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Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

Posted by nctom 7b nc (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 18, 05 at 8:45

Hello all,

I hope this isn't the silliest thing you've ever read.

My wifes Grandmother has been saving seed from collard plants that her husbands mother originally planted some 100+ years ago.

Each year she leaves 2 plants in the ground for seed.

Just curious as if this qualifies them as heirloom seed or if there is even such a collard seed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

If that's not an heirloom, nothing is. If it doesn't have a name, give it your wife's family name or the name of the first person known to have grown it. Aunt Lucy's Collard or Grandma Jones' Collard or something like that.

I presume it is a good collard, since it has been worth saving all that time. If so, offer it to some other gardeners so it will be kept going.

Jim


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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

North Carolina seems to be a hotbed of heirloom collards.

I'm growing one of them, myself, this year that a friend sent me. It's called "Old Time Cabbage Head Collard." Supposedly it can be grown as a perennial by following certain procedures---which I certainly intend doing.


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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

Thank you both. I've grown up with collards so I am surprised that they can be "special". If its just as easy as you said to name and claim, then heirloom seed they are. I'm going to talk some more with my wife's Grandma and get as much info as I can. They will have a name that honors the effort and deligence of her family.

I certainly agree that the best way to keep them going is to pass them along to people with an interest in preserving seed.

Thanks for replying.



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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

Very often things come down to us just that way, Tom. At one time it may have had an "official" name. But the folks growing and saving it don't remember what it was. Sometimes, however, they do.

Get as much info as you can from your wife's granny. How long it's been in the family, who grew it and where, etc. Saving this information can be as important as saving the variety itself.

>I certainly agree that the best way to keep them going is to pass them along to people with an interest in preserving seed. <

Too right, Tom. That's one of the reasons AHSC (Appalachian Heirloom Seed Conservancy) started its Living Seed Bank project. The best way of preserving a variety is to assure that somebody (hopefully, several somebodies) somewhere is growing it every year.

For your own seed saving efforts, make sure to set aside at least two year's worth of seed. That way, if there's a crop failure for any reason, you still have enough stock to start over the following season.


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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

Can someone tell me how I will know what the seed is on the plant after the yellow flower blooms?


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RE: Seed saved from collard plants 100+ years

It will be quite apparent when the seed pods form. In place of each individual flower a pod will form. The pod will be more or less like a pea pod, but tiny. The width of the pod will be just enough to contain one row of seeds. It will be an inch and a half long, or thereabouts. There will be lots of pods!

The pods will be green at first. Then, as they ripen, they will turn straw colored and start to dry. Keep checking to see when the seeds are dark colored and the pods are crisp. Then harvest them before they split open and scatter the seeds.

Have fun.

Jim


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