628: Brazen Brassicas.
A chat with an expert on seeds.
At least ten times a year we have a live Seed Saving Class with Bill McDorman, the Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, Ketchum, Idaho. He got his start in the bio-regional seed movement while in college in 1979 when he helped start Garden City Seeds. In 1984, Bill started Seeds Trust/High Altitude Gardens, a mail order seed company he ran successfully until it sold in 2013.
Come join us for the next live class, or catch up on our previous classes through our podcast episodes. Either way you will expand your seed knowledge and gain new perspectives on your food system.
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In This Seed Chat:
This is the July 2021 class discussing brassicas. Sassy, unpretentious and unapologetic, the brassica family covers some of the easiest and trickiest plants to grow, and from which to save seeds. Kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, arugula and broccoli are a few of the savory samples. Break through the mystery, the challenge, and myths and tune in to learn how to grow and save seeds from this family of interesting and diverse species.
– Meet the brassica family
– How to let brassicas go to seed
– Recognizing traits we like in a plant
– Getting seeds to start the process
– The only 2 traits that really matter
– Bill says “I’m not going woo woo here, maybe one woo.”
– Discussing the extreme fragility of our current food system
– Crossroads Resource Center – Ken Meter
– Collecting seeds from a brassica
– Separating seeds from chaff, easily and without any special equipment
– Are you plants addicted?
– Should brassicas be separated to avoid cross pollination?
– Epigenetics – how it works
– Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, seed socials
– Bill’s plan for stimulating diversity across the country
– Definition of a modern hybrid
– How to collect seeds at just the right time
– Are there crosses with local weeds that worked out well?
– There is value in learning and recording the Latin names of your plants
– Considering bugs when saving seeds
– Challenges of growing plants outside of their natural climate
– Landrace Gardening: Food Security through Biodiversity and Promiscuous Pollination by Joseph Lofthouse
– “It’s a responsibility.”
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I love brassicas but I can’t ever get a good crop, except for kale. I struggle with broccoli going from nothing to bolting, same with cauliflower. I’ve tried arugula and had a but of success, but this is a hard plant family for my area. Thanks for the chat!