Seeds

Seed-saving


Lettuce Mix 2
I know I sound like a geek….but it thrills me that our current salad mix contains a lettuce whose seed we saved on our farm. It’s one of 6 varieties of lettuce in the mix at the moment (we change up the lettuce varieties pretty often during the season). It’s called Italian Red Parella and it’s super cute and beautiful. It’s a sun-kissed, freckly beauty with a nice round shape. We grew it for Annapolis Seeds 2 years ago and kept quite a bit of seed for ourselves so we could see how it fits in best with our crop […]

Lovin’ this Lettuce!


DIY Germination Chamber 11
On our farm, projects start with internet research and often use odd pieces of “junk” we’ve got hanging around. One winter’s projects was a germination chamber. Some of our seeds require light to germinate but most vegetable seeds don’t. They do need consistent moisture though. Many growers use a germination (or sweat) chamber to reduce: space that seedling trays take up before the baby plants emerge (when they all need light) frequency of watering (which also relates to algae growth) Since we moved to this farm, we’ve started our transplants many different ways. In the 1st few years, we made […]

DIY Germination Chamber


Seed Cleaner workshop 4
Saving seed is one thing…but then cleaning it is a whole other thing. Why clean it? Well, when we first harvest the seed, we just want to get it out of the elements and keep it dry. Along with the seeds, we end up bringing in all kinds of other bits of the plant. In order to incorporate seed saving into the operations of our small farm, we need to try to make the process of both harvesting seed and re-planting the seeds we’ve saved, as efficient as possible. You know when you buy seed and you open up that […]

Work Bee: Building a Seed Cleaner



In 2014, we were extremely grateful to be rewarded with a $500 grant from Rodale’s “Your Two Cents” Organic Seed Fund to help us purchase organic seed (our seed costs fall somewhere around $1500 to $2000/year). As certified organic farmers, we must purchase organic seed to grow our organic crops. However, there is an exception. If we cannot find a variety that we want offered as organic seed on the seed marketplace, we can purchase non-organic seed as long as it hasn’t been treated with anything that is not allowed under the Canadian Organic Standards. This exception was created to […]

My Two Cents on Organic Seed


Technically, the Food Secure Canada (FSC) conference isn’t a farming conference. This was a “big picture” conference with more academics and project managers in attendance than farmers. There were no production, marketing, or business sessions as there are in most farming conferences. But there were sessions on policy, the state of agriculture nationally and globally, and food systems issues and success stories. In the farm business planning course we took before starting Broadfork Farm, Bryan and I learned that Policy Risks are just as important to be aware of and prepare for as Production Risks. And so, we made a commitment to […]

Farming Conferences: Part 3


During the 2nd weekend of November, I (Shannon) was in Ste. Anne de Bellevue (near Montreal), QC for the Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers (ECOSGN) conference. Home for less than a day, we both (Shannon and Bryan) headed to Halifax for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) conference and then I stayed on for the Food Secure Canada (FSC) conference (Bryan headed home before this one to keep the cats happy and the house warm….and it just started to snow on his drive home!). Attending conferences and workshops are one of the ways we work on our professional development […]

Farming Conferences Part 1