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Friday, June 19, 2009

vegetable growing inversely proportional to economic growth?

I found this link on my favourite blog

Credit crisis makes Europeans ingenious

EU: European consumers grow own vegetables enmass

'The credit crisis is making the European consumer ingenious. More and more people are growing their own vegetables. Shown in research done by eBay, where the distribution pattern of vegetable seeds from January- March 2009 was compared with the previous year. In Germany sales rose by 40%, but also other Europeans seem to be growing their own veg.

In Austria the sales of seeds rose by 17%, in Italy 30% and the French bought 32% more vegetable seeds. In Great Britain sales increased by 37%. The biggest risers have not yet been mentioned. In Ireland, Poland and Spain the sale of vegetable seeds rose respectively 125, 103 and 71%.'

Certainly we have had a good year, but I don't think it was that good! Too busy to do the numbers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Exciting news

Tom Wagner

Tom Wagner, legendry potato and tomato breeder is coming to Ireland, not just Ireland but to Brown Envelope Seeds. Tom has been plant breeding since he was 8 years old and has many well know varieties to his name. His visit to Europe was organised by Dominique Guillet of Kokopelli First he is touring mainland Europe where he will give four two-day workshops before coming to Ireland. If you are interested in attending the workshop here, please let me know.
.Some of Tom's potatoes

Here is a quote from his blog, about himself:

'In my attempt to create new types of potatoes, I stumble upon crosses that I make that stir my imagination in many ways. When I dug my variety that I call NAVAMEY, I was impressed with the vine and the natural production of many potato berries that are likely selfed with an occasional out cross. The potato vine is a breeder’s dream, a round russet with yellow flesh with just the right size plant, maturity, and yield.

Looking at the cross extracted today between NAVAMEY and LUMPER, I was struck by the memory of the pedigree background coming full circle; namely the Irish connection. Since the weather here in the PNW is much like where my grandfather Joe Kaighin lived until he was 21 near the Irish Sea on the Isle of Man, I was hoping to get some more germplasm that would complement my endeavor of keeping his potato growing spirit alive.

The LUMPER did very well this year in one or more patches; good yields and good flavors. Since I am the only one doing breeding work with this two hundred year old potato variety, the progeny of my breeding work may some day be released to the public.

The LUMPER is uniquely suited to organic production and does well in a broad range of soil types. Breeding away from its Irish Famine history of Late Blight susceptibility, I hope I can re-acquaint people with better selections of this heritage potato!'

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I sowed the Painted mountain corn this week. I took the best 15 cobs fro last year and took 15 kernels from each. I arranged them so that the grains from each cob formed a row with the lighter coloured ones at one end of the bed and the darker ones at the other. I don't know how colour is inherited in corn and I'm not sure this little experiment will tell me much but I am looking forward to laying the cobs out and seeing if there is any pattern to it.
Now that that is done I am going to grind some of the rest and make polenta.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A few pictures of the Open Day

The plant sale made over €3oo for Growing Awareness
Henry scuffling potatoes
A walk in the wood
More walk in the wood and a tractor ride for Mike and Isaac

These pictures were taken by Tom Atkins, who teaches the distance learning course at The Organic College Thanks Tom, I was too demented to take any. If anyone else has any more I could put them up, one or two of the Rhian and Hazel with the strawberry scones would be nice.