Isolation & Seed Saving

gardenlad(6b KY)February 10, 2005

Jeff McCormack, founder of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and, more recently, Garden Medicinals and Culinaries had prepared four booklets for the USDA's SARE program. They're now available commercially, and are real winners.

Two of them are of particular interest to heirloom growers, and I figured to pass the word along:

1. Isolation Distances: Principles and Practices. 21 pages of great info exlaining how and why to isolate plants being grown for seed. Included is a great discussion on ways of decreasing isolation distances without affecting seed purity.

2. Seed Processing and Storage. 27 pages of solid information in a form that, IMO, will become the basic primer on the subject. Everything from seed harvesting to cleaning and storing is covered.

Most of all, these pamphlets are affordible. Isolation is ony $5.60 and Seed Processing is $8.25. Cheap enough that they should be part of every heirloom collector's library.

You can check them out at www.gardenmedicinals.com

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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

Thanks GardenLad. They look interesting.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 7:30AM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

...but unavailable foreigners. Pity!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 7:37AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

And I'll tell you that J eff and I had a bit of go around re his views about tomato isolation and seed processing, but I haven't seen the final copy and I presume he wrote what he wanted to b/c i t's the way he's always done i t and it works for him. LOL

Carolyn, who is very fond of Jeff otherwise and pleased to call him a long time friend. ( smile)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 11:52AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Well, I can't disagree with you on that, Carolyn. I think his tomato sections are overly conservative. But you can't go wrong following his suggested distances, that's for sure.

Despite that, and a few other minor points of disagreement, the booklets are well worthwhile, and answer a lot of questions that do keep cropping up here and at other forum sites.

We need to keep in mind, too, that the booklets were directed at commercial growers. So maybe his conservatisim is really on the right track.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 3:13PM
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canadiantomato(z5 Ontario)

Thanks for the post. I had planned to get some otherwise unavailable Canadian pepper seeds from him and will now make overtures to a friend in the States to be my 'third party' so I can order the booklets too.

My organic certifier (Canadian but also USDA approved) requires physical isolation of 3 x standard (non-organic) distances, which for tomatoes is 30m. So that's 90 metres as a minimum separation for certified organic seed production. 3 x 45m for eggplants and peppers.

I'll be very interested in reading what JM has to say, especially after reading commentary on this/him by Carolyn over the past while.

Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 10:19PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Jennifer, does Jeff offer pepper seed at his Garden Medicinals website?

I don't remember that.

Remember, he sold Southern Exposure Seed Exchange several years ago and no longer is involved there except very peripherally. And now Cricket has left, who was in charge.I don't know at this point who is in charge at SESE.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 1:45AM
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canadiantomato(z5 Ontario)

Oh, I didn't know Cricket had left. Is that bad news?

Yes, Jeff offers a few veggies at his Garden Medicinals site. The one I want is Morgold, a pepper developed at the Morden Manitoba ag station. It's not held by PGRC or offered anywhere in Canada, and not at SESE. SSE and USDA are the only other options.

Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 12:05PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Cricket is now involved with the Save Our Seed project (www.savingourseed.org), and with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Assn. (www.carolinafarmstewards.org).

Jeff can be found at www.gardenmedicinals.com. I don't recall that he sells peppers, and there is no hard catalog this year, so you'll have to check it out on-line.

Based on their level of service, I wonder if _anyone_ is in charge at SESE anymore.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 1:53PM
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canadiantomato(z5 Ontario)

I know Jeff is offering Morgold online, has been for some time. Until the notice about the booklets I couldn't justify ordering only one thing though. Am now thinking of ordering Jeff's signature tomatoes and peppers at GM rather than SESE, given what I've been hearing about the latter.

Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 9:17PM
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