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Old 02-15-2012, 02:53 AM   #31
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.

I'll put it this way. Having seeds is like having projectiles (bullets) but not having any powder, brass, primers, reloading equipment or experience to make the bullets you have into loaded cartridges.

It is not a direct analogy but it is a good one as I see it.
I have to reiterate this earlier statement.

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I wasn't very clear I'm sure. Years of self-suficiency are not the issue here. The seeds would be for a long(er)-term time horizon.

I have enough info at this point I think unless someone has some practical experience with the most popular kit options...
Having your "kit" is worthless unless you know how to use it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #32
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Here is another thought...last fall I did some reading about harvesting/storing seeds and was surprised to find out how plant specific it can be. You can't just pick out seeds from many fruits and vegetables and put them in the ground next season and expect them to grow. For example, I read that you are supposed to 'ferment' tomato seeds, pulp, and gel to prepare the seeds for drying and storing if you want them to work. A cucumber that is ready to eat is not ripe enough to produce viable seeds for next year. Parsley is biennial. Next year I plan to a) have a better garden than last summer and b) try storing some types of seeds that I haven't tried before. I'm sure I will screw some of it up, but I guess that's how you learn
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:27 AM   #33
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Here is another thought...last fall I did some reading about harvesting/storing seeds and was surprised to find out how plant specific it can be. You can't just pick out seeds from many fruits and vegetables and put them in the ground next season and expect them to grow. For example, I read that you are supposed to 'ferment' tomato seeds, pulp, and gel to prepare the seeds for drying and storing if you want them to work. A cucumber that is ready to eat is not ripe enough to produce viable seeds for next year. Parsley is biennial. Next year I plan to a) have a better garden than last summer and b) try storing some types of seeds that I haven't tried before. I'm sure I will screw some of it up, but I guess that's how you lean
Good points. I haven't saved tomato seeds one season to another because I always grow several different heirloom varieties (Half Brandywine then some San Francisco Fogger (in case it is a cool summer) Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter (interesting story behind the name and HUGE tomatoes), Santa Clara Canner, Roma and a few others. With more than one variety growing in close proximity they will cross-pollinate and you lose the purity of the line over time. Also, tomatoes cannot be pollinated by honeybees because the honeybee can't get its tongue into the narrow flowers. They are primarily wind pollinated.

Anybody else here keep honeybees?
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:55 AM   #34
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Good points. I haven't saved tomato seeds one season to another because I always grow several different heirloom varieties (Half Brandywine then some San Francisco Fogger (in case it is a cool summer) Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter (interesting story behind the name and HUGE tomatoes), Santa Clara Canner, Roma and a few others. With more than one variety growing in close proximity they will cross-pollinate and you lose the purity of the line over time. Also, tomatoes cannot be pollinated by honeybees because the honeybee can't get its tongue into the narrow flowers. They are primarily wind pollinated.

Anybody else here keep honeybees?
I've never kept honeybees but that is something I've always been interested in. I've got too many irons in the fire right now so that one will have to wait a few years, but honeybees are definitely on the to do list.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:21 AM   #35
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I've never kept honeybees but that is something I've always been interested in. I've got too many irons in the fire right now so that one will have to wait a few years, but honeybees are definitely on the to do list.
The learning curve takes quite a bit of time, but once you figure it out it only takes as much time as you want to devote really.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #36
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Could you go over some of the basics?

How do you get a queen and some workers to take up residence?
How often can you harvest honey and is it seasonal?
What are some of the things that most people (like me) have no clue about?
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:40 AM   #37
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Could you go over some of the basics?

How do you get a queen and some workers to take up residence?
How often can you harvest honey and is it seasonal?
What are some of the things that most people (like me) have no clue about?
First thing you do is to find a beek (short for beekeeper) in your area who can mentor you. If you can't find one that is a bummer but you can still do it.

Right now I am building beehives for the spring. You need to have everything ready for when spring comes and the bees start to get active again. You can order assembled hives from a supplier like Mann Lake http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ or you can order them in pieces and assemble them yourself. Get a good book on beekeeping like this one http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32_58&products_id=932

When spring comes and depending on where you are located, you can order a package of bees with a new queen locally or some breeders will mail them. You can also collect a swarm of feral (wild) bees and install them in your hive yourself, but I think in SC you have the Africanized honeybees (so-called "killer bees") which you do not want to risk messing with (although they are more difficult to work with they do produce more honey than the European honeybees). You should be able to find a breeder who you can buy packages from though.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:54 AM   #38
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You can also check Yellow Pages for Beekeeping Supplies- drop by, and strike up a conversation.

When a swarm took up residence on my back porch, one of those shops gave me phone number for a beekeeper- he came by, collected swarm in a cardboard box, left me a bottle of honey. About 75-100 "orphaned" bees stayed behind- we had a GREAT garden that year!
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:56 AM   #39
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You can also check Yellow Pages for Beekeeping Supplies- drop by, and strike up a conversation.

When a swarm took up residence on my back porch, one of those shops gave me phone number for a beekeeper- he came by, collected swarm in a cardboard box, left me a bottle of honey. About 75-100 "orphaned" bees stayed behind- we had a GREAT garden that year!
I am one of those beekeepers who removes swarms. I have had several people take up beekeeping after I have been on a swarm visit. One couple built a top-bar hive and I was so intrigued by it that I started one of my own last spring. It has been a great hive and can be very low maintenance.

Here is a pretty well written account of capturing a feral swarm written by a guy about his first swarm collection. http://www.backyardhive.com/Articles_on_Beekeeping/Features/Catching_Bees_-_By_Will_Dart/
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #40
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Thread bump.

Today I cut some scion wood from my favorite chestnut tree in preparation for grafting some seedlings I started three years ago. I have to dig those trees up and do some bare-root work with them before they start slipping- which is when I do the graft work.

anyhow, I picked up this really cool extension pruning tool, collapsed it is 5' long and extended it is 10' (or close to it). it was really pricey at $140, but it is easier and safer than using a ladder. There are little removable jaws on the blades that hold the piece that you cut off so you don't drop it and lose it. The pics below are of the pruning tool- taken with a chestnut tree.
dscn0570.jpg   dscn0572.jpg   dscn0574.jpg   dscn0575.jpg  
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