Seeds and Birds

WITH HERITAGE FRUITS & VEGETABLES arousing strong interest, maybe it’s time for a few words about seed saving.  First, ignore hybrid and GMO fruit and vegetables, which are often deliberately sterile.  Then pick the fullest, plumpest seeds from the largest, most perfect fruit and seed-bearing vegetables available.  Dry the seeds between layers of cloth or paper towels, in a dark cool dry place.  Put the dried seeds in paper envelopes that are labeled by variety and date.  Then store until spring out of sunlight, in a place protected from moisture and freezing.  If you’re in any doubt about the viability of seed, you can test by sprouting a sample.  Immerse in water overnight, then spread out on cloth or paper towels, cover and mist for several days. – PH

“The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds—where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough—a modest living—and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.”

                                          - Walt Whitman

Coming in the Winter 2015 Small Farmer’s Journal 

Mules – Onions – Training Pack Animals –  Farming Ladder Part Two Sheep – Pigs – Sharpening Plow Points – Apple Cider Making – Heather Smith Thomas – Grain Binders  -  Diversified Farming  -         Farming; Food is the Objective 



ENCOURAGING THE BIRDS: We all know how much good they do, that the birds are our first line of defense against many insect pests.  That some species eat their weight in bugs every day.  So consider building bird houses, bird feeders, birdbaths, planting sunflowers and other plants that produce seed the birds like.  Research information on sizes and materials of bird houses, to suit the species you have.  And consider creating and enhancing habitat, planting trees and shrubs and berry canes along fencerows and garden walls, that will keep birds close to the fields they can help you with.  It might be fun to pick a kind of bird you particularly like, and try to create a come-hither, a haven for martins or catbirds, wrens or phoebes, barn swallows.  And put bird houses high, and a bell on your cat. – PH