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Old 05-08-2020, 11:22 AM
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Default The biggest day we've had in our 22-year history



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https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52544317
Excerpt:
Jere Gettle's garden seeds company hadn't seen anything like it before.

"The biggest day we've had in our 22-year history was Monday, 30 March," says the owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri. "We had over 10,000 orders, up 10 times on what our normal would be. It was totally overwhelming."



It looks like home gardening has shot up dramatically because of C-19.

All seed companies should do well this year. Next spring could be a bit chaotic. If C-19 tapers off then demand should drop a bit, but if it doesn't then all these novice gardeners will be back in force and buying even more. Those who have always gardened may want to be ready to pounce on the earliest seed offerings this next fall, winter, and spring before it all gets snapped up. Be working on that plot planning earlier than normal and watching the seed websites more frequently this year going forward.

With the internet now making more people aware of exotic species then seed offerings may widen even more than it is now. Regardless of whether next year ends up busier than normal or not, it should be fun seeing what new offerings the seed companies bring in to satisfy demand.

If you live urban then next year could be a good year to locate those urban farmers markets where small scale gardeners go to sell. I predict more abundant variety and quantity. On the flipside, the logistics hassles of this year throwing off regular producers might see the bigger traditional and rural farmers markets to look a bit anemic next year as pro farmers scale back so they don't have to plow under unsold produce.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:48 AM
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My wife made the switch to mostly heirloom seeds a few years back. We let a few of each plant go to seed each season. It's cut back our seed purchasing to a minimum. It's a liberating feeling being able to grow your own food from the same plants year after year like this.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52544317
Excerpt:
Jere Gettle's garden seeds company hadn't seen anything like it before.

"The biggest day we've had in our 22-year history was Monday, 30 March," says the owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri. "We had over 10,000 orders, up 10 times on what our normal would be. It was totally overwhelming."



It looks like home gardening has shot up dramatically because of C-19.

All seed companies should do well this year. Next spring could be a bit chaotic. If C-19 tapers off then demand should drop a bit, but if it doesn't then all these novice gardeners will be back in force and buying even more. Those who have always gardened may want to be ready to pounce on the earliest seed offerings this next fall, winter, and spring before it all gets snapped up. Be working on that plot planning earlier than normal and watching the seed websites more frequently this year going forward.

With the internet now making more people aware of exotic species then seed offerings may widen even more than it is now. Regardless of whether next year ends up busier than normal or not, it should be fun seeing what new offerings the seed companies bring in to satisfy demand.

If you live urban then next year could be a good year to locate those urban farmers markets where small scale gardeners go to sell. I predict more abundant variety and quantity. On the flipside, the logistics hassles of this year throwing off regular producers might see the bigger traditional and rural farmers markets to look a bit anemic next year as pro farmers scale back so they don't have to plow under unsold produce.
My wife was making one of her orders to Baker Creek around the same time. She said it was rough. They had to shut down the website on the Friday before that so they could process orders and then re-group. As soon as the site came up she was clicking like crazy trying to get her order to go through. It finally did, whew. She says Baker Creek has been like that since. They keep shutting down for short periods due to demand.

As far as your predictions, I was kinda figuring the rural farmers markets in my area may be big this year. I assumed alot of the local growers have had more time to tend to their gardens and thus produce more than ever. Then again due to shortages they may actually eat more of what they produce.

Lol, so I have no idea what to expect.

But yeah, we gotta keep an eye on our seed stocks more so than we normally do. I think my wife is already buying ahead of her normal times "just in case."
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:52 PM
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Already have this falls and next springs seeds.
I always "keep extra" of the things I don't save seed from, but if you'll recall I advised this in January.
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Old 05-08-2020, 02:02 PM
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I bought mine from Baker Seeds in December, bought more than I will use for at least 2-3 years. Small garden this year since we just got moved back in in February and the garden was a mess with most everything burned all around and in the garden.
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Old 05-08-2020, 02:36 PM
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Seed buying at least.

I'm not sure how many will actually ever be planted.
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:32 PM
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When I tried to order from Baker Creek, the items I wanted all showed out of stock on their site.
I called and found out they had the items I wanted so I ordered. The site must have been overwhelmed at the time I tried.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:09 PM
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I order a bunch of stuff from baker creek in Feb.
Nice people to deal with and Im glad they are doing well.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by roseman View Post
When I tried to order from Baker Creek, the items I wanted all showed out of stock on their site.
Baker Creek and Burpee are the most well known and likely to get hammered in any rush season. I prefer the smaller seed houses because they also happen to have their in-house guru more readily accessible for questions. My habit of trying seeds I've never used before necessitates getting as much info as I can.

In the past I've found the ordering sweet spot to be the quarter before the season you want to plant.

I'm not going to cut it that close this year. I typically don't do a fall planting because that's my biggest hunting and food processing season. But that will be when I order next years seeds for spring. I'll likely order this summer order the root veggie seeds for winter. I'm thinking a half year before my desired planting needs to be my new normal.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:09 PM
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Yep making preparations to save much more seed from here on out, since I can't predict the future, I am going to do what I can manage so I hopefully never get caught short seeded
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:32 PM
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Yep making preparations to save much more seed from here on out, since I can't predict the future, I am going to do what I can manage so I hopefully never get caught short seeded
Once stuff gets more than 3 years old I'll take it and broadcast it.

Have gotten some very hardy volunteers that way.
(Haven't been gardening Long enough to pretend I known what I'm doing, but I keep trying.)

3 years because I've typically bought or saved plenty more by then.
A few $ a year for seed insurance is money well spent.

Saved carrot seed last year. Probably play with radishes and spinach this year even though I have plenty. (Add a couple types each year.)
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:48 PM
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Probably play with radishes and spinach this year even though I have plenty.
Radishes have been my primary interest in the last several years.

So many cool kinds of radish to grow and the US grocery business has never moved off the basic red globe.

It's a very unrepresented food on the retail level. Lettuce, beans, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, peppers, etc, variety is all well represented in retail produce. Radishes get no retail love in America at all. But in Europe and Asia the variety is astounding. Spicy, bland, sour, fruity, so many different types, but they all have that fun crunch.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:27 PM
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I grow a couple types of radish every year.
Not because I particularly enjoy them (just about every vegie but corn and peas I prefer to eat raw.) They aren't bad, but not particularly good either.... Those I've tried anyway. but... 3 weeks plant to harvest?

I was referring to those being what ill probably try to save seed from I haven't done before. (Easier to continue once you've done it, and I keep some in reserve.)
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:11 AM
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Radishes have been my primary interest in the last several years.

So many cool kinds of radish to grow and the US grocery business has never moved off the basic red globe.

It's a very unrepresented food on the retail level. Lettuce, beans, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, peppers, etc, variety is all well represented in retail produce. Radishes get no retail love in America at all. But in Europe and Asia the variety is astounding. Spicy, bland, sour, fruity, so many different types, but they all have that fun crunch.
I hadn't tried cooking radishes until a couple of years ago, they are delicious!
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:42 AM
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I hadn't tried cooking radishes until a couple of years ago, they are delicious!
They are a well known secret for us keto/lc type folk.......

Can anyone say hash-browns/ potato cakes!
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:32 PM
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I hadn't tried cooking radishes until a couple of years ago, they are delicious!
Yes, they definitely are.

The colder the winter the better. The cooler and wetter it stays the slower they are to bolt and the milder they stay. Some from strains from Manchuria are treated like fruit in their winter markets because they grow mild and sweet in the cold wet ground.

Of note too that the greens on some varieties are popular for a fast braised side dish. Useful for salvage when the plot bolts too fast in an unexpected warm winter. For a warm winter that causes them to be too spicy, you can lacto-ferment them in the fridge to tame the spice. If you live where the climate gets warm frequently you need more tricks.

Though there is an Indian variety called Rat-tailed that grows an edible seed pod instead of a fat root that is supposed to be better for warm weather. I need to get around to trying my hand at that one.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:33 PM
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If your sales are up x10 from previous years, where do you get your additional inventory (or what have you been doing with the x9 leftover in previous years)???
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:55 PM
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If your sales are up x10 from previous years, where do you get your additional inventory (or what have you been doing with the x9 leftover in previous years)???
They sell them the rest of the year. Baker Creek's announcement is a snapshot in time. In normal years they lay in enough stock to last them for every region's spring planting. Spring planting can be February on the coast where I live and be late May in Wisconsin. Mid March would be planting time for the northern borders of Gulf Coast states. Lots of northern Yankees were just stirring to consider their Spring needs when they had the rug yanked out from under them.

I'm also pretty sure most seed companies overbuy each year. Between discount sales after the season ends and likely deals with seed producers they probably manage to clear out any overstock.

Since most seed survives more than one year then as my pure conjecture I suspect they sell excess seed back to seed producers so they can grow a new seed crop.

I also suspect we are dealing with matters of scale here too. Imaging all the carrot seed packs sold to home gardeners across the nation every year. Then imagine how much seed the prime bagged carrot provider for Kroger buys every year. The latter being a far larger seed consumer than all the hobby gardeners put together. I'll bet Baker Creek can tap into that larger volume market to deal with gluts and shortages in problematic years.

Let's face it. All the grocery store sacks of potatoes are a drop in the bucket compared to the yawning abyss that McDonalds buys for global french fry needs. Those of us puttering in our back yards barely get on the radar for total commercial seed needs.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:45 PM
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Seeds of any variety, either heirloom or not, were pretty tough to obtain in the past month or so but things have since normalized since then. The big retailers and small nurseries were wiped for a little bit.




In my area, farmers markets are a running joke. Often times, it's a bunch of dudes cosplaying while wearing overalls and driving box trucks.

Their produce is mostly sourced from the local food terminal where all the grocery stores buy their food, and then jack up the prices even more than what the grocery store charges. The young hipster crowd eats that **** up.

They are mostly a status symbol to the stupid. Paying $4.99 a pound for Ohio peaches or buying 6 ears of Ohio corn for $8 dollars is down right highway robbery.

At peak season corn is at most $2 a bushel and peaches are about the same.



The farmers markets don't usually carry oddball or heirloom varieties of food you would think they would carry, though many fanciers stores, specialty stores or ethnic stores do and if they don't have it, they will special order for you if its commercially available.

You may, if you are lucky, find a seller that has those oddball items or heirloom varieties but they are uncommon.

That ONE guy who sells Paw Paws or Winesap apples or the old lady that has wild cucumbers, white or striped eggplant, exotic squashes or fiddlehead ferns but in extremely limited quantities.

There's only a few reasons a mainstream retailer won't carry certain items and its usually because there is either no or a low market for it, the item is unstable and has a short shelf life or it's just not produced for mass consumption.

Batata, Yucca root or Coco Malanga may last for a months but nobody wants it.

Winesap apples, paw paws, a million varieties of bananas and eggplant, "baby" type vegetables are cool, exotic looking and delicious but you better sell 90% of the case within 3 or 4 days or they aren't making you any money because you have to trash them.

Your Musa ab banana lasts for week or more depending on ripeness and gassing procedure, black beauty eggplant can last several weeks and your commercial apples like granny Smith, red delicious, empire or gala can last up to months not even putting into account that most apples are almost a year old when they hit the shelves and have been sitting in cold storage for the past 10 months.




So its hit or miss.

The heirloom stuff is generally interesting to look at and often time has a unique (not necessarily better) flavor and the typical hybrid or commercial varieties have better consistency in flavor and growth results and usually store much better.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:30 AM
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Already having a canning jar shortage here in Jawja. I've got about 15-20 lbs of pintos going rock hard because I can't can them. Before you yell at me about how I should have already canned them, i already have 40 its of them canned, but my neighbors really like them, so they don't last long. I have over 100 qt jars (half of them already filled) and at least that many pint jars, but I have other things other than beans to can.

Not a bad problem, but I can usually find jars this time of year, but not this year.

Not trying to highjack your thread, Zeke, but growing things does lead to having to store things.

Ya'll shoot straight and stay safe out there.

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