resolve your gardening problems for water, fertilizer, pollination and selectivity.
Based on my decades of personal commitment to food production and self-reliance my experiences through trial and error will be of benefit since world economic decline is the wolf knocking at our door.
Let us restate that growing food is a bonding with nature and to understand nature is to produce self-perpetuating plants through the use of Open Pollinated (OP) seeds, sometimes marketed as Heritage seeds. If you control your own plant diversity you have the key to controlling your future health vice: Genetic Modified Seeds (GMO) that are pathogenic to beneficial insects like honeybees and related pollinators. GMO plants not only have the ability to kill insects they are now labeled as a health potential risk to humans. We must be diligent in what we consume, for our body is a temple to God, given to us to be healthy, or we die and our offspring die without fulfilling His promise and purpose.
Hybrid seed listed as F1, F2, etc, are improved cross of plants that may and most likely not breed true in successive generations of seed saving. Most of the Hybrid development was aimed at the commercial market, sometimes at the expense of nutritional value as long as the mechanical harvester could processes it. In short if you use GMO, or Hybrid seed you cannot save your own seed. With OP seed you will be sure that in 50 years you can pass it on to your grandchildren.
When I lived in Asia there was always an abundance of labor; machinery was often not employed or even available. Here, today we have the luxury of using garden tillers, tractors and such. I have no problem with modern equipment as long as you have fuel and maintenance the more blessed you are. Yet herein lies the crux of our 2009 growing technique, we desire to show that through nature you, after the initial construction of the beds and solar greenhouses, will utilize nature to produce for you.
MY TOP TEN GARDEN CATALOGS for this coming year are:
(1) www.horizonherbs.com The ultimate source of medicinal seeds
(2) www.seedsofchange.com Foil sealed seed packs-wonderful seeds
(3) www.totallytomatoes.com This is the tomato source
(4) www.VermontBean.com This is the bean source
(5) www.territorialseed.com Really massive assortment plus garden items
(6) www.tmseeds.com English seeds and exceptional flowers
(7) www.superseeds.com Less seed for smaller gardens, Top quality-lower prices
(8) www.harrisseeds.com Nice fruit trees
(9) www.mountainroseherbs.com Best source of bulk medicinal herbs
(10) www.raintreenursery.com A joy to read for unique plants and trees
It would be advisable to get your seed order in now as there are a lot more gardeners ordering than you think.
If you have piled up your leaves-good! We will be using them. If you have access to manure-good! We will be using that. In fact we will be using as much organic material as we can lay hands on for building the garden beds.
Seed Savers Exchange. If one of the Dear Readers, or group of readers wants to set up a local seed savers exchange I would be pleased to promote you. I think it would be a good idea to form a group of OP savers, and within your neighborhood promote and exchange growing produce. For example you want to grow pumpkins and your neighbors are growing varied types of winter squash. These plants will cross and the results are not what you want. A good 200 yards separation would be best. Same with corn and many others. In my father’s day this was done, and the inter exchange of neighborhoods was strengthened. Keep in mind that hybrid seeds also pollinate and will cross with OP and other hybrids. Have you ever tried saving carrot seed? This crosses with Queen Ann’s Lace in the fields- a wild carrot.
After the first of January look for the first article in the series: Water. If you have suggestions for topic interest-write me. I hope all Dear Readers have a wonderful new year. Drive safely. Buckle up!
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org in confidence.
Copyright: 2008, Back2theLand, Mark Steel