Populuxe Seed Bank: Onto Year Three
Sunday, 09 Jan 11 Sunny 2°C / 36°F
Today is the seed bank’s 2nd birthday. Hard to believe two years ago I started this out as a little pet project, and now here I am, spending my whole damned weekends on the thing, hah!
Things have finally fallen in place for the ol’ seed bank. A few months later than I like to be, but here we are.
Unfortunately I didn’t get as many tomatoes harvested as I would have liked this year, due to the fact I moved away and all before the vast majority of them even had a hope in hell of ripening. Oh well, c’est la vie. This year is shaping up to be excellent, I can’t wait to get started with the seed starting!
I have six varieties of tomatoes up for sale here as the yearly fundraiser for the seed bank kicks off. I just list one packet at a time for each variety, but I do have more available. I’ll also be listing two varieties of beans – my much beloved Mr. Tung’s and a Polish heirloom that kind of looks like a reverse black eyed pea (deep purple/blue/black with a tiny white “eye”). Those will be up later this week – I’m just waiting for the germination tests to be completed.
I’ve also received my 11 rare worth-as-much-as-gold-as-far-as-I’m-concerned tomato seeds from the Canadian governmental seed bank (aka Plant Gene Resources Canada). I fondled them for a little bit before finally putting them down, as I was getting weird looks from B. and the dog. It’ll be hard to wait until the proper time to actually start them, I’m so impatient I want to start them right now. Especially since there’s next to no information on them online, and definitely no pictures that I can find. And I’m oh-so a sucker for a mystery tomato.
Here’s the little bit of info I could find on them (mostly gleaned from the PGRC website):
- Garden Lime – a bright “neon green” indeterminate variety that produced 1-2oz irregular (some reports say ribbed) fruit.
- Fryerfrinborghese – Red smooth uniform fruit, regular leaf, mid-season, resistance to blossom end rot. Possible Italian origin.
- Detenicke Salatove – Determinate light red/pink fruit with an oblate shape. Some green shouldering and resistance to blossom end rot.
- Antonovka – There’s an apple (a popular one it seems) from Russia by the same name. Apparently the unripe fruit is an “apple green” colour, so I’m assuming this is where the name of this variety came from – the fact that it resembles this apple. Mature, it’s a mid-season plant with red medium sized soft fruit.
- Americke Pyramindi – Large indeterminate plant (potentially low fruit-set), red fruit, potentially low yields but resistant to cracking and BER.
- Vandenburgs Moneyma – Red, smooth spherical fruit, indeterminate, large fruit.
- Graf Zepplin – High yielder, 1-1.5" red (pink?) fruit.
- Platillo – Late season, oblate tri-coloured fruit (red/yellow/orange). Possibly originally from Puerto Rico?
- El Nano – Later season, tri-coloured large fruit. Possible origin of Argentina.
- Italian Winter – Indeterminate high-yielding mid-season plant. Mature fruit is bright green. Firm & meaty, smooth and round fruit.
- Garten Freude – Excellent yields, red round fruit.
Fortunately the PGRC lists the original donors of the seed, so I’ll be working on contact them (if I can) to see if I can find any histories of the seed. While I do love a delicious tomato, the thing I love the most (besides the delicious tomato that is) is the history behind the varieties, and that was really the whole driving force to creating the seed bank in the first place – so I could record the histories before they died away.
Another thing I’ve done on the seed bank’s website is put up a donation button. I’ve actually had a few requests (much to my shock and surprise!), so I buckled and just put up a paypal button. Donations are in Canadian dollars, and it’s a “pay whatever the hell you want” kind of thing. I figured what the hell, although I hate feeling like I have my hand out, so it’ll take me a few weeks to actually get use to the idea that I have one up there!
But moreso than money – I’m much more interested in people donating any seeds for OP/heirloom varieties you have that aren’t yet in the seed bank. I have a list of what’s in the seed bank up here – if you have something you think should be banked, please send me a message and I’ll forward along the address with which to send them. It’ll get put on the docket for the future to grow-out and re-offer.
Speaking of grow-outs, I’ll be posting a list within the next few days of tomato varieties that need growing out for 2011 that I don’t have room for. I’ll post more info about how I do this as well. If you’re interested stay tuned!
Thanks for reading my long-winded post ;).
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