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2022 Catalogue

Hello! This is a new record for me to have the new catalogue done this early!! I know all the big seed companies do not have theirs done yet. I am going with what I have and what is new, and as you will see, peas and beans are rather sparse as that is how it is. If you are looking for greater volume of seed, you can always contact the larger houses.

I appreciate all of you and your continued interest in heirloom seeds and supporting our seed company. We endeavor to please. Thank you again, and good luck in 2022 with all your gardens!!

Featured

Welcome to the New Catalogue!

36 pages, wwwhaaaat?

So it took me a while, as we have more seeds to offer than ever before. I am still busy packaging, and will be taking a Mexican break for a couple of weeks, so everyone chill and download this reading material until I get back. Enjoy. And we are on the verge of an exciting year ahead!!

And in case you need just the order form itself, I will include. Print and fill in, scan back to abunadhseeds@gmail.com

Featured

Workshop Event

Hi everyone;

It is that time of year again, and thankfully we do not have 3 feet of snow to hinder our efforts to host a seed saving hands-on workshop on the farm November 11 (after 11) until 4:30 and Saturday November 12 from 12 to 5.  I welcome you to participate as we will learn about seed saving and storage, with real life examples of all the things saved and dried this year and how to harvest them.  This course is part of the Organic Master Gardeners series I teach in Stony Plain every year and worth about $150.  So I am offering it free of charge as you will be helping me with the work and in return gaining valuable knowledge and life skills.  I would suggest you register with me anyway so I know who to expect.

Send an email to Denise – smileyo at xplornet dot ca

Make sure and spell that correctly and put seed workshop in the title.

If you only have part of the day to offer that is fine, I just need to know.  We will meet at the farm and divide into work stations and rotate around so everyone learns about the different aspects of seed harvest, cleaning, storage and so on.

Hope to see you here.  We will potluck a late lunch each day at about 1.  Bring your favorite snacks or whatever.   Thanks everyone!

Denise

Seed Saving Workshop

I am offering the seed saving workshop for the 2022 on Friday November 11, from 11:15 to 4:30. Cost is free and we are going to cover many aspects of seed saving with lots of hands on and time for questions. Email your willingness to help and bring a potluck item.

Oh and everyone bring clothing suitable to cold weather and leather work gloves if you have them.

See you then.

Seed sale on Now!!

Now until November 25, all seeds on sale from the 2022 Catalogue( what we have left)! Buy one, get one free. Download the catalogue and send email order requests to abunadhseeds@gmail.com

Be sure to spell it right! We will respond and let you know if something is sold out. All orders will also receive a free item of our choice. We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to serving you soon! ❤️😁🙏

Changes to event dates

Hello everyone

Springtime in Alberta

So given we are back to this, I will have to postpone the strawberry planting and learning opportunity scheduled for this Saturday April 30. We will have to try in a week or so. Contact me if you have registered and can make it the following Saturday.

There was a mix up on the dates I had listed on different sites for the Greenhouse Workshop. I had posted May 14 here but it is actually May 15. If you registered and are unable to do that date, please contact me for a refund. So sorry about that.

I was out doing ground prep and the garden is ready for planting as soon as the dirt dries up a bit. Thought I would get the spuds in early this year but the weather fouled that up. No worries, plenty of time and if you are a gardener you have learned the lesson of patience by now!!

The greenhouse is full of tomatoes and peppers, eggplants and herbs, coleus, columbines and now early squash and watermelon. Good thing the propane heater is going, and some days the plants are already outside. So I have been satisfied that my hands are in the dirt.

Today’s chore is to fill the water tank at the greenhouse with rainwater as all those plants get thirsty! We will be eating early lettuce and greens out of the beds soon. Remember, now is the time to plant your spinach, beets, parsnip, kale and radishes, lettuce and even peas and carrots. Most can just go on the snow in the garden and will sprout when this melts. Yes, it’s true! The only ones which should be pushed in the dirt a bit are the peas. So the birds don’t get the seed, because they are hungry too!

Stay hopeful! All is well as per normal in Alberta! 😄

Food shortages? Not when you grow your own!

There is some talk going around the internet of upcoming food shortages forecast either to scare people or force them into accepting government handouts. But whatever the reason, it does not concern me and whenever possible I post when I have extras if either plants or food, veggies, strawberries etc. Join the contact list if you are interested.

We could be going into a period of some shortness of supply but there is plenty you can do if you are concerned. For as long as humans have been around, we have been growing food. People have the know how and the ability no matter where they live. City lots can be turned into blooming orchards and food gardens, feeding and sheltering their inhabitants. Many cities create block clubs where they organize and share. This way the workload is also shared. Many elders miss the days of fresh food and would gladly trade their space for a few vegetables because they cannot do the work a garden takes anymore. Kids are naturally engaged gardeners and love knowing where their food comes from. It is a perfect family activity. It heals and connects.

If you have a shortness of space or time, there are many indoor and automated growing systems to look at. Even a small tub of fresh greens or sprouts are easy to do and very healing. It starts small and grows from there!

There are even groups in Edmonton doing food yards for newcomers to Canada. Many of these people are used to growing all their own food, and miss it dearly. All they need is a space to do it in and come from cultures and communities where resource sharing is a way of life. How crazy is it that we live in a land of such plenty but don’t know how to grow for ourselves?!? Many of us realize we have to get back to a local economy, local food, local trade and businesses that supply from small producers.

Did you know most of the grocery stores you buy from have no avenue to accommodate small farms and small producers? There is so much food that goes to waste because the farmer does not meet the “minimum”requirements of the big chain stores? I once was involved in a local food coop and we had about 10,000 lbs of potatoes at the end of the season. We called around to many food distributors and large suppliers but they would not take them as that was too small for them to bother with!!! We distributed what we could but the rest went to waste. So sad. I have always said that it is not a problem growing food here in Alberta, but the system to get it to the hands of people is what’s messed up. I even offered that people could come out and get them for free! No one responded.

Another thing we could do to prevent food shortages is create more local food processing facilities. Owned by the people for the people. It would provide jobs and help alleviate this supposed food shortage. Many are starting to realize we need to implement some of these actions ourselves because if it does not put money in the pocket of government and industry, they are not interested.

If you are looking for ways you can be part of the solution, long term, check out constitutional conventions dot ca. Action, answers, ands way forward.

Heirloom seeds? What’s the difference?

I often get asked what heirloom seeds are and how do they differ from other seeds offered. So I will attempt to answer that to the best of my ability.

Heirloom seeds are generally considered an open pollinated seed variety from history. To qualify, the general rule of thumb is that the variety has been around for at least 50 years. Older than some gardeners!! And the seed is identical to the parents it came from. With very small variances for environmental differences, seeds from Heirloom varieties will be largely unchanged from the time your great grandmother grew it. And that is exciting!!

Now we know that nature is intelligent and that seeds are adapting to changes in the environment all the time. So in small ways the plants are improving over time, but generally these varieties will still be recognizable after all these years. I have found that Heirlooms outperform hybrid seeds in most cases. They are often earlier and can adapt over time to be even earlier the longer you grow them in your garden because they can adapt. Like us, plants have all kinds of suppressed genetic material that it can activate if need be in the case of diseases and creating hormones that either fend off insect attack or warn nearby plants that there is a danger. Cool, eh?

I find heirlooms taste better in almost all cases, especially in the family of tomatoes, corn (if you are looking for that rich old fashioned corn taste), beans, and peas. This holds true for most vegetable families in the Heirloom category. Why? Because they have been selected the old way for taste or production or form or fruit, that all kinds of gardeners of old did naturally in their gardens. You had to save seed year to year so naturally you saved the ones that did the best and tasted how you preferred.

Now what about this open pollinated idea? Open pollinated means that the plants, say from beans, are able to cross freely and naturally with themselves or other beans to create fertilized seeds that would grow the next year. That may seem like a no brainer, but now a days industrial farms use terminator seeds, created by those who value profit above all else. These seeds are often treated with Tetrachlorine and other chemicals that gradually kills the germ in the seed after a period, usually 1 year, so that farmers and growers cannot keep seeds and have to keep buying them each year. Ever wonder why seed germination goes down so quickly in the store bought seeds you buy? This could be why but it can also have to do with storage conditions. More on that in another blog.

There are also hybrid seeds. A hybrid is a crossing of two parent plants or parent lines to get a seed that is called an F1 generation. If you have seen F1 behind the name of the seeds in a catalogue now you know what that means. Some F1’s are created naturally like great grandma did trying to get a green ripening tomato rather than a red one, or a bean with more length, or a corn with shorter cobs. Natural selection was a great addition to the way man began to farm way back when. It still exists today and many great seed companies have their own on site breeding programs.

And then there are F1’s created by crossing two parent lines that have been inbred to themselves for a few generations in order to suppress most genetic expressions except the one characteristic that the breeder is looking for. This happens a lot in corn. The problem is corn is an outbreeding plant and has to crossbreed with many different plants to maintain its genetic viability and strength. When inbred so much, these parent lines are weak, but that is part of the trick. Once the two genes that breeders are looking for are inbred enough in two separate parent lines, they then allow them to cross and the next generation, the F1, will be more vigorous and express both those characteristics well. The seed saved from any F1’s will not hold true to the next generation however, so although you can try to save the seeds, the next generation, the F2, will be highly ununiform.

I believe not all seeds stated to be F1’s actually are. The manufacturer just may want to deter seeds saving, but until you know how they created those seeds, you will be flying blind if you want to save those seeds and grow them again. If you’re a beginner you may want to stick with trusted seed from Heirloom growers.

The other issue with some seed from seed sources, especially large companies is that they themselves do not often save seeds, but they may trial it from their bigger suppliers. Monsanto and Seminis are two huge seed creators and there is often nothing natural about it. They are out for profit and many of their varieties are created in a lab so they can patent them. Proprietary rights are the name of the game. I avoid these seeds, because I want real food and natural food systems, unadulterated by chemicals and pseudoscience.

One other thing to mention is that a seed variety is usually it’s name. Say for beans – Blue Jay would be one variety, Oma’s Speckled Green Pod is another. Tomato is the kind and for a seed grower, variety names are everything. It is obviously how we keep them all sorted out. Get to know the plants you grow by name and they will never let you down!

I hope you learned a few things from this little chat today and if you did, feel free to send it on to friends and family! Knowledge is power.

Edmonton Seed Sale

Hello Beautiful People!!

Some of you will have attended the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event last weekend online. Not quite the same, but as we move towards a freer world and more awareness that some dangers have passed, more in person events will be offered. Now more than ever, seeds are showing their importance as the start of food security and we are happy to be part of your collection of seeds!

The Edmonton Horticultural Society is having in person meetings again, their first being March 28, 2022 from 6:30-9 PM at the central Lions Recreation Center (11113 113 st) in Edmonton. This is where Seedy Sunday used to be held and they have asked if I would be interested in coming out to have a table. I am interested and so have committed to be there. Those of you who have ordered potatoes or seeds that want to pick them up can come there then. Those who just miss the face to face aspect of seed sales can come there as well and peruse our selection of quality seeds. And remember, open pollinated seeds are ones you can grow and save seed from yourself, lessening your cost over time.

Hope to see all your bright and shining faces at this event, and we welcome any inquiries about ordering ahead to pick up there. But remember, I would have to have those orders today or tomorrow for sure. Thanks again!