Cottage Gardening forum: 2014 Seed Swap Chatter #4

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Dec 6, 2014 7:53 PM CST
Name: kacee
southern california

whenever I get anything whose scientific name is unfamiliar, I just google it. has been the easiest way so far to get common names, for me
Dec 6, 2014 9:00 PM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, Georgia, USA
I Google the botanical name and add the word 'cultivation' in the search. Sometimes I add the word 'zone' and get answers about the hardiness or tenderness of the plants.
Then I do a similar search adding the word 'edible' or 'medicinal' to see if the plant has these uses.

Dec 6, 2014 9:20 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I collected some Rat Tailed Radish seed pods this fall. If anyone oinks for them I'll thresh and winnow them in the next couple days... The seed pods are the part of the plant that is eaten.

Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Dec 6, 2014 10:19 PM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Speaking of radish I saw radish seed on your wish list Joseph
I have some collected from a community garden that had several variety all together seeds are from several not pulled to eat.
be glad to send some your way?

Dec 6, 2014 10:22 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Oh, believe me, I google things - it just takes a very long time because there are so many that I don't know.
Grazie a tutti,
Dec 6, 2014 10:30 PM CST
Name: Patricia
Central TX 7b/8a
I just added a few veggies to my list and plan to add more tomorrow.
Dec 7, 2014 4:11 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Whew... Whew... and Whew....

Finally back on line. I started trying at about 5 yesterday evening. After numerous tries and ready to through puter out the backdoor, got on for a couple minutes and been trying on and off since then til now. Shouldn't complain though since it for once magically stayed on the entire BF time. Shocked me for sure, but was so glad.


Thanks for posting all that. I'm copying it and sending it in a cmail to myself so I don't lose it for next year.

Right before I went off line, I was like oh..oh.. I knew I had forgotten something important and that was package count, but so many were already packed and had everything done, I said Oh well. I was so sick myself when posting that and I wasn't gonna have folks go back and do it. Plus with so many helper pioggies this year and some who are doing their very first swaps, and more injured piggies than I have ever seen, I didn't want to put more work or stress anybody out if I could help it.

*Blush* *Blush* *Blush* Well, I try and not send ya back the seed ya sent, but it don't always happen that way. Oppsies do happen. *Blush*

With hundreds and hundreds of seed all piled up in piles to sort for PArt 2 and 3 some of the packs all slide together or accidentally get a couple get mixed when rooting through them to find something I knew I saw for somebody.

Sometimes too, I don't notice that say I grabboing a seed of so and so's part 2 and it a seed that coming back around from you that didn't get used or there was extra of and it will go flying into your bucket.

From Oct when Piggy Swap announced it coming that starts things off, by the time we get to the end, there hardly an available space left. My bed spends months covered in seed, I sleep on the couch, or if biotter cold, I share the bed with about a foot and a half wide for me and hope I don't snort of a seed during the night, every available counter, table plus added tables I set up, are used. One section gets used for piling all the empty boxes and envies sent in in case I need to double check addy on outside to inside and they stay til usually a couple of weeks after folks have packages to make sure everything ok. I have 60 never used outside, new 2 gallon black plastic pots all lined up in another section that is everybody individual piggy bucket. Besides all the piggy seed I have my drying seed all strewed out, plus all my seed that I going through for oinks , plus what I toss for wishes. I have one path from one end of this trailer to the other for almost 4 months sometimes 5 while I wait for boxes to arrive.

It a crazy time for sure during Piggy Swap, but it all worth it in the end when folks get their packages and start doing a happy piggie jig. Is the piggy swap a perfect swap. Nope, we have hicups here and there. Maybe something will get missed here or there An interesting one? For sure!

One of the biggest kicks I get is seeing how all the seed comes in. There are some really creative minds when it comes to packaging seed. So many different personalities of folks in this swap and so many different ways of labeling and packaging. Each packet of seed that comes in has each persons individual sytle and personality in it and on it. Think it what helps to bring us all closer together as friends and a family unit of sorts. Group hug

Lebug If you want to remember who you got a seed from , just leave your incoming list up. Then you'll have a name and can cmail the folks. Most folks, unless they leaving open all year for trades with other folks do generally delete them when I say they can. Other wise they have unknown folks that may be cruising the net , stop in and send them cmails over and over, bugging them and asking for seed that gone or no longer available. Or you can copy and paste all your sections of your database to a word doc or send in a cmail to yourself and that way you will have it. Big Grin

Personally, and this just my opinion, but I think it help to form stronger friendships and folks gettign to know one another better, when they do cmail the other folks for growing help or information about the seed they got. It's like having a quick cup of coffee together and a friendly chat.

me, if I don't know something about a seed or have trouble growing it, I enjoy coming here and asking. I enjoy learning and reading about the many different likes or dislikes, methods and just all kinds of info that folks toss out. Gives you a chance to not only find out from a real person how something may grow for them but also so many tidbits that you can't find on the net. For example just like how some folks may love the taste of some veggie and others not. How some folks prepare that veggie and how others in such a different way.

So many methods folks have too. I think it great, if one way don't work for you, you can try another way. It's like a giant scientific seed starting lab. Hilarious!

Dec 7, 2014 5:10 AM CST
Name: Erica Braun
Benicia, CA
Ella -- I don't envy the task you have of sorting all these seeds when they come in. It sounds like they consume most of your living space. You are amazing for hosting this swap. I really love the fact that you include people from around the world. I would say over 50% of my seeds are coming from people outside the US. I'm super excited!

I'll be mailing on Mon. If anyone needs a last minute addition to their pack, be sure to let me know sometime Sunday.
Dec 7, 2014 6:48 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Erica Even after all these years of doing this swap, I still not perfect at it. Sometimes a seed packet will get forgotten, sometimes and Danita left this part out. Hilarious! With buckets stacked so close together and especially when they get so full, a packet may slide from one persons bucket into somebody else's and they discover it when they get their seeds and have sent it on to the person for me. Whistling *Blush* *Blush* I double check this, recount that, go over and over my cards for everybody and than do it all again before I send out packages and still I generally mess something up. Blinking

General chat ....

What amazes me and is the main thing that will set me Grumbling Grumbling is when somebody will cmail a person and I have had this done, cuss them out because they forgot a seed packet, a seed or short of what was listed. or maybe in the shuffle of everything, especially for newbie traders this can happen, well happens to me too, or you have folks that are very new to gardening and seed trading. Some are just learning to save seed and maybe they tried their very best, but saved the plant parts instead of the seed. It happens. They tried. Somethings I catch as they come through and I will kindly let the folks know that they got the wrong part so they can do better for next year.

If those cases folks just need to overlook and get busy with the hundreds of other seeds they have to plant. I have banned a few lickity split from ever participating in this swap ever again cuz they was plain rude and ugly to somebody who unknowingly did that. Hey they tried. Ya learn by trying , which and I say this every year...

If you have a problem, when you get your packages, you cmail me. I'll deal with it. hey even if I have forgotten something folks don't be afraid to cmail me. I am not gonna pin anybody to the walls or not let into swap next year for cmailing me. If somebody is ugly with anybody, please let me know. I will not mention names, but those kind of ugly talking and acting folks I don't want in this swap.

Folks with ideas or suggestions, hey send them on, some may make things more difficult and than again some may make things easier, just like the suggestion of less oinks per day was implemented this year.

And yes, you'll be reading the above again at some point on the oinking thread so folks not following chat yet will be able to read it. Just what ya wanna hear, right? Hilarious!

Maybe later today or in the next couple of days, I get posted over on the forum for Garden Cooking some interesting ideas for things you can can and make. I don't have the actual recipe, but from the name and descriptions, you can maybe hunt on the web. The folks I was telling about that can over 4,000 jars and 30 different products and pass out to older folks and hungry families and such every year, that was last count I had and with so many folks asking for a basket I know it way ..way.. way.. even more than that.

Well, through the bad weather and pouring rain, she found me over the weekend and gave me a bucket with some jars of product in it. I'll take one for me and pass to needy folks I know. I had already started passing several jars out to those kind of folks just a few minutes after she left me. I'll let folks pick and the last jar whatever it is will be for me, unless there somebody else I know that hungry and than I will pass out that one too.

Actually what some of you piggies don't know is that some of your seed has actually gone into the making of these products for folks. You actually doing a good thing and some of your seed has feed a hungry or needy person.

I grow the seed and plants, keep what I need for myself and what I plan to grow to help feed those in need with fresh product and extra plants I have go to these folks to grow and use in their missions of these Christmas feeding baskets of jars for folks. I would love to be able to go over and learn and help them, but I such a chicken. I am so scared that I would mess something up and have batches of stuff that would have to be pitched and somebody would miss out on receiving a jar basket gift. So for now, I'll grow the plants and share that away.

It's part of the reason I would love to learn to can professional like them, so maybe I could do the same, but until I do, I'll just keep loading my van with fresh veggies and herbs drive em round to folks. Big Grin

Theirs seems like a simple mission, but it actually massive year round work. Besides supplying plants, I'll pick up baskets and any new , not used cases of canning jars I find maybe at flea markets where folks had to many and have discounted them for them. There are also many.. many other gardeners who may have extra produce and will bring it to them to use. There are some of their friends who have big gardens that they don't use all the space for themselves and they will get some of the plants given and grow them out, harvest them and deliver the what they call their canning kitchen where everything is done.

Even you all, if you have extra plants or extra produce, you might consider trying to find locally in your community somebody who has the same mission or if your coordinated enough, start such a program around your community. There is always somebody who is struggling or hungry just maybe within a few feet of your doorstep. It's the silent folks, that usually in the worst need. You can start out simple and as time and circumstances prevail you can add to it.

And those of you who grow only flowers, you can get in on the action too if ya want, cuz the gardens need pollinators and your flowers help to attract the pollinators and may also act as a deterrent or a trap crop.

Dec 7, 2014 9:43 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I've been managing a food pantry for about 20 years. I'm often amazed that people don't know how to cook with basic staples like corn, beans, peas, squash, and root crops. I remember one time I offered a fellow a plain old butternut squash, and he turned it down saying that is wife didn't know how to cook squash. And she was old!!! I don't know how someone can live a whole life and never cook a squash.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Dec 7, 2014 11:22 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Like me Joseph.. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

There so many veggies I have yet to learn to eat and cook. After such a disaster of trying to cook rhubarb with the wax coating all on it. *Blush* *Blush* I ask all the time.

I know with all the garden veggies my dd grew, squash was not one of the items. Maybe from being from way up North I know it is not a regular food you find growing and not too often in the grocery store either. Lots of folks who live in bustling busy cities have no the first clue on how to grow something to eat. That why I think it nice when I see some older folks that will take old nasty looking lots and turn them into little community gardens and teach folks and kids how to grow stuff.

I still remember the first time I met you Joseph on another site and you was the only person willing to how tell me how to save a particular squash seed. Big Grin This old hog was just learning about them. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

I got most of the pages typed up here:

still gotta a little bit over a page to go, but my eyes started hurting so I quit before I got to the good part.

Man oh man... I don't know what just happened in neighborhood , but must be something big cuz the noise terrible and it sounded like massive explosion and shook the trailer and I just jumped out of my skin. Hope it nothing serious. If they was out hunting I think they used way to big of a gun.

While I was typing that garden thing, I read that they used "true seeded concord grapes." What does that mean?

Dec 7, 2014 12:05 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
OMG, Ella -- I hope that loud noise wasn't anything too drastic !! Blinking

Joseph, I feel the same way about people just not knowing how to cook "staples" anymore (including fresh vegetables, I guess!). The food commodity program (which we by no means qualify for - for which i'm thankful) in our area gives out a lot of dry beans, "regular" rice, honey, and the like; for quite a while we had people giving all that kind of stuff to us from their food boxes because they not only didn't know what to do with it, they didn't WANT to do anything with it. I had so many great northern and pinto and red kidney beans piled up for a while (there's only 2 of us here, after all) that I was thinking of going into business making bean-bag toss games Hilarious! Eventually went through them and had to start buying them again, though -- unfortunately a lot of the folks that were giving those to us have died off or gone in nursing homes and the like. Funny, though... I don't remember anyone ever turning down an offer from me for a bowl of baked beans, or chili, or soup... Whistling
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Dec 7, 2014 12:08 PM CST
Name: Patricia
Central TX 7b/8a
I'm adding more to my "have list' and will continue to add more this afternoon.
Dec 7, 2014 12:13 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
I'm adding some "mini Indian corn" seeds to my list, if anyone is interested (I won't be closing my stall door until the "official end" on Wednesday.) There's a photo on the oink thread and I'll put one on my database page as well.
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Dec 7, 2014 12:22 PM CST
Name: Bluee19 Huynh
Rosemead CA
OMG Weedwacker ~ I would have love a bowl of chilli. Its so good!! The weather here is nice and cool so a hot bowl of chilli would soothe the spot. I guess I have to wait to go to Souplantation to get me some.

Hoping Everyone is having a Great Sunday!!
Dec 7, 2014 12:32 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
I just finished typing the rest of the paper on the garden recipe forum . I bolded where I had stopped and started again for those who have read that far.

Oh... I remember the first time I tried to cook dried beans. Very first time, I didn't know they had to be soaked. I tossed in a pot, added other ingredients cooked and cooked and cooked and cooked and when I finally got tired of cooking them I ate them half raw.

When I found out about soaking overnight, I put the beans in a pot with water, put on stove, forgot it was gas and the next morning I had this giant foamy mess all over the top of the pot, beans didn't plump up either. Guess I did something wrong and they like soured. Whole mess went out the back door and it was back the drawing board again. Whistling Whistling Hilarious!
Dec 7, 2014 12:39 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Hilarious! I pretty sure we could have a whole thread -- a LONG one -- about things that have gone wrong while cooking!

I rarely soak my dry beans overnight anymore, I just simmer them for about 1-1/2 hours before I add anything else to them. Except, now that I think about it, for my "spicy pinto beans," which actually started out as a refried beans recipe... for those I put (almost) all of the ingredients in the pot with water and simmer for a long time, 6 hours or more.

Here's a couple more tips for anyone that wants to cook dry beans -- always rinse them and pick through them before you put them in the pot to cook, I've occasionally found little rocks and clumps of dirt, and they'are almost always dusty. And wait until you've simmered the beans to tenderness before adding salt, because adding salt right at the beginning will make them tough.

My Kenearly Yellow Eye beans are a great baking bean -- if anyone is interested in growing enough of them to use that way! Smiling
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Dec 7, 2014 2:18 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
It is wonderful that you save plants and foods with people in need. Our local food pantry doesn't accept fresh produce. They claim legal issues. Some of the local churches that work with the food pantries accept produce donations. I am not sure if they accept canned foods, but I suspect they only take commercial foods. Luckily, the local grocery stores donate to pantries.

My computers are still giving me trouble. I am moving from one to the other. both are working, for now, thank goodness. I am catching up.
Dec 7, 2014 3:20 PM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Here in Belgium the food banks are always trying to get fresh vegetables and fruits, so important for the people in need to have fresh food too. Last spring I donated rhubarb, very popular here, but much too expensive for people in need.
And there is a friend of me that needs the food banks, so I give here fresh vegetables and fruits and also vegetable plants for her own small garden. She lives in a caravan, so has hardly room to grow seeds.

Dec 7, 2014 5:22 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
My list is now closed. It's been a great second year for me! I appreciate all the work everyone does to get their seeds together, list them, pack and mail them, and especially to Ella and all her helpers for putting this swap together. What fantastic people and what a great time. I am looking forward to receiving my seeds and starting them for a beautiful garden this year!

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