Mississippi Silver cowpea
Butter and Sugar corn
Mammoth Gold pumpkin
White Egg Turnip
Large White Ribbed Swiss chard
Golden Globe "Goldie" turnip
A Grandi Foglie Valentino Italian basil
I also got #3 to help me work on sorting our seed collection into plastic tote boxes to help keep it a little more manageable. We have boxes now for squash, melons, peppers/tomatoes, herbs, greens, beans, peas, flowers, root vegetables, and "other stuff" that doesn't have enough of a collection to fill a bin (eggplant, okra, cucumber, berries, etc.). Ten shoe box sized plastic totes, full of fantastic potential. I'm hoping Tony will pick up one more plastic tote on his way home for the corn seeds and then we will have our entire collection sorted into storage containers. I won't have to worry about boxes tipping over, bugs getting in, or water (we flooded this spring - I was able to save almost all of our seeds).
This morning I sent off 75 packets of seeds plus five one-on-one trades to the big swap for one of the Facebook groups I'm in. I'm really excited to see what I get back. My package should be returned full of new goodies around the middle of next month. Just in time to be an early Christmas gift to myself! And it only costed me 96 packs of seeds and $13.10 in postage ($6.10 there and sent $7 to pay return postage). I'm really hoping it's worth it.
Last time I participated in one of these really big group trades, it was hyped up a lot saying you'd get more than you sent - which makes no sense to me at all (if ten people each send in 20 packets of seeds, everyone gets back 20 packets of seeds, right?)... So last time I sent in a crazy amount of seeds to share, paying postage both ways. While I appreciated the nice variety I got back, the return package was nearly a pound lighter, and I didn't get the difference back for the postage money I sent along. Half the seeds were new to me, and half were varieties I already had (including several varieties I had sent in, that other people had too). Here's hoping that I'm not the sole over-achiever who sends more and receives less again. This package was 1-pound 4-ounces. I know I'll be getting several new-to-me varieties because of the five one-on-one trades I worked on. I'm hesitantly excited. I'm sure the anticipation will build over the next couple of weeks, and I'll be like a kid on Christmas morning when the package comes back, regardless.
I thought about it last year, and I'm thinking about it again. Perhaps I should host a group seed trade like this. That way I can add in my own seeds to return packages to assure everyone does end up with more than they started with. I have no idea how I'd facilitate it though. Hmmm. Maybe some day.
The first seed catalog arrived today. It's from the company that I bought some hops rhizomes from for my Dad earlier this year for his birthday. I was disappointed to see how many hybrid varieties they have for sale. I'm becoming a seed snob I think (haha). I'll probably buy a few things from them anyway... They have some "clearance" seeds, and really, who can pass up clearance priced seeds? And as long as I'm ordering those, I may as well not waste the shipping cost so I should buy a couple other things too... Yeah, good sales logic, right?
I am a non-smoker, but recently found out that I can grow tobacco here. There's actually a guy just a few miles away that does YouTube videos that grows his own tobacco, so I know it can be done. My problem is that it's strictly a novelty for me. Kind of like growing hops would be. I don't use tobacco or consume alcohol, so growing either would be really more a waste of time and space, but I kind of want to see if I can grow these things from seed. If I can successfully grow hops from seed, I could give the rhizomes to my dad. He grows hops, but never manages to get the flowers dried to use to brew his own beer. He does brew kits and makes his own beer, he just hasn't used his own homegrown hops yet. Perhaps if he had a bunch more plants... And it's perfectly legal to sell plants - both hops and tobacco - so maybe if I planted a bunch of seeds, I could sell some plants and give some away. I don't know very many smokers, and I doubt the few I know would be willing to take the time to process their own tobacco if I gave them a plant.
I did email the state to ask about legalities on tobacco. I would need a license if I was "manufacturing tobacco products" but I'm not sure exactly what that means. Growing tobacco and selling tobacco plants does not require a license. If I harvest and dry the leaves, can I sell or give away the leaves? Or is the act of drying the leaves considered "manufacturing" them? From what I understand, they are not ready for "human consumption" until they have been fermented and shredded. If I don't ferment and shred the leaves, are they still considered a product of the farm, and therefore legal to sell without a permit? Can I use the dried leaves to barter with people (no money exchanged)? Am I allowed to give away the dried leaves to a family member or friend who would then process them for their own use? I emailed the address given on the application for a tobacco permit, but have not heard back from anyone. I hope they respond because I would genuinely like to know. And honestly, if I do require a permit to sell the dried leaves, maybe it would be worth the $37.50 permit fee to sell dried leaves if I could find a market to sell them before they're processed. I have no idea. If I do grow tobacco successfully, I would definitely be saving seeds. Maybe with hops too. I think I may try both wintersowing this year, and maybe it'll work and maybe it won't. I may have some tobacco plants for sale later next year. The hops though I'd just give to my dad. I ordered a couple varieties of tobacco, including the kind the guy here in my area grows, and a couple hops seeds from eBay. We will see where this takes us. Maybe a one year waste of space just to say I tried. The seeds were pretty cheap, so I guess there's not much loss if I try and fail. Maybe it'll be fun. Depending on what the state says about it, maybe I can use the dried leaves as a bartering tool.