Monday, May 16, 2016

Trending in Permaculture: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Matt Powers, Pigs, Ancient Squash, Frugal Winter Greenhouse

Five permaculture-related subjects that are trending on this Tuesday...

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Jere Gettle is realizing his life's calling. His fascination of seeds and growing garden plants began when he was a young child growing up in Montana to parents who gardened. Today the heirloom seed company that he started when he was seventeen years old in 1998 has grown into a wildly successful operation out of Mansfield, Missouri. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds farm sits on 176 acres at the edge of Ozark country. The family business model combines rustic charm while taking advantage of modern internet marketing. The Gettles travel abroad to collect heirloom seeds from other nations in addition to the Americas. After a seed collecting trip to Thailand they started incorporating Thai cooking into their homestyle Ozark meals. As the company has grown, they've purchased another seed company and opened seed stores in historic buildings in California and Connecticut. Their image is all about old fashioned clothing, bare feet, rustic historic buildings, and yesterday's values. Their seed catalogue is beautiful and free, though people say it is so wonderful they would be happy to pay for it. Seed orders are always shipped with a packet of free seeds. If you garden and aren't on their mailing list, you should be. And if you want to go back in time, visit their Missouri store or attend one of their monthly summer festivals.
[Read much more about Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds at Missouri Life.]

[visit Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds website]

Permaculture Author Matt Powers Also Speaks and Teaches

This video titled "Landrace Living" features Permaculture author Matt Powers speaking at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Spring Planting festival in Missouri. It is 50-minutes long, so if you don't have time to watch the whole thing, I encourage you to at least watch the first ten minutes as he talks about landraces and his experience growing twenty foot tall landrace corn in part-sun on his California property, as well as Mennonite sorghum.

Landrace Living - Matt Powers at Baker Creek's Annual Spring Planting Festival from Matt Powers on Vimeo.

Iowa Farmer Raises Pigs on Pasture
Recently, I saw a quote by Charles Benbrook, the former Washington State Agricultural economist and researcher, in which he suggested that farming should be reformed by returning livestock production to smaller farms. The problem is, raising livestock is a full time 365-days-a-year job that not a lot of farmers are willing to commit to. I know the lifestyle, because I grew up on such a farm.

The video below shows one Iowa farmer, Grant Schultz at Versaland, who is raising pigs the way nature intended. If only we could all purchase pork from him, or farms like his. Happy pigs... Healthy meat... Enjoy.

"Really Cool Old Squash"
Canadian archeology students from Winnipeg unearthed a clay pot on a Wisconsin Menemonee Reservation which contained 800 year old viable squash seeds. To learn what characteristics this heirloom squash variety had when grown in 2015, watch the video below.

Winter Greenhouse Made with Recycled Materials
In this video, John Hass "the mountain man" explains how he built his low-tech greenhouse using old tractor tires and recycled materials. At his age, he appreciates the comfort of working with raised garden beds. As shown in the video, his winter produce is impressive.

To view last week's trendspotting post, click here.

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