Category Archives: 1. Seed Stories

ACORN hosting 2016 ECOSGN seed conference

The third biennial ECOSGN (Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers Network) Seed Conference is coming!

This year ECOSGN has teamed up with ACORN (the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) to have the ECOSGN conference at the ACORN fall conference.

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The Details

Where: Moncton, NB at the Delta Beauséjour

When: November 28–30, 2016

How to register: Click here to register before November 18

This is a bilingual event with sessions in English translated to French and sessions in French translated in English

Seedy Sessions

Pre-conference seed kick-off

Day 1 Seed Perspective Plenary

Day 1 sessions

I’ll be speaking on day 1 about Cover Crops & Rotations in Seed Production.

Day 2 sessions

Day 3 seed swap

 

The Rest of The Conference Will Also Be Awesome

In addition to the the seed stream, there are 3 other farming streams on Day 1 & 2. And on day 3, though there are no seed streams (beyond a seed swap) there are still 4 farming streams. Here’s the program for the whole ACORN conference

Emily will also be speaking at the conference in the following sessions: Post Harvest Handling at Tourne-sol Farm & Opening Plenary: The Changing Face of Farming

Go And Register!

You can register here The deadline to register is November 18.

 

Organic Seed Growers Conference Webinars

Below is the official information for 6 webinars broadcast from OSA’s Organic Seed Growers Conference.
I am one of the speakers in Seed Economics: How to Make Growing and Selling Seed More Profitable.
If you’re interested in listening, make sure to register for the webinars!

The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) is hosting their 8th biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis Program from February 4 – 6, 2016. While there is a great contingency of BC and Canadian growers attending the 2016 conference not everybody can make the trip.

We are happy to announce that OSA, in partnership with eOrganic, will be offering a number of the conference workshops via webinar!

You can register for the webinars here.

Below is a quick list of the webinar topics and times and you can find a more detailed list here.

  • Seed Economics: How to Make Growing and Selling Seed More Profitable
    • Friday, February 5th, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific
  • Seed Equipment: On-farm Innovations
    • Friday, February 5th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM Pacific
  • Vegetable Breeding Research Updates
    • Friday, February 5th, 3:30 – 5:00 PM Pacific
  • Organic Cover Crop Seed Production
    • Saturday, February 6th, 9:00 – 10:30 AM Pacific
  • Vegetable Seed Production: Scaling up
    • Saturday, February 6th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM Pacific
  • Managing Seed Borne Disease: Brassica Black Leg and Implications for Organic Seed Producers and Industry
    • Saturday, February 6th, 3:30 – 5:00 PM Pacific

Saving Purslane Seed

In the last 3 years, Golden Purslane has become an on farm favorite salad green. It has a juicy refreshing taste with a sour edge that livens up a salad.

Last year we also grew a seed crop.

1 Purslane

Golden Purslane produces small yellow flowers that only last a short time. (I have yet to catch them in picture.) They then form a small green fruit in the center of the leaves. After a bit you can peel off the cap of this fruit to find some small black seed.

I was told that this is the perfect time to pull purslane plants for seed. So we did.

2 Harvesting Purslane

We cut the whole plants and packed them into bins to bring them back to the  barn.

3 Purslane bins

The succulent plants were still juicy and delicious at this point.

4 Post Harvest Purslane

We spread the plants out in a single layer on a tarp and added a few fans for ventilation.

5 Purslane Seeds Maturing

Over the next month the fruit dried up and opened to reveal thousands of small shiny black seeds.

6 Purslane Wilting

The plants stayed succulent for quite a while. After 4-5 weeks the stems started to shrivel. Around that time most of the fruit had opened.

7 Purslane Bits

We took the plants outside and shook them over a big tarp. The seed easily shattered. We tossed the green plants aside and collected the dried chaff and seeds.

8 Screening Purslane Seeds

At this point we proceeded as normal to clean the seed with screens and fans. These plants were full of seed! (Such as we did with this Brassica seed.)

Thanks to Frank Morton and Tom Stearns who told me I should pull these plants. They were right.

Tourne-Sol Open House on Sunday 5 July, 2015

Our annual open house is coming up. The full details are below. But one thing I’ll point out to all my seedy readers is that I will be giving seed and garlic tours during the event!

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 Full Details

Get out your calendars and reserve Sunday July 5th for our Open House. This also happens to be Tourne-Sol’s 10th anniversary celebration so we’re going all out! There will be garden tours, workshops, food and maybe live music. Fun and activities for adults and kids!

Date: Sunday July 5th, 2015

Address: At our farm! 1025 ch. St-Dominique, Les Cèdres, QC, J7T 1P5.

Price: Free!!! (Pulled pork and veggie dogs are for sale)

Rain Date: No rain date. We’re going to have this event rain or shine. We will have tents to gather under in case of wet weather.

Share the event on FACEBOOK

 

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SCHEDULE

10:00am Doors Open
10:15am Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
10:30am Kids Planting Activity
11:15am Garden Tour (French); Seed & Garlic Tour (English)
12:00pm Pulled Pork & Veggie Dogs
1:00 Paper Making Workshop (until 4pm)
1:15pm Garden Tour (English); Seed & Garlic Tour (French)
3:15pm Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
5:00pm Doors Close
*** Ongoing kids tours throughout the day***

GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will show you the farm from our greenhouse through the fields and back to our packing shed. You’ll get to see where all our crops come from and how a broccoli actually grows!

SEED & GARLIC TOURS: Dan will walk you through the seed fields and garlic patch. You can see what Quinoa looks like, find out how to tell different types of garlic apart, and more!

KID’S PLANTING ACTIVITY: At 10:30am, Renée will lead a garden planting workshop. Children will plant their own 3 Summer Sisters (or Brothers) garden that they get to bring home.

KID’S GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will give a garden tour aimed towards kids to see how food grows from seed to fruit to seed again.

PAPER-MAKING WORKSHOP: From 1 pm to 4pm, we will be hosting a paper-making workshop with local artist Claude Aimée Villeneuve. She will use various plant fibers gathered on the farm.

FOOD: At noon we will have pulled pork and veggie dogs for sale.There will also be a free salad bar made from our fresh local organic greeens!

Planting Overwintered Dandelion

Last year, I selected my favorite Italian Dandelion plants from our market planting. I chose them based on the level of leaf serration, the red stem and green leaf contrast, and vigour.

In fact, I’d actually been eliminating whatever I didn’t like all season long. Whatever was too green, too round leafed, or too marked by disease would get it’s growing tip cut off by the harvest knife as I made bunches for market.

By the end of the season, I was left with a bunch of plants that looked like what I thought Italian Dandelion’s should look like.

(Do note that Italian Dandelions are different from the garden weeds Taraxacum officinale. Italian Dandelions are actually Cichorium intybus  – the chicory species that includes such delicious bitter greens like Radicchio.)

Dandelion Leaves

In the fall, we dug up the roots, trimmed the leaves, and planted them in potting soil in Rubbermaid bins. We stored these bins over the winter in our cold room.

By spring, the roots were starting to sprout blanched leaved in the bins.

 

Dandelion Bin

I took them out to inspect them. All the roots had survived.

Dandelion Roots

We went out to the field and planted away!

Brendan Planting

We planted them one row per bed and one foot spacing per bed. These plants are going to get big.

Dandelion Planted

While we were at it, we also planted out a bunch of different turnips. We’ll let these cross up to create a crazy population that we can select from.

 

Turnips laid out

 

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!

Renewing our vows to the seeds in our lives

In the Fall issue of the Heritage Farm Companion (Seed Saver’s Exchange member magazine), there was a transcription of Gary Paul Nabhan’s keynote at the annual SSE campout. I was touched by the end of his keynote when he invited members of the audience to renew their vows to the seed that they have been part of and that have been part of their lives.

I would like to renew these vows &  invite you to do the same. Here are the vows that Gary Paul Nabhan led his audience members through:

I, Daniel Brisebois, a gardened, farmer, seed saver, and eater,

wish to renew our sacred vows

to take care, love and serve.

Through sickness and in health

in times of crisis and times of joy,

to sow the seeds of food justice,

to sow the seeds of food security,

to sow the seeds of food democracy,

to sow the seeds of true food sovereignty,

through our own actions and our own eating patterns

so that we may all eat what we have truly sown.

I reaffirm our covenant with this earth,

to humbly be just one more way that seeds themselves regenerate

into more seeds to nourish all of us.