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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seed sources for gardens and farms

It is getting to be that time of year, when a young man's thoughts turn to growing things.

What did you think I was talking about?

Anyway, I have found more than a few good sources of seeds and plants that I would like to share with you all. One thing to note is that typically, you should pick a seed source that is close to you over one that is far away, mainly because it seems that plants and seeds do better when in similar climates over vastly different ones.

Here are a few of my favorite seed sources. - Baker Creek Heirloom seeds- Run by a 27 yr old with immense success, Baker Creek does indeed have rare seeds. I find that they are extremely useful for foriegn seeds or plants that you may not have seen before. -This seed caralog provides access to a large amount of heirloom and organic vegetables, offering a bewildering variety of them all. - If you don't know about seed saver's, you should. This group has helped preserve more heirloom and heritage varieties than anyone else I know of, definately look into and support the seed saver's. - If you are looking for heirloom seeds or just about any other variety of seeds, this company will help you find them, with collections and educational programs too, sustainable seed company definately helps when it is time to lay out the garden. - While they do have a wide range of seeds and plants, I find Johnny's seeds most useful for their tools and for their farm plants, such as grains and cover crops, as well as their mistures for pasturage. - Nichols has been in business for over 50 years and provides a large amount of plant varieties for anyone interested. - Park seed offers many of the vegetable varieties that others do but I enjoy their flowers the most, after all, what is a garden without a little beauty in it. - One of the first and still one of the best for promoting heirloom seeds, territorial will help you find the seeds that you won't find other places. - A seed company that aims for cooks rather than for gardeners, the cook's garden provides interesting items for all you foodies out there. - Another company for the foodie in all of us, providing rare and useful herbs and vegetables for the kitchen.

For medicinal and culinary herbs, and for those rare herbs that are hard to find, I recommend these two sites, - Providing herb seeds as well as roots and extracts, Richter's gives access to many herbs that are hard to find but are useful, either in the kitchen, or for health products. - Sand mountain herbs was my first experiance with the huge varieties of herbs that can be presented. If you know that most garden stores won't carry it, Sand Mountain Herbs is likely to.

For trees and fruit, I recommend these three sites - While they have a wide variety of trees, I find that Trees of Antiquity focuses on apples and does a great job of having a huge selection of heirloom apples. - If you are looking for a rare or unusual fruit tree, from honeyberries, to elderberries, to paw paws, it is likely that Rain Tree has it. - Stark Brothers provides fruits of all types, from trees to shrubs to plants, and also has a great selection of ornamentals.

And last but not least, heirloom flowers - with plants and flowers organized by beauty or fragrance, you know that you are on to something special. - Old house gardens provides heirloom flowers by planting time, and lists the date of the variety if known, so this is a great way to bring the history of homes to life.

I hope that you all enjoy the sites that I have suggested and let me know if you know of some that I have missed. I hope that you don't get overwhelmed and enjoy the growing season that is coming up.

Get out there and grow something

and don't forget

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome to the Uncommonskills blog

Welcome everyone to the uncommonskills blog.

This blog is desgined to explore the wide range of skills historic and new that are uncommon but are necessary for life as we know it. These skills range from growing food, to playing music, to weaving cloth. All of these skills were necessary for society to function, before the industrialization of the economy and these skills were sent out to specialists or machines.

The purpose of the uncommonskills blog and website ( is to help return these skills to those who desire them.

I believe that the debt economy that we live in has asked the common person to live in a higher standard of living not by becoming producers (which they easily could) but by becoming consumers who help to fill other peoples pockets, while emptying their own. A person with the knowledge to brew beer for instance, could buy beer if he or she decided it was worth it in terms of conveniance and money. However they also have the skills to evaltuate beer, and the skills to make a beer to their personal liking.

This creates an economy based upon individuals and communities. The economy as a whole would benefit because the vast swings that national economies are heir to (surges and recessions) would be partially leveled out by the small local economies. In addition, with the knowledge and ability to grow food, provide shelter, entertainment, etc., the swings in the economy would affect the common person much less.

I believe that the common person could benefit from learning these skills and I hope to help teach people not only to be able to perform these skills, but also to enjoy what they have more. A shirt or a meal is so much more enjoyable when it was designed and planned by a person for themselves or their family and friends.

Thanks for reading

Never stop learning