Updated Catalogue

Hi, I updated the catalogue as many of the sale items are gone.  So here it is.

A’bunadh seed catalogue, book 2016

This will be the best reference for availability as I have not yet updated all the pages in this site.  Thanks,

Denise

And it was pointed out my squashes needed work, so they are fixed, and the new order form reflects better the prices for shipping packages.

Order form

Become involved!

I have just returned from an International Organic Seed Alliance conference in Corvallis, Oregon.  It was inspiring and exciting, pointing out some great ideas for our farm and seed business, connecting all the people involved in seed saving around the world in a global community.  It was great to see so many like-minded people together in one room!  This conference has grown from just 65 to over 500 in a little over 12 years or so.  I think that is phenomenal.  You can see what they do online at

http://seedalliance.org/2016-conference

Some of the great ideas that emerged from the conference were:

  1.  Organizing a group of people interested in seed grow outs in cooperation with A’Bunadh
  2. Organize a co-op of growers for fresh produce
  3. Growing out varieties for larger seed companies on contract
  4. Organizing a grower-market network to join Chefs and farm-fresh products complete with public tasting events for new plant varieties
  5. Integrated plant breeding for resilience and climate change ( making the heirlooms of tomorrow) with open-pollinated and heirloom seeds as parents
  6. The development of regionally adapted seeds for organic growers and gardeners

 

Often we think that we need to keep the heirlooms as they are and in one sense that is where my focus has been.  However in this mindset we do not allow for the small and subtle changes that the heirlooms themselves go through as they adapt to the climate and the seasons.  They are grown here and in Toronto, and in California.  The seeds from the next generation are inevitably changed in this very process.  That is good.  That is what the plants know best, how to survive in different growing conditions, soils, inputs and weather.

So the natural evolution of the seed is one thing.  But the next step is natural cross pollination, which we often seek to avoid in growing pure seed.  And it is valid and valuable.  However, with the advance of climate change, seeds and varieties are under even more strain to adapt and do it quickly.  Each season varies dramatically from the one prior; one year it is hot and dry with pests threatening their survival, the next it is wet and cool, bringing viruses and molds, fungus and other diseases, as well as less than optimal ripening conditions.  We should not forget that plants hold a plethora of genetic material for the expression of an enormous amount of variation.  A plant can adapt if we can help it to survive the worst challenges, grasshoppers and the worst droughts.

I have long been intensely interested in natural development of plants, helping bring out the hidden potentials in the seeds themselves.  We are facilitators and even without us the plants would do this natural crossing to create different varieties.  We are a fulcrum in their development, tipping the scale in one direction or another by our needs for taste, texture, color, shape, size and other factors that appeal to us as humans with eyes, noses, mouths and stomaches.  In the past 50 years, agriculture has tipped the scale to support varieties that handle mechanical seeding, maintenance, harvesting and processing.  This has nothing to do with taste.

So where do we come in?  At A’Bunadh the year ahead has been planned out.  We have a long range plan that encompasses active plant breeding, and for many years I personally have been trying to figure out how we can bring more seed to more people which will ensure the survival of the seed, not just us, around the world.  If I lose a variety, chances are if someone somewhere out there has been growing it for seed also, that variety will not be lost forever.  So I have thought that the idea of having some people who are interested in becoming a grower, even for one type of seed (lettuce for example) will help everyone in the long run.

So I am opening it up to you.  Are you intrigued by the idea of being part of this?  Do you have a small amount of space that you could have up to 12 plants that you could save seed from?  We would provide the seed and could either arrange to purchase back the seed saved by you for a certain predetermined price or we can do a 50/50 share of the seed.  You can share or sell your share with others or plant it out the next year.  This might interest anyone who has a market garden since they have larger need for seed and many are organic growers.  However, this is also for small backyard gardeners who can amount to a larger population of growers.  We would want to highlight you in our catalogue as a grower to share your story (if you like) as people like to know the stories of those who join our community.

We would provide all the training and support as well as the initial seed stock.  Please email me if you are interested.

We will work next on doing the chef involvement and food events.  But now is the time for planning.  So if you have interest in that, let me know.

I am going to start plant variety development soon also.  I would love to coordinate with people interested in this.  The more the merrier.  This is such a cool area of growth!  Quite literally!  The potentials are enormous, and again involvement with Foody Chefs that want new, different and unique is a must.  If you are interested or are a Chef, let me know now, and we will work on creating something wonderful in concert.

Thanks everyone,

Happy growing,  Denise

 

 

Upcoming

Hi there;

I am almost done the new catalogue and we are storming ahead packaging seeds like crazy for the upcoming sales.

Here are our dates:

March 12 – Stony Plain Seedy Saturday

March 13 – Red Deer Eco Fair

March 19 – Calgary Seedy Saturday

March 20 – Edmonton Seedy Sunday

I took potatoes last year, but got hassles about that apparently not being acceptable, so we have changed things up a bit so that everyone can still get great potatoes and I will not have to worry about the government coming in and taking the farm.

If you want some potatoes which are great for eating and as you all know you can also choose of your own volition to plant them in the ground…

then I will have them available for eating through the website only.  Please call me in advance or email me to let me know what you want and I will reserve them for shipment in April or we can arrange a meet in Edmonton one weekend and everyone can come to a central location for pickup.  Shipment is not that bad and you get fabulous tasty potatoes at your disposal any time.

I am off this week to the Organic Seed growers Conference for North America in Corvalis Oregon, thanks to the Bauta Family Seed initiative and the cross Canada Seed Growers Alliance group.  We will meet there to discuss Canadian grower issues and it will be very exciting.  Let you all know how it goes when I get back!

We have some great new varieties of tree seeds for landscaping trees and I have some White, Burr and Red Oak seedlings for sale, $3 per tree, for spring and summer delivery.  Email me at smileyo at xplornet dot ca if you are interested.

We will also do limited amounts of raspberry canes, red currants and comfrey root for those interested, prices vary and so does availability.

We will be starting plants soon, so if you want tomatoes, peppers, cukes, corn or anything else that I have seed for and want me to start plants, let me know by the end of February.  Thanks everyone,

Posting catalogue soon,

Denise

Sangudo Gardener’s Workshop

Hi everyone,

If you are close and are interested in learning more about great garden design or growing garlic, the Sangudo Horticulture Club is hosting an open public workshop day on Jan 23 from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Sangudo Community Hall.  Admission includes lunch and great speakers, an all day event with a trade show of local vendors and a silent auction.  This is a great teaching forum and fundraiser for the club.  See details on the poster and registration form.  Hope you will join in.

2016 Sangudo Gardener Day, registration

2016 Sangudo Gardener Day, poster

New for 2016

San Pancho sunset Happy New Year!!

Like a brilliant sunset, we find joy in the close of this, 2015 and the dawn of a new year to come.  Nothing has really changed, as one day rolls into the next, each moment seemingly inseparable from the next, and yet, it is through our minds, our perceptions that we realize the passage of time.  It is all in our minds.  And so I choose to look forward to this new Year as an opportunity to be and do in a new way.  So I dawn with a new look for our site, which grows as we do.

And I choose to send out a sincere thank you to all who have chosen to expand their knowledge of the natural world, of their place in it of their own creation, and their power in making a difference to connect back to mother earth, to their food, to rejuvenate their health, to empower their own journey to relearn one of the most fundamental aspects of life on earth – growing one’s own food and diving into biodiversity. Congratulations on your successes in 2015!

I look forward to speaking with you all in the times to come and hope that your steps this year will be in truth to your missions in life, that your words will ring from the depths of your being and that you shine the light of your intentions to brighten the world around you for the good of all.

From everyone here on the farm, thank you

Denise, Jeff and family

Hello winter…

Hi there; finally the winter winds blow and just in time.  I think we can all agree that we have been very spoiled this year by the weather.  There were grasshoppers but no mosquitos to speak of, hot weather that benefited many crops and a state of dryness that did not.  All in all I am thankful for the year, its crops and abundance in spite of everything.  I am always amazed at how a handful of seeds can yield an abundance of produce.  We have a cellar full of potatoes, many Jerusalem artichokes and a bushel of cucumber seed.  So thanks nature. Thank you soil and thank you weather.

The garlic was finally nestled in the ground as well in a record late time into November…that has never happened before. And I have not got the tally but it is into the thousands again.  It is cozy beneath a bed of straw and awaiting the return of warm weather come spring.  I am happy to have culinary garlic to share with all the chefs that have been after it for years.  Soon I will be out with my wares, approaching restaurants with my potatoes and garlic.

As there is never a dull moment around here, I will be soon starting the cleaning and packaging of seeds for the coming season.  Thank you all for following us and our farm,

Sincerely,

Denise

New Varieties for 2015

Hi;

There are some new varieties grown out for 2015.  They are listed below.

Peas – Corne de Belier, Penners Russian Sugar, Suttons Harbinger (reintroduced), Amplissimo Viktorianskii, and kids crazy peas.

Beans – Royal Burgandy, Mostaller Wild Goose, Black Coco, Dragon Tongue (aka Horticultural Bean), Landreths Russian, Giant red Tarka, Coco Rubico, Vieux Flippe, Agassazi pinto.

Lentils – reintroducing Ethiopian Lentils

Turnip – Swede Osgarde, and Turnip beets for greens and kimchi

Swiss Chard – Fordhook Giant

Beets – Fuer Kugel – a giant sweet beet from Germany with red and white zones.  Exceptional and at least 6″ around.  Very tasty

Corn – Double Standard bicolor sweet, Painted Mountain sweet corn (multicolored), Gills golden sweet, and Dakota Black Popcorn are available.

Onions – Bernie’s Red, Red Zeppelin type, Yellow Globe, Jaune de Paille, Prince type, Perennial Bunching onions, Noord Bloedrode, and others

Trees and berry shrubs

Chokecherry available again

Scotch Pine for landscaping

Norway spruce – fast growing and beautiful, huge cones

5 Needle Pine – apologies, I have yet to identify this one.

 

Garlic, Jerusalem Artichokes and Potatoes ready now

Hi everyone;

The garlic is harvested and ready to go. They are $4 each head or $3.50 if you order 15 or more.  Let me know as soon as possible if you want any as I am planting it out soon and then availability will be limited.

Have these varieties:  Polish Jenn, Ukrainian Mavniv, Ukrainian Hot, Mr. Kastelic, Gido Krupa, Les Pudar, Korean, Purple Glazer, Chinese purple, Marlene’s, Pink skin softneck, Purple skin softneck, Hutterite Purple, Jumbo Sicilian Softneck, BC Sicilian, Early Portugese Softneck, California organic softneck, Porcelain, Silverskin early, Red Russian, German Red, Dan’s Russian, Dan’s sicilian, Luchka, and more

We have spuds for sale to eat…you can decide what to do with them from there.  I have quite a few and as currently we have all the varieties we had before plus Caribou, Larette Fingerling, Red Cloud (limited availability), Peruvian purple (landrace variety), Emmers purple, Alta Blush, and others, and so if you are looking for something special, ask and I might have it.  I would prefer to send them out now before winter.  $5 for 10 or $3/lb for large orders.

Heather’s Norland – early large, red skin, white flesh, all purpose

Red Norland – early medium to large, red skin, white flesh, productive and all purpose

Cherry red – Early, medium red skin, round and white flesh, all use, great for new potatoes

Warba (1933) – mottled white skin with deeper pink eyes, moist white flesh, fairly early, all use.  A German potato with great flavor.

Sangre – Mid season medium sized, dark red skin, slightly elongated, white flesh, baking, boiling, uses

Sante – mid season, white skinned, dry fleshed firm potato.  Medium yields, good all purpose baker.

Danish – from the world traveler.  A white skinned, medium sized, white flesh tuber which is slightly dry.  Good producers, great flavor.

Irish Cobbler – since the late 1800’s this has been around in recorded history.  This somewhat flattish yellow skinned, yellow moist fleshed potatoe is a standby in any potato salad recipe.  Good yields, taste and good storage qualities.  Somewhat prone to scab.

Ukrainian – A white skin, white to yellow fleshed moist potato, slightly flat, but more rounded than Irish Cobbler.  Good storage, baking and other uses.  Great for pyrogy use.

Carola – a midseason, German yellow fleshed, white skinned type with good moist flesh of excellent taste.  Limited quantities.

Purple Chief – early deep red/purple skinned, white moist fleshed potato.  Good keeper and good yields.

Onaway- a fairly new addition to the potato family, this is a white skinned, white to yellow fleshed moist early potato with good yields.  Used for all baking, boiling and new potato use.

Nordonna – Grown as a replacement for Norland, it has slightly higher yields of round red skinned, medium sized, white fleshed tubers than Red Norland.  Good disease resistance and slightly more keeping capacity.

Shepody – Mid-season, white skin and flesh, large sized oblong tubers of great quality and keeping ability.  Some disease resistance.  Good yields.

Pink Fir Apple (Pink Finger) – early high yields of fingerling potatoes, pink skin and creamy yellow flesh.  Grown for over 100 years.

Caribe – early excellent yields of purple skinned, oblong, medium to large sized white fleshed tubers, store excellent, multi-use and medium moist tasty flesh.

Yellow Finger – mid-season to late, abundant yields of finger shaped and sized tubers, some growing large, skin is yellow as is the moist, almost waxy flesh that is absolutely the best for oven roasted Italian potatoes.  They never need peeling and are tasty and sweet.

Fianna – From the world traveler.  It was bred in Denmark. This smooth oval tuber is white skinned and dry white fleshed, with medium size and medium yields.  Grown to be a French fry potato since it does not absorb a lot of fat.

Timo – From the world traveler during his visit to Finland.  Timo is also known as Hankkijan Timo.  It is a well loved favorite there.  It is early and produces well.  It has white skin and slightly yellow moist flesh, and that is why it tastes great.

Ada’s White –  From the seasoned traveler, this is another find from a local grower who has had it in her family forever.  Ada’s white is oblonged, mid-season, and white skinned, almost brown, like a baker.  The flesh is white and light.

India white – Mid-season, oblong, medium sized, multi-use potatoes.  White  thin skin and moist white flesh.

Nooksack – An Aboriginal landrace variety of brown skinned white fleshed medium moist baker.  Moister than a russet.  Good yields of medium to large tubers.

Toolas – From the world traveler.  It is a small to medium sized fairly round white thin skinned potato with white moist to waxy flesh.  Medium yields.

Green Mountain – a late season potato but worth growing for the huge yields of large, oblong tubers of excellent disease resistance and storage qualities.  Makes great fries.

Agria – early season, yellow skin and flesh, moist large sized potatoes for all uses. It is one of the best tasting early potatoes.

Luke’s Bush Cobbler – a bush variant of Irish cobbler for smaller garden spaces.  Good yields, similar characteristics otherwise to Irish Cobbler.

Red Thumb – deep red skin, white fleshed tubers of medium size, definitely fat thumb shaped and mid-season.  Medium yields.

Chieftain – early red skin white flesh, great yielding potato one of the better keepers for an early potato.  Standby for early boiled eating and new potato taste.

Bintje – 1910. A late white skinned, white fleshed, medium dry baking, boiling potato with exceptional keeping qualities and good disease resistance.

Red Pontiac – A mid-season, deep red skinned, white moist fleshed tuber, good storage and yields.

All Red – medium to late maturing.  These potatoes are as the name implies, a cheery red color inside and out.  Keeps during cooking so you can make wonderful mashed potatoes for Valentine’s day without the need for poisoning food color!

Yukon Gold – medium maturing.  Yukon gold is a yellow skin, yellow tasty flesh, moist waxy potato of great quality and production.  Makes quite large tubers sometimes. Developed in Guelph and released in 1966.

Oma’s Saskatchewan White – obtained in 2009 from a decendent of a German Immigrant who brought these white skinned, smooth tubers from the old country.  They are mid-season, white fleshed and fairly moist with good storage abilities.

Red Cloud – a mid-season, white fluffy fleshed red-skin round potato which makes heavenly light baked potatoes.  Good storage.

Egyptian White – obtained from a seasoned traveler who loves collecting rare varieties.  This white skin, white flesh tuber is abundant and mid-season.  It keeps well.  Tubers are slightly oblong and good for all uses.

Red Gold – Mid-season, medium red skin and golden flesh, moist and good yields and flavor.

Wendy’s Purple – from the seasoned traveler, these potatoes are a variety grown by his neighbor Wendy for many years.  They are purple skinned, oblong and white fleshed, with good disease resistance and performance in all soil types.  Medium sized and medium moist.

Chaleur – Early producer, white skin and flesh.  Potatoes are round to oval, comparable to a Yukon gold.  It was developed for French fry use.

All Purple – also called All Blue.  This one is inside and out a purple/blue which can be hard to find in moist soil.  The tubers are quite large, and make a great mix for potato salads.  More antioxidants exist in potatoes with deep flesh colors. So eat your vitamins.

Early Ohio – early season White potato with white creamy flesh.  Slightly on the dry side.  Yields are good and they keep well.

Roko – mid-season bright red skin and white flesh.  Used for all purposes.  It is high yielding and stores excellent.

 

Jerusalem artichokes – $5 per 5 tubers, or $3 a pound if you want 5 lbs. or more.  Limited availability.  I have all the kinds I had before