The Winner of the Hometown Seeds IS…

Melody D was the winner of the Hometown Seeds survival pack, though for the rest of you Hometown Seeds has provided me a code to allow 10% of any order with them by using the code “thanks”

Hometown seed giveaway #2 (Survival Seeds)


Hometown Seeds has again graciously offered up a selection of their non-GMO non hybrid survival seeds.  These are advertised to keep in storage for 5-10 years but also are open pollinated so you can grow them this year, collect the seeds and create your own stockpile in preparation of any future catastrophic food shortage.

They include a selection of the following varieties:

  • Lincoln Peas
  • Detroit Dark Red Beets
  • Kentucky Wonder Brown Pole Bean
  • Yolo Wonder Pepper
  • Champion Radish
  • Lucullus Swiss Chard
  • Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Waltham Butternut Winter Squash
  • Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach
  • Scarlet Nantes Carrots
  • Long Green Improved Cucumber
  • Rutgers Tomato
  • Golden Acre Cabbage
  • Romaine Paris Island Cos Lettuce
  • Golden Bantem Sweet Corn
  • Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion


They will be sending me the seeds to no restrictions on where these can be mailed to, so simply add a comment by 2/16/2010 2/19/2010 and I will randomly select a winner in one week.

Update — 2/16/2010

I got the seeds in the mail from Hometown Seeds and I was very surprised in the weight of these seeds.  Well over a lb of seeds in this package.  They come in a sealed lightproof wrapper as you can see below:


Though the seeds would last longer if I kept them in this packaging, though I just had to rip it open to see what was inside (winner’s package will not be opened):



As you can see there are quite a few seeds in this package so you may want to think about who you may want to share these with if you win.

LED grow box gets an upgrade


In our family we are not just cheap in the garden we also keep our house pretty cool to save on heating costs.  Unfortunately since the LEDs in my grow box do not put out very much heat the inside is only about 68 F degrees even placing it on top of my refrigerator.  For most seeds 77 F degrees is a great ball bark number to shoot for to get the best germination percentage as well as  quicker germination times.  This was the number I was shooting for, so I decided to add a string of mini incandescent bulbs to help bring up the temperature.

To do this I did exactly what I did for the LEDs just drill a hundred or so holes into the side of the box just slightly smaller than the bulb.  Then had the fun job of pushing them all through.

I first tried having all the lights on but that brought the temperature up to 85 degrees, next I tried only half the lights on…70 F degrees.  Then I got the idea of adding the blinker bulbs and tada 77 F degrees on the nose (ok technically 77.1 F).

So far everything is looking good have some onions, peppers, basil, and Swiss chard already sprouted and expecting more shortly.

Seeds from WinterSown


I know many of your probably already know about WinterSown but for those of you that have not you must check them out.  This is the first year I have requested seeds from them and I they completely blew away my expectations.  By simply sending them an self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) and an optional donation they will send back some seeds of your choosing.  I have gotten tired of my boring tomatoes I have been growing from the limited selections at local nursery and garden center so I chose the following: Husky Red Cherry, Persey Tomato, Red Brandywine, New Yorker, Mini Gold, Green Zebra, Tommy Toes, and they also sent me some Parsley which was not on my list though I was planning on growing this year.

They also included a pamphlet (mirrored) providing a long but not very labor intensive method of how to save your own tomato seeds which was yet another added bonus.  I will be sure to save some seeds and send many of my extras back their way at the end of the season.

Planning garden using GrowVeg (Year #2)

Though GrowVeg worked great for planning my garden last year, this year it became even more useful.  By creating a garden plan using my template from my previous year not only did it save time but also showed where I should not plant certain vegetables because I planted the same family of plants in that area last year.  Here is my plan for my larger plot:


I am growing much of the same as I have in past years with the addition of broccoli and Swiss chard.

For my longer fence plot here is what I am going with the following:


New in this area I am going to plan on growing some dry beans for storage as well as some green beans along with our regular cucumbers, tomatoes, and sunflowers.

I also have an area I am planning on growing herbs, though for that I am just going to wing it.

In the end it took me about 3-4 minutes to create this plan thanks to GrowVeg which I can print out and keep by the garden so I don’t have to wonder, “Now where did I plant that spinach again.”

They do have a free 30 day trial if you want to try it out this year.

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