Seed Bank Wiki – Updates Ongoing

A quick update this time – I’m in full blown seed saving and harvesting mode here, and there’s so much to do! It’s becoming a common refrain, but we were hit with some interesting weather this summer, lots of dry hot spells intermixed with complete downpours. You really learn what tomato varieties will stand up to what in weather like that!

I have been slowly working through the wiki, and now most pages have something up, so you can find some very cursory observations there, with more and more being posted every day. In the coming weeks, it’ll look a lot more complete with more photos, but for now check it out for initial observations.

New Site Is Live

Thanks everybody for being patient – I know the new website took a bit longer than expected to get up and going! I wanted it to look familiar but updated, and I think I did all right (I’m pretty pleased with it anyway). All links should be good, but you may notice some old images that aren’t showing up on some of the older blog posts. Unfortunately, they’ll probably have to stay that way, but all the photos for the separate articles are up and operational.

Once the actual change over was done, I figured there was some outdated text that needed re-hauling, which is really what ended up taking the extra time.

Also: now the website doesn’t look awful on your phone!

Stay tuned for some more garden updates soon, everything is growing like crazy with the heat, but in the meantime, don’t forget, you can request seeds from last year! A few varieties I’m now out of, but there are still lots of really neat varieties. You can see that list here.

Not sure what to pick from that list? I’d be happy to help! Feel free to leave a comment on this post with your growing conditions, and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

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!

State of the Bank – Quick Update

Hello all! Busy time over here, and I’ve had a few emails saying “there’s been no updates since August!” so I thought I’d pop up a quick one just to let everybody know I’m still alive.

In the past six or so weeks we’ve had a killer frost, so I’ve been saving seeds like mad in an orderly rotation. I’m just finishing up the last of the drying now, so the seeds to become available will be announced in a few weeks. This year I will be holding a fundraiser, so selling seeds before they become available cheaply for no cost (other than shipping) later on. This is to ensure I can keep acquiring more seeds in the next year for the bank.

A few weeks as well have been spent dedicated to the Seeds of Diversity AGM which wrapped up yesterday in Victoria (thanks to all who came out!). We have lots of things planned for the upcoming year as a Board of Directors, so we’re all pretty excited.

And, last but not least, I know the database here on the site is showing a whole whack of errors at the moment, which I’m trying to fix up as fast as possible. I’ll update when that is all said and done.

That’s all for now, stay tuned!

A New Database, Grow List, and More!

Spanish Seeds Hello seedsters (is that a thing? It should be!). I’ve been feverishly working the past few weeks to get a whole bunch of stuff updated around here. Not only that, but a bunch of you have ordered seeds through the distribution page so I’ve been working like mad getting all of that out. I’m starting to see seeds in my sleep. Not that I’m complaining, we’ve had unseasonably cold weather here, so it’s nice to amuse myself with all the seeds in order to try to block out the -30C temperatures outside.

Newsletter – The first quarterly newsletter has been sent out for 2014. I like to announce some things on there first, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up by entering in your email address in the little box to your left. You can be sure I don’t share your email addresses with anybody – I don’t even use a third-party service to send the emails, it’s all done right on my own desktop. The next newsletter will be emailed in May.

2014 Grow Outs – This is going to be a big, big year for the bank. My wonderful volunteers have really stepped up to the plate this year, and between myself and my four volunteers, we’ll be growing around 80 varieties of edibles this year (the majority of which are tomatoes). That in turn means that we’ll hopefully have that many different varieties to offer gardeners and growers all over the world in late 2014/early 2015. You can check out all the varieties slated to be grown in one handy list, here.

The New Wiki – In 2011 I started constructing a database/wiki of detailed grow out information that’s been collected by myself and the volunteer growers. It might have taken me a while (due to my inability to garden because of the move), but I’ve officially launched it. This is not a compendium of all tomatoes ever, but strictly for varieties grown out by the bank. This year we’ll have a big push to enter in a lot of new info as these varieties are being grown out. Please be sure to check it out, and if you have any suggestions for information to add, please let me know by contacting me.

Seed Bank Holdings – I’ve finally gotten all the information in the seed bank’s database re-entered, so the current holdings list is now completely, 100% up to date with all the varieties, and information I have on them. There’s about 38 pages of it there, so if you want to read it all, I suggest grabbing yourself a coffee first and getting a comfortable chair.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned! I have a few more articles planned here for the site, as well as general updates slated to happen. As the gardening season ramps up for me here on the prairies, I’ll be using this site more and more to keep all you lovely folks up to date on the status of how the garden is coming along.