Hola – It is Springtime!

Hello all in seed land!

I am writing from Mexico and a quick holiday with Family.  Here things are as always blooming and green, big Mangos hang on the trees and the land is graced with many exotic flowers and fruits.  It is not that way in short-season land, but alas we will do what we can.

Back home, Mom and I have many plants started, and as I have not heard from too many people about starter plants, we have nonetheless, as we always do, have some started tomatoes and peppers, herbs and other plants.  I know for sure I will have hot peppers galore and will have an abundance to share if anyone wants to get some for their gardens.  It is still early and of course you will not want to put them out until after the first week of June, earlier, like May 25 if you want to watch and cover for unexpected frosts.  However, no one really knows what the weather will do this year, and we may well have a very early spring.

I have worked up some land that has not been turned in over 20 years this spring.  Before we left, I plowed.  It was April 15.  Unheard of for many years.  I worked up some land for a new garden spot, 50 X 50 feet or thereabouts and another acre or 2 flowing along the field, following the contours of the rolling hills in the spirit of Permacultural principles.  We are experimenting with Restoration Agricultural practices, and making the plow flow along a gradient of the field is working with the idea that the waterflow down the hills will be interrupted and create less runoff, more of it flowing to the surrounding subsoil, penetrating deeper into the area, disrupting erosion cycles and creating more little pools along the sides of the slopes.  We hope to plant trees on the sides of the plowed areas, hazelnuts, raspberries, currants and other berries, with apple trees, and other fruit bearing trees interspersed.  That is the long term plan if we can get the Moose and Deer to leave them alone long enough to sprout up taller than they can reach.  That takes lots of electric fence!  Anyway, we are excited about the project and the possibilities.  Right now, the plowed sites will sit until mid summer or early fall so the sod can decompose and then I will disc it and work it into a plot for next year’s wheat.

Potatoes will go into the ground when I return home, and the garlic was coming up great guns when I uncovered it in early April.  Some of the sprouts were 2″ long under the straw.  I found the straw mulch was perfect insulation for the winter, and we did have lots of snow as well  The straw I used was a bit mildewy, which kept the mice out, and there was no damage from them.  When I uncovered the garlic, some of the oat seeds in the straw had begun to sprout, but it was still cold at night and they were frostkilled which was great because I did not have to worry about them continuing to grow and choke out the garlic, or create a lot of weeding for me or the chickens.  I did actually consider taking over my two favorite hens to follow me down the rows eating all the sprouted grain, but it is better this way, because my chickens also like the newly sprouted garlic greens first thing in the spring.  Last year they were very instrumental in keeping the garlic patch at home weed free by continually scratching around in the straw in the garlic patch, and their browsing on the greens did not seem to harm the garlic.  This year, the garlic patch had grown and I needed to move it to Mom’s, just down the road, so there are no longer chickens there to help.  But it is working out ok so far.

I have sold out of a few seeds, and so if anyone still wants seeds just check with me prior to your order, and I will let you know if I have everything.  Thanks,

Denise

PS.  I have 2 brown roosters and one white one, that I will sell to anyone wanting a rooster.  They are $10 each.  Thanks, D

What is A’Bunadh about?

I get asked a lot just what we are about and who we are…. so here is my reply to one lady who asked if the seeds she ordered were sourced elsewhere and if I knew the growers…

96% of the seeds I have I have grown myself.

I am a 5th generation farmer and still on the land my Great-grandparents farmed. We use no synthetic fertilizers, all our own manure from our own cattle which are not given antibiotics unless they need it, are not given hormones, or other injections without dire need (vet purposes).

And the cattle are fed feed we grow ourselves including grain and other things.  We do not use sprays or pesticides, no insecticides and we are at the end of a dead end road with a giant natural Alberta lake borders us to the North. Our nearest neighbors are on the other side of the lake and my mom owns all the other land around us.  We farm naturally and with the same practices of soil cultivation, crop rotation, summer fallowing and the like that my great-grandpa did in 1910.  He was the Oat King of North America at the Chicago fair in 1959.  He was proud of his farming abilities and instilled in my mother and grandmother the way to keep things clean and pure.

I am proud to provide quality seeds to people in a challenging growing environment and if I source any seeds it is ones I know cannot grow myself, and cannot be genetically modified out there.  I check out my sources very carefully, and because even I am not always sure I can trust anyone but myself with this guarantee, I have decided after this year I will not be outsourcing anything.  If I cannot grow it myself or form a partnership with others in the area that are sound growers like me, I will not be carrying that seed anymore.

I would like to also mention that I am thinking of making corn my specialty as it is being largely threatened by GMO’s.  It is truly hard to find a corn that ripens in Alberta conditions, and I believe there is a great opportunity to reintroduce some short season sweet corns here. I will keep you abreast of my developments on the website.

Since I am not able to grow everything myself, I often rely on new seed sources from others that are seed savers.  I am open to people who want to grow naturally and possibly be sources of some of my seeds and get paid for it.  Things that are easy to grow which I would be looking for are lettuces, peas, beans, spinach and some kinds of tomatoes.  If you are interested, please let me know,

Good growing, Denise