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Fw: Leap into Gardening from Sustainable Seed!

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  • Anant Joglekar
      anant joglekar 9423089706 The ultimate goal of natural farming is not simply growing crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.  Masanobu
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2012
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      anant joglekar

      The ultimate goal of natural farming is not simply growing crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.  Masanobu Fukuoka

      ----- Forwarded Message -----
      >From: Sustainable Seed Co. <support@...>
      >To: orgagrofarms@...
      >Sent: Friday, 2 March 2012 4:37 AM
      >Subject: Leap into Gardening from Sustainable Seed!
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      >Sustainable Seed Company
      >Late February Leap Year Issue No. 16

      >Yogi Suzi here with a VERY exciting newsletter - I hope you'll bear with me since this is such a busy time of the year for a gardener.   

      >    Now that winter's winding down the reality probably set in for you like it did for me that it's time to make space indoors and get those tomatoes, onions, and peppers going.  To get motivated, I resort to making up pictures in my head - you know, visualizing.  I close my eyes and see myself putting fresh juicy tomatoes in omelets, on sandwiches, pizza, green salads with olive oil, and adding them to a pan full of sauteed zucchini with onion and garlic.  Visualizing the smells and colors of these foods cranks my enthusiasm into high gear -- I want to start planting now! Great news tho - once in Four Years-

      >It's Leap Year! 
      >We all got a Full extra Day to Plan!
      >   And so, maybe just like you, I need a strategy and a game plan.   This evening with a cup of tea and cookies by my side I will sit and make lists.   Out of the seeds I have in the house, I'll decide on a date that I am going to start some indoors.  Tomatoes, Onions and Peppers I will definitely start indoors because they require a good indoor jump start.  By starting Broccoli indoors I can have an early summer harvest and then sow some more seeds outside in July for a more abundant fall crop.   Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage, if started indoors, will get the good start they need -- and Kale and Eggplant -- I love Kale -- it transplants well, so I'll get it going inside soon!

      >   Eggplant, well, I am determined to make eggplant a regular guest at the table.  I know that with my heirloom tomatoes and enough olive oil and garlic I can make it taste fantastic so yep, I'll get eggplant going inside too.

      >   As for the new crops I'm going to try --  Celery needs 12 weeks indoors before transplanting out, and Asparagus, I'm so excited about growing tender delicious Asparagus but I really have to get organized and choose a large and permanent spot.  I'll sow the Asparagus outside once I get a few pointers and I did happen to notice one of the bestsellers on the Sustainable Seed Co website is one of those sweet little $3.95 books -- Grow the Best Asparagus.  After I make my first list tonight I'll go back to the website and see if there's anything I want to add when I order the Asparagus booklet.

      >   I already ordered fresh seeds and bought sterile soil mix so now I'll make a list of any other items I need to shop for to get my seedlings off to a dynamic start.   I got a long list of ideas from a short little book - only $3.95 -- Starting Seeds Indoors -- and, I'm going to keep it simple and just use the sterile soil mix, seeds, water, and when the time is right, sunlight.   I'll add the soil amendments that I plan on using this summer to my list but will not be fertilizing these little seeds until they are robust starts.
      >     Out of all the methods for starting seeds indoors, I decided to go with the Sterile Soil Mix with Perlite added to it because I keep hearing from experts that this is the best way to witness a high rate of germination.   

      >     It's Leap Year!  I have an extra day to plan and the good news is so do you!  Wishing you a wonderful last month of winter and Happy Leap Year!

      >    Yogi Suzi 
      >Tomato Time!

      >   If the talk of pasta, pizza, and the pizzazz that tomatoes bring tickled your taste buds, it's time to sow seeds.  Busy people (uh, that's all of us) want to get the most for their time.  For that reason, this year I'm going to nurture those tomato seedlings like I would a baby.
      >    For me, watching over the seeds like I would a newborn baby means handling the seeds ever so carefully as I sow them 1/8" - 1/4" deep at most in the moistened medium. I won't be giving the tomatoes any fertilizers until they have three or four leaves -- just like I wouldn't give a newborn multi-vitamins!
      >   Like a baby, I'll put the tomato, pepper, and onion seeds in the warmest part of my home and cover them with a 'blanket' which in my case will be a humidity dome that goes over the flats. 
      >   The first few days I'll be constantly watching over and protecting the babies until leaves form, which I consider the 'crawling' stage.   With tomatoes, and I want LOTS this year, I'll start with half a flat filled with my moistened medium and I'll put the peppers in the other half 'cuz they crave that same attention and nurturing. 
      >   I believe in the art of marking seed trays - because even when I was certain which was which, I still got the new starts mixed up. Last year the top of the refrigerator worked great for a flat of tomatoes and peppers plus one other flat. The top of my frig is the warmest spot in my house and you might have a better spot to warm your babies.  
      >   After about ten days after leaves begin to show, being sprayed or drizzled ever so gently with water, I'll bring the babies down and put them in a south facing window.  The sun is still at a low enough angle to provide intense warmth and so, without a greenhouse, the sunny window will do. When they get to be an inch tall and they leaf out, into 4" pots they go where they will stay until I am certain they are hardy enough to take the chilly nights that we get here in Northern California.  Oh, and the new varieties for 2012 that I will sow:  
      >Druzba Tomatoeswhich are said to be somewhat sweet with just the right amount of tart.   Marianna's Peace Tomatoescall out to me like a long lost friend (maybe 'cuz they are from Czechoslovakia like my great grandparents) -- anyway -- I must have the Marianna's Peace this summer!  
      >     For now, back to the canned tomato stash from last year to hold me over.   I can hardly wait to garden!
      >Long Term Sustainability
      >   I have been asking myself the last year, "What do I really need to learn and know to be truly sustainable on my land?".    Here is what I've decided is most important for me to learn:  
      > 1. The art of saving seeds.   I bought three books:  Complete Guide to Saving Seeds, Seed Sowing and Saving, and Seed to Seed.   My plan is to gather enough information out of these books so that I can skillfully choose which plants I want to grow this year, for seed.  I bought all three books because the concept of saving seeds is one I hold dear to my heart, plus, I happen to be somewhat of a book collector.  One or two books might be enough for most but I couldn't resist! 
      > 2. The ability to identify wild plants.    This has always been important to me and I live in an area where there aren't many obvious wild edibles.   I can keep using this as an excuse or I can hit the books and find a few wild edibles native to my region.   I have a couple books and there are more on the Sustainable Seed Co website.
      > 3. Water Storage.   I would have put this as #1 on the list except for I have done a fair amount of research and taken action with water storage on my land.   Still, here in California 2012 is a drought year and I need to know more about Rain Water Harvesting.    We are putting in a Drip Irrigation system this summer.
      > 4. I live on a mountain and the soil is rocky and rich in clay. The bottom line for me comes down to two things:  Soil and Water.    With all that I have to learn, the art of building soil is equally as important as harvesting water and saving seeds.  With only so much time to read, I'll choose one or two of the books on Composting and Dirt.
      >My list goes on and my hope is to get you thinking and talking about what skills and techniques you want to implement this year.   Even just talking about what you want to learn with a friend or family member will plant new seeds and ideas in your heart and mind and will send you on your way to learning more and taking action.      
      >Blessings and Joy to you!
      >Yogi Suzi  The Indoor Garden Tool!  
      >     Beyond an Ika Hoe or a Nejiri Weeder a garden journal is an extremely valuable garden tool. A notebook or journal made as funky or fancy as you like, can become your best friend for years to come if you draw in it and/or mark it up with details like frost dates, how many weeks particular starts need to stay indoors before planting out, and with other info like how many days the seeds take to germinate 
      >     Some plants do need an extended start in a warm spot, and warm often means indoors. Tomatoes, for example, often require 10 weeks from sowing indoors to transplanting outdoors.   So let's say you were planning on getting the new for 2012 Rose de Summer Tomatoes or new Vintage Wine Tomatoes in the outdoor soil on June 1st.   This means you would plant the seeds around March 15th.  You still have time!!!
      >     Let's say you start the 2012 Long Keeper Tomatoes on March 15th and they get off to a really fast start -- take note in your journal.  If those same tomatoes end up being Long Keepers and, next year, come February, you still have tomatoes, take note of that too because you might just want to grow the Long Keepers again next year! 
      >On Those Onions!
      >Like tomatoes and peppers, onions do best when started indoors.   You'll want to choose the right type of onion before you buy and plant based on your region.   See our chart here if you need advice on choosing the most appropriate onions to plant based on your geographical locale.
      >Knowledge is King 

      >  In 2007 I met a very wise man who was considering investing in land to create a sustainable community.   I was fortunate enough to hike on this 7,200 acre parcel near my home over 40 times with potential investors in 2007.  In 2008 my wise friend had decided not to invest and, like an older brother, put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a pep talk.   

      >"Knowledge is King", he said.   "Those who are to survive in upcoming hard times must have skills". "Learn to save seeds --Put the seeds in air tight mylar bags and store them -- and learn to identify and gather wild foods".   His list was long and even though he spoke to my heart, in this crazy busy world I haven't set any records getting my seeds saved and protected.

      >Last month I was working in the Sustainable Seed Co. warehouse and I got to pack some of the Safety Seed Cans that had been ordered.   

      >   If I'd known about these kits four years ago, I would've bought one for the sake of peace of mind.   Turns out, I got lucky.  Somehow, things are still humming along out there and food is showing up on the store shelves.   But with rising food costs and the less than tantalizing flavor of store bought foods, I am so relieved that I am learning the art of saving seed this year, 2012.    

      >I bought the three best books on seed saving and even though I have a lot to learn and I can still hear the words of my friend:  "Knowledge is King!".
      >Follow us on Facebook and 
      >join our online Gardening Community!

      >We've been using Facebook more and more as a way of contacting, sharing knowledge and sharing pictures, as well as community questions/forums.

      >We have had great success with Facebook in creating a space where gardeners all over the country can ask questions, post comments, and become part of the Sustainable Seed Farm as we are posting pictures and updates from the field.

      >Search for "Sustainable Seed Company" on Facebook and "Like" us to receive gardening news and to be alerted on promotions and sales!   

      >Save 5%
      >on your next order!
      >Loyal Customers, Thank you!  Save 5% off any order of our huge selection of heirloom vegetable seed varieties!   

      >Yes, that means tomatoes, watermelons, corn, beans, and pumpkins to name just a few.  That also means books, tools and seed packages! 10% off everything in our store!!! 
      >(You must enter the coupon code or you will NOT receive the discount)

      >Coupon Code  "Loyalty0412"

      >(You must use this code.  Put in this exact code without the quotes for discount)

      >Cannot be applied with any other offers.  Cannot be used on orders already submitted.  One time use per customer so make sure to get what you want in one order.  Cannot be applied to future orders past expiration date.  Non-transferable. Void where prohibited. 
      >Offer expires May 15, 2012

      >We grow and buy our seed in the US. Just as we have made a choice not to destroy forests by printing a paper seed catalog, we have made a choice not to sell foreign seed for similar reasons. We consider these choices sustainable. We hope these choices ensure that future generations will have the same natural wonder that surrounds us today.
      >Ask your seed company where it gets it seed from? Stop contributing to rain forest destruction, global warming and the loss of American jobs. Help us to continue to support local farm families. The choice IS yours to make.
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