New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Seeds

The COVID Gardening Renaissance Depends on Seeds—if You Can Find Them

Demand for seeds is sky high once again. Many say that signals a longer-term shift towards growing food at home.

By Lisa Held
Civil Eats
February 22, 2021


Seed ordering among home gardeners generally peaks in February and March, Mueller said, and as that moment sets in, companies that cater to gardeners are hustling to keep up with volumes that are double, triple, and in some cases five times as high as typical years prior.

While demand is extremely high, five popular companies all told Civil Eats they did not anticipate seed shortages. But many are having to adjust their processes to handle the rush, causing alarm among customers. For example, some companies are turning off online ordering to allow time to restock. And Johnny’s Seed Company, a Maine-based seller that is the go-to source for many small-scale vegetable farmers, is limiting sales to gardeners to prioritize commercial producers. Additionally, shipping is delayed all over, due to both demand and a slowdown at the U.S. Postal Service.

[

February 26, 2021   No Comments

Uganda: Hellen Machika earns big from selling seedlings

Hellen Machika tends to her vegetables. PHOTO/DESIRE MBABALI.

She was receiving walk-in customers who wanted to start backyard gardening and would time and again want to buy seedlings in small quantities.

By Desire Mbabaali
Feb 20, 2021


“My first order was from someone I knew from my previous workplace. After they learned that I had left, they followed me and wanted tomato seedlings worth Shs1m. I didn’t have a greenhouse so I raised them on my veranda, gave them all the care they needed and it was successful. That start really pushed me in my new business,” she recalls.

From the money, she bought seeds, nursery trays, planting media, built a small makeshift greenhouse at her home in Kasangati, Buyinja Zone and everything else that she needed. From her first order, things only got better with more orders coming in.

[

February 25, 2021   No Comments

Great American Seed Up Presents Seed Up Saturday

Online Event Aims to Bring Seed Sharing and Gardening Education to All

PHOENIX — The demand for seeds has skyrocketed amid the pandemic resulting in seed shortages. Awareness of the importance of seeds and the need for regional seed saving has never been greater. The Great American Seed Up presents Seed Up Saturday on February 27 to support and guide home gardeners looking to expand their planting repertoire and knowledge.

Seed Up Saturday is a free Zoom event with classes on seed saving, including the following: terminology, basics, myths, storage, attracting pollinators to your garden and much more. The three-hour event will take place from 2 until 5 p.m. MST. Participants can sign up online at .

[

February 5, 2021   Comments Off on Great American Seed Up Presents Seed Up Saturday

France: “You reap what you sow”

By Ruud Sies (photographer)

Jean-Luc Danneyrolles – Peasant, Philosopher and Poet

By Ruud Sies (photographer) and partner Hanneke van Hintum (producer)
Resilience Food Stories


Jean-Luc, selects and harvests his own seeds, grows vegetables and forgotten plants, and actively campaigns to protect farmers seeds.

Agriculture started with a garden and I love that concept of horticulture. In fact I’d rather talk about agro-ecology than about organic horticulture. Only seeds that are registered in the official catalogue can be put on the market.

To get through the registration process, however, large sums need to be paid and there must be proof that the variety is genetically stable. As a consequence, 80% of the vegetables grown in France have disappeared over the past fifty years.

[

January 17, 2021   Comments Off on France: “You reap what you sow”

UK: Call the cavalry! Horses ride to rescue of an inner city garden

Plant force … PC Ben Ballard, right, riding Clyde, and PC Jo Brown on Iris create divots and trample in seeds at the Barbican Wildlife Garden. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian

Mounted City of London police receive a surprise order: to help trample in wildflower seeds at the Barbican

By Phoebe Weston
The Guardian
Dec. 28, 2020


The garden’s lead volunteer, Jo Rodgers, wanted grazing livestock to come and stamp in autumn seeds but there are none in London’s financial district. Instead, she called in the local police horses who came and walked around it for 30 minutes as part of their community engagement work. “In the countryside, you graze animals after you’ve cut the grass to help churn up the soil. We tried to think about getting in sheep or goats, and then we thought, ‘Horses!, we have them locally!’” she says.

Grazing animals play an essential role in maintaining traditional wildflower meadows because their hooves create dips and furrows that help push seeds into the soil and create microhabitats. More than 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost since the second world war.

[

January 3, 2021   Comments Off on UK: Call the cavalry! Horses ride to rescue of an inner city garden

Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

Where the leaves are in contact with the soil, I often find great numbers of earthworms that help make better soil for my garden.

By Scott Hoffman Black
12 November 2020


Out of sight often means out of mind for people and fall is a time when you do not see the bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that where flitting around your flowers all summer. Where do these insects go when they are not visiting your garden? Some do migrate—like the monarch butterfly, flying south to overwinter in trees in Mexico or along the California coast—but the vast majority spend their entire life in and around your property. Many of our native solitary bees have laid eggs and provisioned nests in soil or in standing dead trees or hollowed out branches where the young are pupating. Bumble bee queens have found areas to overwinter under branches, in rock walls and in other relatively dry, snug places.

[

November 18, 2020   Comments Off on Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

Canada: West Coast Seeds Announces its New Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend

Dr. Henry’s catchphrase, “Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe,” is the inspiration behind the Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend.

Press Release
November 16, 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia

Canadian sustainable gardening leader West Coast Seeds, announced today that the company will be honouring BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, with a new pollinator blend in her name. The company also announced that 100% of proceeds from Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend sales will be donated to Food Banks Canada. The West Coast Seeds giving campaign was created to honour Dr. Henry and all healthcare providers and officials across Canada and support families who face challenges because of the COVID19 pandemic.

“We are concerned about the health and safety of our fellow citizens, and unfortunately, many more Canadians need support to provide food for their families this year,” said Aaron Saks, Director of Finance, West Coast Seeds. Adding “West Coast Seeds has been a Canadian-owned company since our inception in 1983, and we are deeply committed to supporting families across Canada. We hope that the Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend will honour hardworking healthcare providers and officials across the country while supporting Canadian families through these challenging times.”

[

November 16, 2020   Comments Off on Canada: West Coast Seeds Announces its New Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend