Locals was invited for the coffee in the garden

The annual meeting was this year on the island Samsø. Ingrid, Lila and others had planned a wonderfull week-end. We have a tradition for visiting a lot of interesting places during our annual meetings.

Brian Krause has a post in danish on the meeting.
I mostly post pictures.

Annette Mørch tells us about her Dexter cattle and the sheeps. She run an ecologic farm

Ingrid has a passion for tomatoes, here German Striped and Brandywine

Ingrid presents the museumgarden she tends

I was surprised to find Virginia tobacco and hemp in the museum garden – it’s a hemp for rope, no use trying to smoke it! Both are old culture plants on Samsø island

Homestead Fredensdal is part of Samsø Ecomuseum

“Den jydske hest” called Herkules is an old danish breed

Fredensdal is one of a very few places to meet the old danish breed “sortbroget dansk landrace svin”. Wonderfull pet pigs

Gute sheeps are the most important employees in the islands department for environment

The sheeps takes care of a beautiful landscape

Both ducks and people live in cosy houses in village Nordby, who would guess they have a solar heat plant?

Nordby’s solar heat plant

After a long week-end with long walks, legs had grown somewhat long. Nice to spend hours on the ferry home remembering the good time

After-meeting book studying and discussion.

Yesterday Frøsamlerne (danish seed savers) had meetings for new (and old) members, in two regions of Denmark. I participated in arranging the meeting in Copenhagen region.

We talked on how and which seeds are suitable for our exchange list, and which are not, eg. varieties in generel commerce. How do we take care of our genetic and cultural heiritage?
Frøsamlerne have a program for adoption of the more valuable varieties. Often we need adoptants for the more easy inbreeders.

Everybody shared what species they took a special interest in, and we discussed how to keep these varieties pure. Wether they were clones, inbreeders, insect pollinated, wind pollinated or pollinated by hand. Isolation in distance, time, by house or tall vegetaion, or by alternative feedingcrops, as well as growing out a control to secure purity.
Selection is a issue when deciding which individual will parentage the next generation, but all our cultural practice, cleaning and storing the seeds rogue out the less suited individuals. Every action affects the future of the variety!

Many seeds were exchanged.

Though weather was cold, the sun shined, so we went outside to clean seed of amarenth, carrot, radish and midsummer rye. Ordinary drip saucers works brilliantly in cleaning small batches of seed. Rotating movements layers the seeds and debris, and the debris can easily be blow over the edge, so you end up with clean seeds in the saucer. Another method is to rub the seeds in a cloth bag. It gently rubs away fungus, which when seeding could kill a lot of the seedlings.
Some seeds are best processed wet. For this demonstration we used an eggplant, cut up and dumped in a bowl of water. Good seeds sinks to bottom, bad seeds and pulp flow. After a few changes of water seeds are catched in a sieve and ready for drying on a plate.

After drying seeds, there are numerous ways to store them. I you store fro year to year a paperbag in a closet is fine. If you want to keep seeds in long term storage, refridgerator or freezer should be considered. Allthough seeds can be kept in long time this way, you can also easily destroy them in the process. Its always nice to have a “security copy”.