Seed Saving Network Meeting Sunday December 8
I don't know if the weather will cooperate. But we're planning to meet again this coming Sunday, at Napolis Italian Restaurant, in Tahlequah. Here's a copy of one of the press release drafts. It has more info. Would love to see anyone here...there!
Press Release 12/3/13
Contact George McLaughlin (918) 457-8284
Pam Kingfisher 918-868-3727
The local Seed Saving Network will meet at Napolis Italian Restaurant this next Sunday, December 8, between 2 and 4 PM. This is an informal time for asking questions and sharing (either of plant material or of information). The network started as a project of the Cherokee County Food Policy Council, with George McLaughlin coordinating the network. George is a well known and long time seed saver and producer who is posting some of his knowledge on the networks website. Everyone is welcome to come out and learn from George McLaughlin and everyone else who attends our first two meetings have been very interactive and lively. It's about local foods, free and sustainable living!
NOTE: If the roads are bad on Sunday, we'll move to the next Sunday, December 15, same time, same place!
At our kick off meeting last August 11, we learned to save tomato seeds with a live demonstration from George McLaughlin. Other growers chimed in with information and the group included folks from every skill level and interest. The rule of thumb for farmers is 1/3 seed saved, 1/3 for me and 1/3 for the animals.
October 6, we met at the creek behind the Armory and traded seeds. We were joined by Dorothy and Glen Brown from Stilwell, who brought a lot of beans to share.
Coleen Thornton shared Hull-less Oats, which have about 50% germination. She planted them in February about one inch deep (if it is wet, plant about an inch, go deeper the dryer it is) and they came up in March (she plants by soil temp of about 45 degrees), then at harvest you strip it up and off with your hands. Then she threshes them by banging them in a pillow case. The Country Life Grain mill has a separate stone for grinding oats. These make good oat flour. They are 15% protein and very low in gluten (gluten is what makes the bread rise). The packets we received will cover about two square feet of garden space.
George McLaughlin shared some open pollinated Heidi tomatoes, which originated in Cameroon Africa. They are really good for making sauce. He also shared stories about Black Cherry tomatoes and big yellow Sunray tomatoes that grow well here and are very tasty. He brought Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin and Mesquakie Indian Corn. You can purchase seed from Sandhill) and some other squash for show and tell (see photo album). George discussed planting some crops in blocks for better seed purity. During drought there is more cross pollination among beans and legumes as the flowers open up fuller to attract the thirsty insects. It is also good to rotate your areas of crop growing over the years and if you want to have pure seed, limit the varieties of each crop that you plant. You decide which plants to keep for seed and let the seed mature on the plant until it is brown and dry. Store seed in a marked container in a cool dry place. Many people store their seeds in the freezer, but it is important to freeze all your seeds for at least 2-3 days in order to kill any weavel eggs. The colder the seeds are the longer they will last.
Other good crops for this area included fava beans, Fowler snap pea, cow peas, lentils, mung beans, black turtle beans, amaranth, kidney beans, Moschata (most varieities which belong to this species or Seminole (which is also moschata) butternut squash along with Cherokee dent corns, both white and blue.
We were reminded that, "corn remembers where it was grown, and it will have different traits in another place".
Join the ongoing conversation and topical learning on the website:
The mission of Tahlequah Eats- The Cherokee County Food Policy Council is to promote the supply and benefits of a healthy, robust, local food system". The two primary goals of the Cherokee County Food Policy Council are to understand and support the development of the five sectors of the food system (production, processing, distribution, consumption and composting/recycling; And to Support the Creation of a Cherokee County and Regional Food Hub in Northeast Oklahoma. You can join us on Face Book at "Tahlequah Eats" where we post our updates and news.
Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Saving Network announcement