Video About Large-Scale Garlic Scape Processing

I just watched this report on la Semaine Verte about garlic scapes.

The video showacses Le Petit Mas and their garlic scape harvest. They harvest 1000s of pound at a time and shuffle them around in bulk bins. They then process the scapes and lacto ferment them.

If you are interested in garlic, you should watch it even if you don’t understand French!

Below is a picture of our high-tech garlic scape storage system: garlic scapesI

Seed Connetions 2014 Conference!

One month from today we will be in the middle of Seed Connections 2014.

If you work with seed or want to know anything about seeds, you should not miss this event. If you participated in the 2012 edition, you know what I’m talking about. If you missed the last Seed Connections, well you can read my blog post about the 2012 event.

Seed exchange 2

WHEN: Friday Nov. 7 to Sunday Nov. 9, 2014

WHERE: MacDonald Campus of McGill University in St.-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC

WHAT: ECOSGN Seed Connections is a fully bilingual event bringing together farmers, seed-savers, seed companies, community gardeners, researchers, and experts on organic seed production to share knowledge, skills, and experience over a packed, 3-day agenda!Whether you are a beginner gardener or an expert seed producer, if you are interested in ecological seed production in Canada, this is the conference to attend.

HOW: Click on the following links:

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please e-mail ecosgn2014@gmail.com.Looking forward to seeing you there!

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Garlic Festival on Aug. 23

Two days until the Ste-Anne-Garlic festival! Find out more at http://steannegarlicfestival.wordpress.com/  or on Facebook

We are busy brushing garlic bulbs with toothbrushes for the occasion!

2014-08-11 garlic fest 2

If you can’t make the event, you can live vicariously through last year’s garlic fest video.

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Seed Saving Farm Tour At Tourne-Sol Farm

The Concordia Seed Project (http://concordiaseedproject.weebly.com/) invites you to join us on Wednesday, August 13 from 2-4pm for an afternoon with seed saving expert Daniel Brisebois at the Tourne-Sol Co-operative farm. This farm tour will focus on large-scale organic seed production. Hands on seed saving demonstrations will be part of the afternoon activities. This tour is suitable for both expert and beginner seed savers.

This event is hosted as part of the Concordia Seed Project, which is a partnership of Action Communiterre’s (http://www.actioncommuniterre.qc.ca/) Seed Share Montreal program and the Concordia Greenhouse City Farm School (https://concordialoyolacityfarm.wordpress.com/). This tour is free of charge and only 32 spaces are available. Please indicate if you are able to drive as we only have 18 spaces available in our rental vehicles. The first 18 people who register will be offered these spaces. Registration is required for this event. Please visit the following link to register: bookwhen.com/tmwcx

For more information on the Tourne-Sol Co-operative farm, please see Daniel Brisebois’s blog at: https://goingtoseed.wordpress.com/ or the Tourne-Sol Co-operative website at: http://www.fermetournesol.qc.ca/.

If you have any questions please contact Deanna Kazina at: Deanna@actioncommuniterre.qc.ca

Farm Tour_Poster

Mulched Garlic vs. Unmulched Garlic

We have always mulched our garlic crop. Last year, we planted one unmulched bed of Porcelain garlic as a trial.

In the spring, the unmulched garlic sprouted and emerged from the soil earlier than the mulched garlic. Visually, there seemed to be more winterkilled cloves in the unmulched garlic (though a low enough amount to not be a concern). There have also been many more weeds in the unmulched garlic. However we could weed with hand tools since there was no mulch in the way.

None of those results surprised me. (I was happy about the low winterkill.)

I was really surprised (knocked right off my feet!!!) when I harvested a few Porcelain garlic plants to sell at market as green garlic. I started with the unmulched garlic and was pleased to see that the bulbs were a mostly a decent size. When I pulled the mulched bulbs, they had barely begun to swell and were a fraction of the size of the unmulched bulbs.

2014-07-04 Garlic comparewtmk

I imagine since the unmulched garlic emerged earlier, it also put on more leaf growth earlier, and therefore had more energy to start bulbing earlier. I’m guessing that the unmulched garlic will also be fully mature 1-2 weeks earlier than our mulched crop.

We will be repeating this trial in the fall. We’ll also add a Rocambole and Marbled Purple Stripe to the trial to see how they fare without mulch. If  we can consistently get earlier garlic without mulch and have acceptable winterkill rates,  we could grow a portion of our crop unmulched to spread out the harvest over a longer window.

Do you have any stories to share about mulched vs. unmulched garlic?

2014 Seed Connections Conference – Call for proposals

ECOSGN is currently planning the 2014 Seed Connections Conference. We would love your input!

What do you want to learn? Is there a speaker you’d love to see?

You can tell us by filling out one of these forms:

 

Call for Proposals PromoECOSGN Appel de Propositions

2014 Tourne-Sol seed catalog

Our new seed catalog is out.

Cover 1final

Actually it’s been out since the end of January but I didn’t take the time to post it here!

This is a new step in Tourne-Sol catalogs. It has a lot more colour (4 pages!) & it is fully bilingual French/English.

We used to print a different version for each language but it was a pain when catalogs in one language ran out. It also meant writing 2 catalogs. Integrating both languages took some extra but should be ahead of the game for next year. (Or so I hope.)

One challenge with a bilingual catalog is how to classify crops. For some we could just classify bilingually and it wouldn’t matter (such as carrots/carottes or beets/betteraves.) However other crops are written very differently in both languages (beans/haricots; squash/courge; eggplant/aubergine) and it means that organizing alphabetically means one language group can’t find what they are looking for.

We chose to confuse everyone. We classified by botanical family, and then by scientific name! We did put an index at the beginning of the catalog, I just hope it’s enough! Next year, it will be more comprehensive.

Enjoy our catalog, feel free to order large amounts of seed, and please tell me what you think of our crop classification!