Category Archives: Seed Saving

Winter Sown Seedlings

2012 8-29 Seedlings (4)_thumb[7]By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season.  Read more!

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Seed Saving for a Healthy Future with Juice Guru Steve Prussack

Jill HendersonI had a super fun time being interviewed recently by Juice Guru, Steve Prussack.  We talked about common seed saving mistakes, the differences between GMO, hybrid and heirloom seeds, why saving seed is an important aspect of healthy living and a critical component of any disaster preparedness plan; what botanical maturity has to do with saving seed; sprouting seeds for food and more!  Saving seed is so easy, anyone can learn how in less than 50 pages using my book, The Garden Seed Saving Guide!
Listen to the entire podcast free! 
https://juiceguru.com/radio/ep-64-seed-saving-healthy-future-jill-henderson/

Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

Butternut Squash with seeds. Copyright Jill Henderson

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

With the holidays in full swing, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening.  But trust me, the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream!  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday pies, breads or savory dishes, now is the perfect time to save seed!

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Using Seed Screens to Save Better Seed

Seed Saving sorting black-eyed peas using seed screens.  Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Saving heirloom seeds is really pretty easy, even for the beginning seed saver.  Of course, you need to know a few things about how plants mate and produce seed early on, but once the seeds are harvested there are a few tricks that can help you save seeds that are much more likely to germinate quickly and grow well in the garden next spring.  Naturally, the first trick for saving seed is to harvest them at the right time.  The second trick is simply to clean and sort your seeds.  There are many ways to do this, but the fastest and easiest way to sort any kind of seed is by using a simple set of seed screens.

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Seed Saving Time: The Float Test

Tomato seed float test. Image copyright Jill Henderson Show Me Oz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Gardeners face many challenges throughout the year, but there is nothing quite as frustrating as planting seeds that don’t germinate well or at all.  You plant and wait.  And then wait some more. All the while precious weeks go by, delaying your carefully planned planting schedule and putting your future crops at risk. I have experienced this a number of times myself. That’s why I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about the causes of poor germination and a simple test to help reduce the chances of it happening to you. Continue reading

Seed Saving Time: Watermelon

Saving watermelon seeds. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Whether you like it seeded, juiced, sliced, cubed, or just straight off the rind, there’s almost nothing better on a hot summer day than a big ‘ol chunk of juicy-crisp, sweet-ripe, just-from-the-garden watermelon. M-mmm.  Of course, if you grew that melon in your own garden, the level of satisfaction rises even higher.  But if you really want to reach gardening nirvana, try harvesting a watermelon that you not only grew, but grew from seed you saved yourself.  And the best part? Saving your own watermelon seed is soooo dang easy!

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Seed Saving Time: Radishes

Description Raphanus sativus, Wild Radish. Date August 03, 2002 Location Glen Canyon Park - San Francisco, California Photographer Franco Folini CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=722804Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – I don’t know about you, but our spring garden is never complete without at least a few rows of crisp, spicy radishes.  We love to put them in salads, on sandwiches and, of course, for snacking on while we weed!  Common radishes are super easy to grow, have few pests and diseases and can really tolerate the cold, wet weather of the early spring months.  Radishes are also among the easiest seeds to save, provided you follow a few simple rules.  As a bonus, by saving your own radish seeds you get to enjoy an entirely new round of tasty edibles in the form of the young green seedpods, which are a taste treat in their own right.  So don’t pull all your radishes just yet…

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Seed Saving Time: Flowers and Pollination

2014 7-1 Straight Eight Cucumbers (2)Show Me Oz – No matter where you live in the country, you are either itching to get your hands in the dirt or are already in the garden digging, planting and dreaming! If you want to save seed this year, you have come to the right place! Because today we are talking about flowers and how they achieve pollination – and what those two things have to do with saving pure quality seed. Understanding these things not only helps you reap a larger harvest of fruits and vegetables to eat, but also ensures that the seeds you harvest from those fruits will come true in next year’s garden. So, let’s get right to it!

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Seeds of Significance – OP Seed Sources

Saving-Cherokee-Pony-Peas_thumb.jpgJill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Today is one of those cold blustery winter days that give me a good reason not to go outside.  Instead, I’m cuddled up near the  wood stove  dreaming about seeds – wonderful, open-pollinated seeds devoid of genetic modification and over-hybridization.  My seed dreams consist entirely of varieties that are either tried-and-true open-pollinated heirlooms or rare and unusual varieties of open-pollinated fruits and vegetables.  Thankfully, those kinds of seeds don’t have to live only in my dreams because thousands of varieties of unique open-pollinated seeds are readily available to the home gardener – if you know where to look. Continue reading

Seed Saving Time: Testing Germination Rates

 Testing seed quality and germination rates. showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

Last week, I received my first spring seed catalog.  And while it’s a bit early for me to even think about ordering seed for next year, it is an early reminder to test some of the seed stock I currently have on hand. Checking the quality of the seed you save is just as important as saving it. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than spending hours planting seeds that either germinates slowly, patchy, unevenly, or (gasp) not at all.  So, whether you save your own seed or lean heavily towards “accumulating” seed, you should be testing at least a portion of your stash every winter. Continue reading

Grow Pure Seed with Blossom Bags

IMG_4007by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Seed savers know that the key to obtaining pure seed is by controlling the pollination process.  Each species is made up of many varieties.  If two – or more! – of those varieties get too close to one another during flowering their seeds will not come true.  Of course, not all gardeners have the room to grow multiple varieties spaced far apart.  Sometimes, we just don’t know that we’d like to save a certain variety of seed in early spring and so we don’t pay any attention to the spacing requirements for purity.  If this sounds like you; have no fear!  Blossom bags are here to save the day!

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Seed Saving Time: Harvesting Dry Seeds

Freshly harvested lettuce seed ready to be cleaned.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

For gardeners, the most rewarding part of the season is when the harvest begins and all those luscious fruits and veggies really start to add up.  For seed savers, that joy is doubled when, in a few short weeks after the fresh harvest begins, the handful of fruits or plants that are purposely left on the vine to mature begin to set seed.  After a long season of planning, cultivating, monitoring and harvesting the bounty of the garden, the reward is more than bountiful!

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GMO’s Threaten Seed Savers

Seed really matters!by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a wonderful feeling that comes over me when the garden I have planned and tended and nurtured finally begins to pay off.   Of course, I’m pleased with the success of producing food for my family, and I’m excited about the nutritious fruits and veggies that will grace my table for the entire year to come, but the best feeling of all is knowing what is (and isn’t) in or on the food we eat.  In years past that statement would have been all about chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  But these days, the threat of food crops infected with Genetically Modified Organisms is a major concern.   That’s why learning how to save seed is so crucial for organic gardeners and farmers.

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Seed Saving Time: What’s in a Name?

The heart of every fruit is its seed.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

If you garden, I’ll bet you’ve talked to your plants before.  Don’t worry, I do it, too. It’s perfectly normal. Common even. People talk to all kinds of animate and sometimes inanimate things – they also give them names.  Take trees and fast cars, for example.  It doesn’t matter if anyone knows you talk to your plants or not, we’ll keep that our little secret.  But if you are a gardener trying to save pure seed, you’ll want to take those pet names and give them some botanical teeth!

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Seed Saving Time: Legumes

Snow peas will cross with snow, snap and shell peas.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz 

If you’re planning on saving some of your own seeds this summer, the very best time to start is before a single seed goes in the ground.  In fact, your seed saving efforts should begin with that catalog you’ve been perusing all winter.  In addition to a myriad of valuable information such as germination times, growth characteristics, suggested planting dates and so on, many seed catalogs now list each vegetable’s Latin botanical name, as well.  You know the one I’m talking about…those two  little words written in italics and perched between parenthesis can mean the difference between seed saving success or seed saving failure.

Why You Should Grow Heirloom Seeds

2015 1-25 Seed Packing Party (5)Guest Post by Sam at Organic Lesson

Those who are unfamiliar with the seeds industry would be unaware of the growing battles between the types of seeds that exist in the market today. In general, seeds can be categorized into the following three categories: heirloom, hybrids, and GMO. It is important to understand each type of seed because they provide different pros and cons. For a more visual representation, you can check out the infographic below by Organic Lesson which highlights the main differences between heirloom, hybrid, and GMO seeds. Continue reading

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part Two)

Are you starting seeds indoors? Enjoy Part Two of this in-depth two part series on how to start quality vegetable plants at home from our trusty archives!  Don’t forget to follow the blog for free via email, Facebook, Twitter or Word Press using the multiple options on the sidebar!

Seed Saving Fundamentals Course

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz – I don’t do this very often, but I wanted to share a great educational opportunity with those of you who are serious about saving seed.  My friend Justin Huhn, master seedsman and co-founder of All Good Things Organic Seeds, will be giving an extensive 8-week online immersion course designed to teach gardeners of all levels to successfully save seed.  Justin’s passion for education and his experience as a professional seed grower makes this online course a unique and valuable opportunity for gardeners and farmers wanting to successfully save seeds.  I recently sat in on a webinar that Justin gave online and I can vouch for the fact that Justin really knows his stuff! This course would be a great way to take your seed saving sills to a higher level!   Jill Continue reading

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part One)

An oldie, but a goodie from the Show Me Oz archives…

BORROW…GROW…SHARE! A New Seed Library in Springfield, MO

Seed LibraryI am so excited to share with you the new Heirloom Seed Library located at the Library Station and the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library in Springfield, MO.  These folks have worked really hard to build and organize a working seed library in our state and it’s a great example for any library, or group, that would like to start a seed library where they live!  The following bit comes directly from the Heirloom Seed Library webpage.  Also, check out the heirloom seed library flier PDF that talks about the library and all the fantastic classes and presentations that are scheduled for 2015.  This is such an exciting development for our community and an incredible learning opportunity for all.   Continue reading

Are You Surrounded by Green Inside?

The gardeners soul is never far from the garden and I love the way Robbie shares his love of gardening with simple words and powerful images. Sowing the future of flitting butterflies, savory scents along the herb garden path, and warm tomatoes glistening in the sun – one seed at a time.  I think Robbie’s title has a deeper meaning in terms of the gardener’s soul. – Read on and Enjoy! Jill

Are you surrounded by green inside? Continue reading

Why Save Seed? Patents in the Garden

Are your seeds patented?by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Another issue related to GMO’s is the patenting of life forms by the grain giants and the pharmaceutical industry. Make no mistake – the money to be made on the ownership of genetic patents is staggering. That’s why the big agriculture, chemical and pharma-giants like Cargill, Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont are racing to patent plant genes – and not just the GMO’s they create, but all plants with any value – like the vegetable crops that you and I grow in our gardens.

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Why Save Seed? GMO’s and Your Garden

Don't let your garden become contaminated with GMO vegetables and fruits.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Last week we discussed some of the more obvious reasons for saving your own seed: to be more self-sufficient and save money, to adapt varieties to the local environment, and to increase genetic diversity in food crops.  But, of course, I can’t talk about saving seeds without discussing Genetically Modified Organisms, (GMO’s) otherwise known as Franken-food.

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Why Save Seed? Selection & Genetic Diversity

Saving lettuce seed couldn't get any easier. Image copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress.comby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I have been saving seed for almost 20 years.  What started out as a simple way to save a buck, quickly became a passion with very deep roots.  After all these years, it is exciting to see so many people interested in saving their own garden seed.  In fact, saving seed has become quite popular. But there are those who still think it’s just a fad – another hashtag in a world of buzzwords. And perhaps seed saving is just another trend in a long line of trends – like bacon everything, backyard chickens, and kale, but for those of us who have worked towards seed sovereignty and food freedom for years, an American seed saving fetish is just what this country needs!

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Winter Sowing: Get a Jump on Spring

2012 8-29 Seedlings (4)_thumb[7]By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season.

Seed Saving Time: Start with Quality Garden Seed

Pepper - Paprika (4)I’m always going on and on about why it is so important to focus our seed saving efforts on making sure that seeds are saved correctly.  Specifically, that seed savers learn to avoid cross-pollination between varieties within the same species.  If done wrong, your seeds won’t come true to type.  In practice, it is a small job that takes little time.  In terms of results, it means the difference between quality seed and failure.  But there are other ways to help ensure that the seeds you save will not only germinate and come true to type, but will thrive and produce abundantly in your garden.

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Pure Momentum Network Interview

Pure Momentum Network Interview

Yesterday’s interview with Pamela Tartar on the Pure Momentum Network .

Click on the image or the link below to listen:

http://puremomentum.net/hosts-2/november/factor-nine-jill-henderson-seed-saving-gmos-seasons-in-nature-herbs-water-and-fracking/

Seed Saving Time: Drying and Storing Your Home Grown Seeds

Paper packets work great for storing most types of seed.by Jill Henderson Show Me Oz

Seeds are living, breathing, life forms capable of remaining dormant for long periods of time, germinating only when environmental conditions are just right for the growth of the plant they will soon become.  But even the best kept seeds don’t last forever.  If you save your own flower, vegetable or herb seeds, you can help increase their lifespan by following just a few simple steps.  In this week’s Show Me Oz, we’ll talk about the right way to dry and store your seeds and how long you can expect them to live.

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Six Tips for Saving Seed

six tips for saving seed - by seed matters

It’s nearly the end of June and here in Zone 7, we’re just beginning to harvest seed from snow peas and lettuce.  Would you like to start saving your own seed?  It’s easy!  Here are a few great places to start… Continue reading

Free Seed Saving Class

Seed Saving Class Ava LibraryJill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you always wanted to learn how to save your own garden seed?  Then check out my fun, no-nonsense how-to at the Douglas County Library, Ava, MO, on July 17th and start saving your own garden seeds!  The class is free and open to the public!  See you there!

ACRES USA: Seed Saving Begins in Spring

Seed Saving Begins in Spring - Jill Henderson - Acres USA May 2014Seed Saving Begins in Spring – Jill Henderson – Acres USA May 2014

Check out this PDF of my latest article for ACRES USA magazine;  The Voice of Eco-Agriculture.  This is a great read for anyone who wants to grow crops or raise livestock in a natural and sustainable way!

 

 

Saving Seeds: Open Pollinated vs. Hybrid

Share the Seed (12)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Ever wonder what the difference is between open pollinated, hybrid, heirloom, and GMO seeds, and which one is right for you? Well, in today’s post I hope to shed a little light on the situation, but first, you might want to send the kids out of the room for this studious look at how seeds are born and why you should care what happens in your garden when you’re not looking.

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Seed Saving Time: Spinach

Garden spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Image via Wikimedia Commons.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Spinach is one of the very earliest crops planted and harvested from the garden in spring.  As a member of the Amaranth family (formerly classified as the Chenopodia family), spinach is naturally packed with fiber, protein, and high levels of essential vitamins and minerals.  If you’ve never grown your own spinach or had freshly prepared spinach, you are in for a real treat!  And if you already love spinach and grow it in your garden every year, then why not try saving your own seed?  You’ll not only be rewarded with oodles of eating pleasure, but you’ll save a ton of money, too!

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2014 Organic Seed Growers Conference

2014 Organic Seed Growers ConferenceThis an organization worthy of your attention!  Click the image or visit their website here.

The biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference brings together hundreds of farmers, plant breeders, researchers, university extension, certifiers, food companies, seed production and distribution companies, and other organic stakeholders in two days of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. There are also farm visits and short courses prior to the two-day conference.

Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

pumkinssmBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening, but the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday treats, now is the perfect time for saving their seeds.   Extracting and drying seeds from hard-shelled squash and pumpkins is fairly straightforward, however, you must first be sure that the seeds you save now will come true to type next year. Continue reading

Interview on Far Out Radio

Jill Henderson - Far Out Radio - 8-26-2013Check out my latest interview with Scott Teeters on the Far Out Radio Show on the Rense Radio Network.

The first hour is this interview and the second hour is from my interview in January.

http://faroutradio.com/living-the-simple-life-with-author-jill-henderson/

The Bell Pepper Sex Scandal

Bell Pepper Sex Hoax imageBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you seen this image floating around the internet claiming that one can determine the sex of a bell pepper by the number of bumps on the bottom?  Whoever posted the original image* claimed that those peppers that had four lobes were “female”, while those with only three lobes were “male”.   They expounded on their theory by explaining that “…female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking.”  Is this true or just a mammoth hoax to burn away your precious time trying to find out?

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Far Out Radio Interview

Thought some of you might be interested in listening to my first nationally syndicated radio interview with Scott Teeters of Far Out Radio. 

It was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it!

Listen to the archived show by clicking on the link or image below.

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Life In The Ozarks with Jill Henderson

Far Out Radio Listen

Broken image links?  Click here:
http://faroutradio.com/1-17-2013-far-out-radio-guest-author-and-artist-jill-henderson/

Saving Seed Begins in Spring!

Cherokee Pony Peas Image copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

If you are one of the millions of gardeners who want to try their hand at saving their own garden seeds this year, spring is the perfect time to begin.  And the best way to have a successful seed harvest is by selecting the right plants, spacing them properly and maintaining control of the pollination process.  For the beginning seed saver this is sometimes a bit confusing, which is why I’ve put together a tidy list of the easiest seeds to save and exactly how to save them in your garden starting right now!

GMO’s: A Modern Disaster

Image Via: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/10/11813/california-gmo-labeling-supporters-confront-41-million-opposition-and-13-point-poBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a lot of talk these days about being prepared for all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.  It is not uncommon to find classes, lectures, videos and books that teach eager “preppers” how to be wholly self-sufficient should our modern-day systems fail.  After all, life without electricity and modern modes of transportation would change everything about the way we live.  But whether or not you believe that some type of large-scale disaster will occur sometime in the future, there is a man-made disaster of epic proportions occurring right now.

Got Seeds? Get Local!

Jacob's Cattle beansBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Ah, winter. At last it’s time to kick back in your big easy chair with your garden-weary feet all wrapped up in those new fuzzy slippers you got for Christmas. I can just see you now, gazing contentedly at the flickering flames of a glowing fire in the hearth, more than content with a summer’s worth of jobs well done and not a single garden chore on your “to do” list… Yeah, right. I mean, you’re a gardener, aren’t you? When did gardener’s ever get a day off? I mean, seriously – spring will be here before you know it and you don’t have a single moment to waste lying around gazing at fires if you want to have an incredible garden next year! Gosh.

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Avoid GMO’s – Save Your Own Seed

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

George Washington once said, “Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.”   Of course, he was speaking of buying seed from someone who didn’t know how to save and store it properly and hence, an entire season of growing had been wasted waiting for a good crop that never came.   Back then (and for thousands of years before the founding of our country) anyone who farmed or grew their own food understood a thing or two about what good seed was.  Continue reading

Fall Seed & Plant Swap

You are invited to attend the fall Ozark Seed & Plant Swap to be held Saturday, October 13th at the Yellow House Community Arts Center, 209 Trish Knight, West Plains, Missouri.  The swap will begin at 12:00 and end around 2:00.

Bring your extra seeds and plants and if you like, and a snack or drink to share.  This event is free and open to anyone who would like to attend!  If you are on Facebook, visit the Seed & Plant Swap Events Page for all the details, more information on seed swaps and how they work and little tips and tidbits to help everyone have a successful swap!  To read more about seed swaps and how they work check out these two articles right here on Show Me Oz:

Share the Seed: How a Seed Swap Works
A Successful Community Seed Swap

Hope to see you there!

Seed Saving Time: Peppers

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

If you started your hot and sweet peppers inside this spring, you are probably beginning to see flowers and young fruit.  In our garden, the Cayenne peppers were the first to fruit, exceeding the flowering time of the Ozark Giants, the California Wonders and the variegated Fish peppers by more than three weeks!  I’ve already tagged these early fruits for seed production, specifically because they did fruit so early – a characteristic I want to see perpetuated in my future cayenne crops.  By selecting those very first fruits for seed saving, I have essentially ensured that at least some of the seeds I save will carry the genetic information needed for early fruit production.  If you would like to learn more about how to save your own hot and sweet pepper seeds, this week’s Show Me Oz is for you!

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A Successful Community Seed Swap

2012 3-1 Seed Swap - Let the Swapping Begin (2)smallOn March 1st, the community of West Plains, Missouri, held their first-ever community seed swap!  It was a fun and busy day with over 35 people in attendance.  Dubbed the Ozarks Pot Luck & Seed Swap, my dream was to bring together area gardeners to share their knowledge and experience with other gardeners and to promote the concept of saving one’s own seed.   I was understandably nervous in the hours leading up to the swap, but all that quickly flew out of the window when I walked into the facility to find a room full of friends who had arrived early and were already setting up the tables!  Continue reading

Start Your Own Sweet Slips

Sweet PotatoesBy Jill Henderson –  Show Me Oz
. . . .
Last week we learned quite a bit about the history and uses of the deliciously edible and  nutritiously dense sweet potato.  With a surge in popularity among homesteaders and gourmet chefs alike, this homely root with the pumpkin-colored flesh is being grown in home gardens in quantities not seen for decades.   And it’s no wonder; for sweet potatoes cover a lot of ground.  They’re easy to grow, relatively care-free and beautiful to look at.  The roots pack a nutritional punch, taste great, are low in fat, and will fill you up every time.  Sweet potatoes are a dream to cook with partly because of their uncanny ability to be prepared in so many ways.  They can be baked, boiled, steamed, mashed or fried and added to a myriad of dishes with flavors ranging from sweet to savory.  No matter how you prepare this wonderful root, it always tastes good.  In this week’s article I’ll cover everything you need to know so you can grow your own sweet potatoes from start to finish! Continue reading

Share the Seed: How a Seed Swap Works

Ozark Pot Luck and Seed SwapBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Swapping seeds is both fun and addictive. I remember the first time I began swapping seeds with other seed-junkies in 1999, using a then obscure method of communication known as the internet.  Back then, most of the people I knew did not have or even know what email was.  Finding a group of people who loved to trade and talk seed was like finding a long-lost friend.  I was instantly hooked, both with seed swapping and the internet!

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Seed Saving Time: Tomatoes

Ripe tomato

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

If you’re like most people in the Midwest, your garden got a slow start this year. With the colder than usual temperatures and excessive moisture this spring, many gardeners were late in getting their seeds in the ground. If you were among those who didn’t give up entirely this year, you’re probably just getting around to processing the bounty of your labor. And while you’ve probably got a ton of things to do, don’t forget to save some seed.

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New Plaintiffs Join Suit Against Monsanto GMO’s

It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.” – Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

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Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part Two)

2008-2-29 - Seed sowing (3) cropped_thumb[8]By Jill Henderson

In Part One, we discussed the nature of seeds and the merits of starting seeds in quality seed starting trays and soil, and the best way to plant seeds and thin newly emerged seedlings.  In this installment we’ll cover the four most important elements of producing healthy seedlings: light, warmth, moisture and nutrition. I’ll also discuss the benefits of repotting seedlings and how to harden off young plants to prepare them for life in the garden. Continue reading

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part One)

2008-2-29 - Seed sowing (3) croppedBy Jill Henderson

It’s the deepest, coldest part of winter and by now you’ve probably spent weeks pouring over stacks of seed catalogs and thumbing through that old box of seeds that you saved from last year’s garden, all the while taking notes and imagining the luscious herbs and veggies that will grace your garden rows this summer. And now that you’ve made the perfect selections, it’s time to turn your attention to starting some of those wonderful seeds indoors! Continue reading

CAHH! Announces 2011 Seed Swaps

“One for the cut worm, one for the crow, one to share, and one to grow”

Our good friends over at the University of Central Arkansas asked me to pass along their 2011 schedule of CAHH! (Conserving Arkansas Agricultural Heritage) co-sponsored seed swaps taking place at various locations throughout Arkansas.   This is an excellent opportunity to share or find rare and unusual heirloom seeds from the Ozarks region.  Read on and plan on attending a swap in your area!  J.H. Continue reading

Closest to Everlastin’: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part Three)

Crystal Bowne, Back-to-the-Land Ozarker Gardens, Newton County, Arkansas, 2010By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

  Agroecological Knowledge:

Ozarkers who engage in agrobiodiverse farming have knowledge of their environment and the species within it that allow them to survive (agroecological knowledge).  They utilize both wild and domesticated species, observe their behavior and interrelationships, and apply that information to use in gastronomy and agriculture.

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Closest to Everlastin’: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part Two)

Brenda Smyth, Willodean's garden, Searcy County, Arkansas, July 2009.By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

Willodean: Ozark Subsistence Traditions in the Present

On a spring day in 2009 I visited the home of Kenneth and Willodean Smyth in Marshall, Arkansas.  They live a mere six blocks off the main highway, but their fifteen acres boasts a very large garden, fruit trees, nut trees, blackberry brambles, chicken coops, a humble,

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“Closest to Everlastin'”: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part One)

Crystal Bowne, Back-to-the-Land Ozarker Gardens, Newton County, Arkansas, 2010.By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

Taking form in cultivated fields and gardens, managed hedgerows and woodlands, varieties of crop species, and livestock breeds, agricultural biodiversity refers to the human-modified components of the natural world that contribute to the sustenance of human populations.

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Garden Time: Do You Know Where Your Seeds Come From?

Copyright Jill Henderson By Jill Henderson

Ah, winter.  At last it’s time to kick back in your big easy chair with your garden-weary feet all wrapped up in those new fuzzy slippers you got for Christmas.  I can just see you now, gazing contentedly at the flickering flames of a glowing fire in the hearth, more than content with a summer’s worth of jobs well done and not a single garden chore on your “to do” list…  Yeah, right.  I mean, you’re a gardener, aren’t you?  When did gardener’s ever get a day off?  I mean, seriously – spring will be here before you know it and you don’t have a single moment to waste lying around gazing at fires if you want to have an incredible garden next year!  Gosh.

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