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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 3 

Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by geordiegirl on 13 April 2008 6:30pm
Planting heritage peas! We have been doing this through April now, so you guys might be able to get going if soil is warm enough.

Most interested to know how you get on -
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Lounge Trekker on 13 April 2008 6:42pm
It's still a little too cool to plant those heritage peas, GiGi! So far my gardening has consisted of dividing my blueberries and lilacs then all the pruning of assorted shrubs and trees. This, of course, after I've done my daily rounds of pollinating my fruit trees.

Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Rox on 13 April 2008 6:42pm
What are heritage peas, please ?
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Rox on 13 April 2008 6:46pm
Sounds nice, blueberries and lilacs - are you in the UK Lounge Trekker
I have just finished planting native shrubs, nectar bearing to encourage native birds into my garden....It's working, with 2 groups of 5-8 Fairy Wrens and Honey eaters and a family of "Willy Wag tails" commical little friendly birds, though these are carnivores....if you can call a tiny little bird eating moths and small flying insects a carnivore !
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Lounge Trekker on 13 April 2008 7:49pm
I'm on Vancouver Island off the West Coast of Canada, Rox. As I understand it, heritage vegetables are those whose seeds have been saved by concientious gardeners, thereby avoiding the hybrid or genetic modification used to ensure seeds must be bought. Hopefully this preserves the characteristics of the original. Most important to me is the flavour of a vegetable that is eaten close to where it was grown. Plants that are hybridized to foster shelf life or the ability to withstand transport seem to give up a lot in flavour and other edibility characteristics.

I should go outside right now to see what other plants can be divided. Can't have too many blueberries! I did transplant few cherry trees from cuttings made above the graft...I look forward to seeing if they produce fruit.

I need a few other varieties of many other plants. I'll keep an eye out for a suitable donor.

Lounge Botanist
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by mrsthing on 14 April 2008 1:50pm
We've been fed the line that hybridized or genetically modified veggies, fruits, and grains will yield a bigger harvest because they are drought and disease resistant. Is that true? Would heritage vegetables (we call them "heirloom" in CT) be more prone to plant diseases and less resistant to drought? Should I just get used to scaly patches on my food? I really don't mind at all, but I do tend to buy the most perfect-looking produce I can find. I equate that blemish-free appearance with freshness and quality.
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Lounge Trekker on 14 April 2008 8:07pm
That may be true for the one season from their hybridized seed but apparently many seeds from the fruit will not germinate requiring the purchase of more seeds. To a home gardener this may not seem like much, but remember that historically, growers of food saved seeds for next years crop. Needing to purchase seeds each year puts the very root of our food system in the hands of big business.

To help promote sales of their seeds, a terminator gene has been inserted in some GM products. Another thing Monsanto (a chemical company) has gentically inserted in some of their grains is the need for exposure to Roundup, a herbicide used to kill weeds. They have aggressively pursued farmers whose crops were cross-pollinated with their GM grains. The courts have ruled that Monsanto owns the intellectual property and these farmers are illegaly in use of it! Refer to the case of Percy Schmiesser v. Monsanto.

I'm all in favour of saving seeds and keeping heirloom varieties in use.

Lounge Trekker
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by geordiegirl on 14 April 2008 11:41pm
Some GM technology Judy is fine in principle but it is all indivisible with agribusiness which has its own agenda (eg, as Pete says, encouraging more purchase of seeds by the greater use of the F1 type which don't breed true for one's own seed-saving. It's all about buying more seeds from Monsanto).

Diversity is everything: if one line fails, there will be lots of others. The Irish potato famine was caused because everybody only grew one or two kinds of potato & they both failed.Growing heirloom varieties means you get wonderful TASTE - especially when you grow it yourself you're also gaining on freshness, lack of packaging, etc. and (as Pete will know) it's not food miles involved here but food feet.

Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'puts it so gracefully.(And how are you doing yourself, healthwise?)

Lounge Gardener, you are clearly on the case! It all takes time, I know. ( And, Debonair Trekker, I've just worked out what GiGi means - I'm quite flattered! To pursue the musical theme, If My Friends Could see Me Now,- being talked to nicely by a very nice Canadian,- They Wouldn't Believe It)

Rox - where are you living? (Always interested in that sort of info). Do you garden?
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by Lounge Trekker on 15 April 2008 2:56am
Your last post in this thread was excellent, Linda. Thanks for clarifying what I attempted to say.

Yes, some GM technology is very good. I think most of it is done with the best intentions, with the need to generate income, of course.

If I were a botanist in the GM field, I'd look at ways to incorporate some of the amazing traits of indigenous plants (a.k.a. weeds) in the genes of fruits and vegetables. Wouldn't it be awesome to have succulent tomatos sprouting up as abundant and as able to survive in all climates as, say, dandelions?

Or we could make jokes about it like I did here! http://www.palinstravels.co.uk/static-51?forum=9&;topic=11117&page=5 (Buy Monsanto...)

Misdirected Trekker
Re: Message for Sighthound and Loungetrekker by mrsthing on 16 April 2008 3:24am
Geordiegirl (sorry, I've forgotten your real name), thanks for the info. I'm mostly off sugar and white bread, and am feeling so much better! My back's been great the past 5 days--almost back to normal. And in only 5 days, with significant cheating on Saturday, I've lost 2 pounds! Resisting sugar is very hard for me, but I'm going to try to remember how tired, anxious, and fuzzy-headed I felt before. It's like a drug, and I'm like an addict. One day at a time.

Pete, your info was an eye-opener. I still have a lot to learn about all this!
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