Seeds For Distribution Available!

Finally, after what seems like about a million years, the seeds for distribution are finally available. You can mosey on over here and take a look. There are 25 varieties of tomatoes and 3 varieties of beans currently up for offer. Some are in very low quantities, so if you see something you like, snag it up quick because they won’t be available for another 7-10 years.

I’ve also been updating the database with a few photos, so you can see all the tomato and beans are looking so far this year. Everything in the garden was pushed back about three weeks due to some wacky weather, but with the heat, and some rain now offsetting that heat a bit, everything is finally growing fast and furious. I hope to be updating with fruit photos before July is out.

2015 Kicks Off

This is when most of the seed bank is done. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. Once the plants go in the ground (or pots) they mostly seem to take care of themselves, except for watering and bagging blossoms. I’m outside amongst the plants, picking and preening and generally fussing, but it hardly feels like work.

When I say work, I mean the planning, and I guess what makes it more work-like is that I spend hours sitting in front of the computer, reconciling what’s in the bank with what my database says, updating the database so I can track where everything is, and then of course the pouring over what’s in the bank (via the database) deciding what needs to get grown, and figuring out which seeds are going to which growers. When I say work, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, because I thoroughly do. Every gardener knows that planning your garden is a great way to get over the doldrums of winter.

And this winter has been a tricky one. We’ve, overall, had a warmer than normal winter, which is great because it’s not -20C constantly, but also awful because it makes it feel like spring is that much closer when you know it actually isn’t.

But, it has made me be really early this year with getting the 2015 growing season in order, and that is a feat unto itself, because before February I have the list of what’s getting grown this year, which growers are getting what seeds, and I’ve even planned out the seed starting schedule to the day of when everything needs to get sown.

The past couple of years have really been about getting all that super old seed grown out and in good quantity, and I can now say, at the end of 2015 everything will be 100% caught up if all goes according to plan, which of course means lots more room and time for acquiring new varieties. That is exciting.

Without further ado, here’s the list of what’s getting grown out for 2015 and here’s the growers participating this year.

I’ve already been busy acquiring seeds for the bank as well, and that will be posted in a future update.

I’ve also been fiddling with the wiki quite a bit, and now you can view which varieties have been grown in which year.

Helping the bank

The seed bank is still running it’s annual seed sale to help fund the endeavours of this year, which includes (but isn’t limited to!), postal costs, website costs, and most importantly, acquiring new varieties. Please consider purchasing some seed from the etsy shop, it goes a lot way to helping keeping the bank going for another year.

I do accept donations as well. You can read about donating here.

And, of course, I am always accepting donations of varieties into the bank that we do not currently have. You can read about donating your seeds here.

Stay tuned for the list of new acquisitions coming up in a future post!

Annual Seed Bank Fundraiser

As promised, the seeds for sale are currently up, and available through the etsy shop! I’m excited this year to be selling some really awesome varieties.

But I thought your seeds were free??

They are, and they will be. But every year I run a little drive in order to help fund the coming year. The Populuxe Seed Bank is run entirely out of pocket, and in order to help mitigate some costs, each year I sell seeds first. Some quantities I have are quite limited, and if they sell out through the Etsy shop first, they will be gone until they’re grown out again (which is a 7-10 year cycle). So if you see something you really need, I do suggest you snap it up first on Etsy! Plus you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling from helping a good project (and my gratitude!).

Thanks for your ongoing support, as always!

New Seeds Coming Soon

I’ve had a few inquiring emails asking if seeds are available yet. Firstly, thanks to everybody who’s showed interest, and secondly, the answer is imminently. I’m just finishing up the last of the germination tests, and then seeds will be available.

If you’re a member of the newsletter, you will get first notification that seeds are ready to go (to join, enter your email in the box on the upper left hand corner).

I will be doing a seed-drive this year before offering the seeds for shipping only, and that is simply to help out with on-going expenses (website, shipping, packing supplies, etc.) that the bank incurs that is paid out of pocket.

Thanks again for all your interest – stay tuned!

State of the Garden – August

It sure feels like autumn’s coming up, and I’ve even spotted some leaves starting to change. I’m not overly thrilled about that, but I am sure thrilled with the tomatoes and how amazingly well they’ve been doing this year. I’ve had the best tomato harvests and plants I’ve ever grown, and the weather has been perfect for them. It’s been a banner year, and I’ll be sad to see it go, but at the same time it makes me really excited for next year.

Yesterday I harvested about 9kg. It’s probably my biggest haul in one day, but as of right now (including yesterday) I’ve harvested 20.65 kg. And that’s not even half of what’s on the vines – I won’t be surprised if I get 100lbs easy.

I’m going to have so many seeds to share this year, I’m ecstatic! I’ve already started the seed saving, which has had to be moved to the garage, because I don’t have enough room in the house for all the cups anymore.

I’ve also been slowly updating the database – mostly with photos right now, but specific growth information is slowly going up as well.

What a great year, I’m over the moon.

This year I got two sports that don’t show the characteristics of what they’re supposed to be:
30-kimsport-smKimberley Sport – small rugose leaf (rather than potato), grows only about 1ft so it’s a dwarf. Determinate. Shiny skin with lobed fruit, no characteristics of either Tiny Tim or Siberian (Kimberley’s parent plants).

19-marysaustrian-smMary’s Austrian Sport – large 5ft indeterminate plant, produces grape shaped pink jewel toned fruit. Nice flavour, nothing like the roma-type this is supposed to be. I contacted the seed seller who received the seeds from the family, and she’s never grown a tomato like it (so it’s not cross contamination), and she confirmed it was nothing like what Mary’s Austrian is. So this one is officially a natural cross that I’ll be regrowing and stabilizing because it’s wonderful.

I’ve also got some freak tomatoes this year, which is always fun:

The first photo is Tomato ‘Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovyi’ with a hole that’s grown into it (doughnut tomato!), the second is some dirty ‘Stupice’ (because I’m immature and it made me giggle).

And here’s some more tomato eye candy for you, these varieties (and many others) will all be offered in varying quantities.

Top L-R: ‘Fargo Yellow Pear’, ‘Kootenai’, ‘Chocolate Stripes’, ‘Perestroika’
Bottom L-R: ‘Purple Prince’, ‘Green Zebra’, ‘Tangerine’