I have had a lot of fun this month learning more about seed production and breeding. I had the opportunity to take a class at Wild Garden Seed about growing seed for market. This class was a fantastic inspiration for me. Living in the Oregon all my life, I’ve seen grass seed and wheat farmers driving huge expensive machines through their fields. I had previously thought that seed production on an economic scale might mean investment in a combine or other pricey equipment. It was refreshing to see Frank Morton’s ingenious methods for seed cleaning using relatively simple and easily accessible materials. Some of the equipment he uses in seed cleaning are:
a pick-up truck and tarp for threshing,
screens (window and perforated steel of various diameters and slot shapes) for sorting grain sizes,
a box fan with a simple cardboard screen modification, and
some slightly modified tofu tubs.
It was amazing to see uncleaned seed skillfully transformed into a salable product. There was discussion of marketing ideas, germination testing, and other related topics.
I just got back from another exciting class on seed breeding for organic systems. The class was lead by John Navazio of the Organic Seed Alliance, Jim Myers of Oregon State University Department of Horticulture, and Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed. Several trials and breeding programs were toured and described. These included programs developed through the Novic program, OSU breeding programs, and Wild Garden Seed on-farm breeding programs. It was inspiring to meet committed seed farmers, plant breeders, seed company owners, vegetable farmers, and homesteaders working to improve our biological heritage.
Google has uploaded an image of Two Forks from the air. I’m not sure exactly what date it was taken, but I think t is pretty cool to see the work we did from above.
We have decided not to grow during the 2011 season. Yesterday, we completed the take-down of the farm infrastructure we had put up on our leased plot on Sauvie Island. We were lucky to see some of the other tenant farmers at the farm, and pleased that the weather was crisp and clear while we moved our gear. Growing for the 2010 season was a wonderful experience, one that we may decide to try again.
Thanks to all of our supporters! You made the farm possible.
Tomorrow is the last regular season (weekly) Montavilla Farmers Market. We’ll be there (76 X SE Stark) from 10AM-2PM
Here’s what we have harvested for tomorrow:
Hot Peppers (Jalapeno and Czech Black)
Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)
Come see us at market!
I’m writing this note as we pack up for the Montavilla Farmers Market (76 X SE Stark). We’ll be there from 10AM to 2PM this morning.
Here’s some of what we harvested for the market:
Czech Black Hot Peppers
Red Head Cabbage
French Breakfast and Plum Purple Radish
Hope to see you there!
I chanced upon this video about Late Blight. I found it interesting, and thought I would share. It is an interview from last year with an East Coast farmer. They had a horrible Late Blight problem last year. This year was our turn. I didn’t spray any fungicides on my tomatoes. I tried foliar feeding them with fish fertilizer, which has some anti-fungal properties. This didn’t prove successful. Here is a photo of my plants after blight took them.