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2017 Michigan Seed Swaps & Seed Libraries PondEdge Michigan 2 02-15-2017 01:36 PM

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Old 07-07-2019, 08:57 AM
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Rain, wet, rain, ... is this going to be like the year without a summer?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

Funny though, when a couple of weeks go by with hot temps and no rain, you get to thinking some rain might be nice.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:08 PM
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They're really pretty! But you're right in that they sure look like crab grass. How tall are the sets before you plant them out? And what's your in row spacing?
They were 2 to 3 inches when transplanted. I do 9 inch row spacing so that I can run my wheel how thru and tend to space 9 inches in the row as well.

They are starting to develop a canopy and shade out little weeds.

InMichigan
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:25 AM
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Fascinating to learn rice can be grown in Northern areas! Will have to try this, we are zone 3b/4a so transplants will be best, I'm thinking 1 qt pots with 7-12 seeds each and starting more than 3 wks before setting out. I grow everything in 3-4 ft wide beds. Can't wait for next season! Thanks for the inspiration -- am so excited!
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:26 AM
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...so transplants will be best, I'm thinking 1 qt pots with 7-12 seeds each and starting more than 3 wks before setting out.
I would not use a pot with multiple seedlings. The young plants' roots are delicate, I'm concerned about the damage to the roots as you take them apart.

I would recommend individual 'cell' type trays, like this:


You can see the seedlings are a little bit yellow...as rice does not enjoy being in a pot/cell. If I were to plant more than 3 or 4 flats, I would stagger starting the seeds by a few days so that they don't all reach the 'must plant' stage at the same time.

Those are 7 by 12 cells per flat. At this stage of transplanting on May 18th, almost every 'plant' was gently popped out without falling apart. If you had some from previous tomatoes/peppers, I'd try them, however, I'm not sure the larger 'cell size' would be of benefit. If the cell was too big, I don't think there would be enough 'roots' to hold it together during handling. Also, we are constrained by how many square feet of tray we can illuminate, so, density is a winner for us.



They got a small 'drink' of water after transplanting, one by one (to avoid waking up all the weed seeds!):


Here they are on July 12th.


Bed widths of 3 to 4 feet sound good, as that is handy for weeding. In this last photo, in the far ground, are the transplants. In the foreground, the same type of rice was direct seeded. Notice the direct seeded stand is not as dense. I would have had to use a lot more seed to account for germination, accidents during weeding, birds and the weather.


inMichigan

Last edited by inMichigan; 07-13-2019 at 11:55 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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I can't argue with your success! but just wonder....have you read Eliot Coleman's books? he grows onions, beets, etc with 3-4 seeds per block, and Yes this is not the "recommended way" to do it. However, it makes for easier handling. I just wonder with the rice, if you did 3-4 seeds in a block, if it would save you time.
My idea to do the 7-12 seeds in a quart pot would be for home garden---not a larger plot obviously!
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:16 PM
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The Duborskian Rice has begun to bloom:






Loto Rice appears to be the most happy this year. All this growth from a single seed!


Each 'stalk' called a tiller will likely form a head of grain.

Finally, it puts Crab Grass to shame!
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Old 07-28-2019, 04:24 PM
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That's some amazing amount of growth from each seed, particularly the Loto. Squeaky clean beds, too! Weeds down here just wait for you to go back to the house after weeding so more can start overnight.

Do you think upland rice would mind having a mulch? I have checked and the only nematode that affects rice is in Asia and some parts of Europe and is also a different species than the RKN here. This makes upland rice a possibility for growing over the summer in otherwise fallow beds to starve RKNs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
That's some amazing amount of growth from each seed, particularly the Loto. Squeaky clean beds, too! Weeds down here just wait for you to go back to the house after weeding so more can start overnight.

Do you think upland rice would mind having a mulch? I have checked and the only nematode that affects rice is in Asia and some parts of Europe and is also a different species than the RKN here. This makes upland rice a possibility for growing over the summer in otherwise fallow beds to starve RKNs.
That's what I'm thinking too---tons of "tillers" or branches....this all comes from ONE rice seed? Amazing.

I use a lot of mulch in my garden too, so I wonder if the Upland Rice varieties can be grown that way too.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
That's some amazing amount of growth from each seed, particularly the Loto. Squeaky clean beds, too! Weeds down here just wait for you to go back to the house after weeding so more can start overnight.

Do you think upland rice would mind having a mulch? I have checked and the only nematode that affects rice is in Asia and some parts of Europe and is also a different species than the RKN here. This makes upland rice a possibility for growing over the summer in otherwise fallow beds to starve RKNs.
Weeds, here too, but I am artful in my photo compositions....

We have mulched with strips of newspaper torn to width and grass clippings to hold it down. We did that once tillering had begun for smaller beds. With mulch comes a lot of snails and slugs. I chose to not mulch, as I am trying raise it like I would if scaled up for “food” mode. A friend gets 10 pounds per 100 sq ft.

InMichigan
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:25 PM
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That's what I'm thinking too---tons of "tillers" or branches....this all comes from ONE rice seed? Amazing.

I use a lot of mulch in my garden too, so I wonder if the Upland Rice varieties can be grown that way too.
Yep, just one seed.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:14 PM
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Winter solstice coming...looking forward to the days growing longer!

Been threshing, cleaning, sorting and threshing.... seeds everywhere!

Neither of us smoke, but we grew several types of tobacco here in Michigan. You can order a wide range of seeds, but nearly all are targeting regions with a longer season than we have. Of course those more famous types would make plants, they just wouldn't make viable seeds, therefore, not sustainable in our minds.

Here is a beautiful one that didn't quite make it before the frost got them:


These little Petite Canadian Tobacco did just fine:


I hung some leaves from each type:


Has anybody 'processed' tobacco for home use? I talked to some friends who helped farmers when they were growing up 40 years ago... it all got sent out in bales, so, neither knew what the secret to processing is.

One variety has small round seed pods:
https://photos.smugmug.com/BackyardM..._163850-X2.jpg

When threshing the seed pods, you get this kind of clean residue:


You get a huge amount of seeds:


The internet says half a million seeds per ounce!

I will give some samples to a colleague who smokes for testing.

Thoughts and experiences?
inMichigan



PS I did some internet & thread searching... the word 'tobacco' appears far too often.

First, there are two kinds of tobacco:
Tobacco Rustica--extremely high in nicotine which makes it the one to use for bugs
Nicotiana tabacum-this is the used for smoking these days of which there are many, many varieties

https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...t=cure+tobacco

and an older thread
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...d.php?t=289721

My feeling from reading is that there are two phases: a) after picking and hanging, getting the leaf to turn from green to yellow which you seem to want to happen slowly but without mold, b) drying with good airflow; all followed by some amount of aging. Also, the commercial processes are not not widely known due to secret details... and the home process may require a few attempts to get the knack right.

This was a nice write up about using it for bugs:
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Originally Posted by wiprepper View Post
A few folks have pointed out that tobacco can be used as a natural pesticide. So, for those of you tending your own gardens I found this simple guide for anyone who might be interested.


1) Steep a cup of dry tobacco in a gallon of water for at least half an hour. Soaking for longer produces a stronger pesticide, and some gardeners leave the tobacco mixture to soak for a day. Stronger pesticides might work faster, but they are also more dangerous to beneficial garden insects.

2) Add a squirt of dish washing liquid to the mixture. This improves the spreadability of the pesticide and is mildly toxic to some pests in its own right.

3) Strain the liquid into plastic storage containers, through a fine sieve, to remove the tobacco pieces. Tighten the lids securely. The pesticide will keep for a couple of weeks if stored somewhere cool, for example, in a garage or basement.

4) Transfer the mixture to a plant mister.

5) Target the pests and use as little spray as possible. For example, spray growing shoots that are thickly covered in aphids but not nearby, aphid-free leaves. Tobacco spray is natural but still dangerous to useful insects, such as ladybugs.

Adding dishwashing soap helps the solution stick to the plant surfaces, and it also has pest killing properties of its own.

Do not use a tobacco pesticide on plants in the tobacco family, Solanaceae. These include tomato, potato and pepper plants. Tobacco may carry the tobacco mosaic virus that could be much more of a problem than the pests.



Last edited by inMichigan; 12-31-2019 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:30 AM
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Default Pastella another long term storage fodder (and snack) fig leaf gourd

Greetings from SE Michigan,

A few years ago, we described our home made silage project used to give our poultry a late Winter treat. Yesterday, I found the first egg from our American Buff Geese. Seems a little earlier than past years, but that happens because I have a small light on a timer to provide a little light between 5pm and 8pm for doing chores and such. I'll gather these pre-Easter eggs up.

Anyway, I wanted to show this year's poultry treat in preparation for them raising the next generation:





It's Pastella or Fig Leaf Gourd.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_ficifolia

It's not really a gourd or squash, Cucurbita ficifolia is its own thing.

The flesh kind of reminds me of Spaghetti squash. It's a bit sweet without any strong flavor, so, it would pair with stronger things. I was thinking about the rose hip fruits or the last of the crab apples. This is how they eat it in Italy. The seeds are reported to be nutritious as well.



Our primary reason to grow them was because of its very long term storage ability. Because of its ability to keep for a long time, the ripe fruit was taken on voyages on ships, and used for food for livestock on board. My wife was talking to a fellow seed saver from out East. She exhibited Pastella at a fair and won a blue ribbon. She saved the fruits, and showed them the 2nd year, won another blue ribbon with the same fruits!

I stored them in our barn in an area that stayed above freezing... so far so good as none of them have 'rotted'. I put them into old milk crates so they had some air flow. I'd love to track down how they stored them on ships. I had planned to feed them all over the course of Feb/Mar, but after hearing of the 2+ year challenge, I'm going to have to save a few.





Since they aren't the same as squashes, melons & real gourds, nothing special is required to save their seeds year to year. The rinds are extremely tough...almost like a plastic bowling ball. I used a two-handed cheese knife to split them to avoid a slip and stab.

inMichigan
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:07 PM
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That's some longevity on those gourds! It looks like they're a hit with the geese, too. A successful experiment.

BTW, how did your rice turn out? Were you able to harvest it and how did you choose to de-hull it?

About the tobacco curing, here's a source for a book on it along with a bunch of seed varieties.
https://www.superseeds.com/pages/sea...page?q=tobacco

If I see him again, I will ask an old friend if his family grew tobacco and if so, how they cured it. This isn't tobacco country but some old folks used to grow some for home use. Unfortunately, most of the old ones are no longer with us.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:10 PM
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That's some longevity on those gourds! It looks like they're a hit with the geese, too. A successful experiment.

BTW, how did your rice turn out? Were you able to harvest it and how did you choose to de-hull it.
Geese are very satisfied.

Rice was a great haul. It is Not all threshed, because I will use it on a demo class.

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About the tobacco curing, here's a source for a book on it along with a bunch of seed varieties.
https://www.superseeds.com/pages/sea...page?q=tobacco
If I see him again, I will ask an old friend if his family grew tobacco and if so, how they cured it. This isn't tobacco country but some old folks used to grow some for home use. Unfortunately, most of the old ones are no longer with us.
It would be great to get the hands on experience from an old timer! Lots of sources for seeds, but we want varieties that can reach maturity in the north.. So far, “Petite Canadian Tobacco” pulled it off for us.

InMichigan
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:46 PM
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If only growing tobacco for the leaf stage, and no interest in having viable seed; I believe quite a few of them would do the job. We want sustainability... so, are a bit more picky.

inMichigan

PS Tobacco plants make so many tiny seeds that you could try to go something marginally inappropriate for your location (lack of degree days) and get enough seeds to keep at it. Other 'specialized varieties' on the list to try, but, its a long list.

Last edited by inMichigan; 02-15-2020 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:30 PM
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The first pair of Geese is nesting..



I marked her eggs with the date late last week. Last year, too many geese laid their eggs in the 'sitters' nests. This resulted in too many eggs that couldn't be kept warm, so, they all failed. I resolved to be a better "monitor" this year. She started with 7 eggs, now she has 5. Perhaps she could tell which did not develop and got rid of them, or maybe some sneaky critter (raccoon) grabbed two. I'll know if the count keeps dropping.

inMichigan

PS She and her mate were very defensive about me looking at the ends and marking them.

PSS Tattler is having a sale
March 15th - March 31st (3/15/20 - 3/31/20)
20% Off All Orders $100.00 And Up!*
Use Code: Think Spring
https://reusablecanninglids.com/
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:50 AM
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Our soil temperature is 65 F. Potatoes need at least 40 F per the internet. Also, dandelions are blooming, another sign...so today is the day.

Once again, we have expanded the garden. The seed saving this year is more focused on what we need to plant next year to grow on ever greater share of our staple crop calories for family consumption.

InMichigan

Last edited by inMichigan; 05-04-2020 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:00 PM
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We have Stuttgarter Onion transplants growing under lights. They are from seed we saved last year. I plan to start a bed of seed to make my own sets this year. These are mail ordered from Fedco (onions and Yellow Moon Shallots):



Put everybody to work planting potatoes!


inMichigan
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:57 AM
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What kind of potatoes are you putting in this year?
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:38 PM
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What kind of potatoes are you putting in this year?
Year to year favorites:
Bintje, Pinto, Rose Finn and German Butterball

Also, Nicola, Elba and Katahdin to see if they store as well as they are described.

I had to buy new this year, after several years of saving seed potatoes year to year. Last season was awful. The cold wet spring combined with planting the entire crop in my heavier wet clay, cold soil...a very big lesson learned!

I also saved and planted some nice potatoes I bought as backup food from a local farmers market in early March. They were grown about 30 miles from here. It was one of the last 'regular' market trips before life changed. I was nervous until the seed potato order arrived from Maine... with covid and all...

Planted another ~400 feet this morning... with just enough to add the last 100 ft when that soil warms up in a week or two.

inMichigan
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