Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Since I’ve decided to take the year off from distribution, and while we’re all faced with life changes, I’ve been able to take this time to finally transfer all my notes from 2019 into the seed bank wiki. Unfortunately I don’t have as many pictures as I would like from last year, but what I have I put up, along with growth notes. You can check out everything from 2019 by following this link right here.

I’ve also taken the time to update various pages in the website, most importantly of which is the 2020 grow out list. As I mentioned in my previous post this year will look slightly different in that I’ve scaled back somewhat and am not growing out varieties that are old and new re-growing (except for two varieties which I’ll talk a bit more about below). So if you’ve been following along with this seed bank for a while, you’ll see varieties listed that I’ve grown in the past 2-5 years, which is atypical because I like to keep everything rotating in about a 7-10 year time span.

A while ago I inherited a large amount of seed that used to belong to my friends, Dan & Val McMurray. Those of you in the seed world will know their names – they were avid seed collectors, savers, and (most importantly) sharers. I wrote more in-depth about them and how they influenced my own seed saving here. I’ve spent a while going through this collection – combining duplicates, cataloguing, and compiling what information I could find on these varieties. It’s not small feat to inherit a collection so special.

These seeds are very old. The youngest being 13 years old this year. I’ve carefully stored them, and while I imagine many of these (due to small quantity in the collection) may not have any viable seed, come hell or high water I will grow out as many as I can to preserve them.

I took the past week to finally finalize putting everything into my database. The information is sparse, but everything’s been assigned an accession number, and at least it’s there. While I was doing that I ran across two varieties that I couldn’t pass up planting – ‘Northern Delight’ and ‘McMurray’s Purple’.

‘Northern Delight’ is a variety that’s not extremely rare. There are least two commercial sources for it, but the reason why I picked it to grow out this year is that it nicely fit into my “early and container” variety plan. I only had 8 seeds from the collection, and considering they’re 13 years old I might not get anything. In which case, I can always hopefully replenish the supply.

‘McMurray’s Purple’ is something different. Of these I only had 10 seeds in stock, and Dan had marked them as ‘Honey’. Looking up ‘Honey’ however, they didn’t match his description at all (most obviously the skin being purple, as opposed to the yellow of the true ‘Honey’ variety). So knowing that they definitely weren’t ‘Honey’ I’ve temporarily renamed them. I say temporarily because while I grow them out, I’ll be comparing to other known varieties. If they match something already known, great, I’ll simply rename. If they don’t match any known variety, well, it seems only fitting this one be named after Dan & Val.

I have no idea how big, or what kind of growth ‘McMurray’s Purple’ will be – the information wasn’t that detailed on the packet. With only 10 seeds I’m hoping I get 3 or 4 plants so I can grow and document them this year.

I’ll be uploading the the big update PDF sometime this week after I clean up the database a bit, when I’ll post a little update here on the blog. Who knows, I may even send out an email update (something I haven’t done in a long time, even though you guys have been joining). I pride myself on a low-volume newsletter, so I’m really holding true to that the past year!