Celtic new year. New Seeds.

Celtic new year. New Seeds.

P1100361It is November 2nd as I begin this post and it has been feeling like a new year to me and in many traditions October 31st does indeed mark and is celebrated as the new year. In the Celtic tradition time is regarded as circular not linear and is reflected as such by commencing each day and each festival at dusk rather than dawn, just as is done for a Jewish Sabbath. The Celtic new year begins at the festival of Samhain on the 31st October as nature is turning inwards and there is a drawing back into the earth. The first month of the Celtic year is called ‘Samonios’, meaning ‘Seed Fall,’P1100369

‘from death and darkness springs life and light.’

GD and I panted our bulbs today that we saved from last year, daffodils, crocus, blue bells and some mystery ones that lost their labels! and as the day turned into a wet overcast afternoon we moved the kitchen table over to the radiator to get warm and spent a lovely afternoon laying out any seeds we have left over from this year to see if we can use them for the coming year.
P1100405 I want to begin harvesting our own seeds so we have to be careful as many seeds today are designed to only produce once and the seeds the mature plant produces will not reproduce.
When planning to harvest your own seeds you need to avoid purchasing hybrids which are generally cheap but artificial, designed only to give one planting season, and as every seed is identical, there is no scope for adaptability for different soils or for any changes in the climate. Heirloom or open-pollinated varieties are best, they are naturally produced and produce crops that yield continuously reproducing seeds. I have found ‘The Real Seed Company’ to be very good.
Gardeners have forgotten, I have forgotten the skills needed to save my own seed.  Luckily there is oodles of info and advice on how to do just this online and on the R.S.C. website to help remind me.

It is frightening to think of what the future holds for our children if hybrid seeds are the norm and the larger population have forgotten how to grow plants that can be harvested and skills needed to continue to grow from them.
What if hybrid seeds are all we know?  what happens when there is climate change or  cheap finite oil needed to make all these chemicals runs out, there will be no ‘real’ seeds left to breed from and no common knowledge of how to do so.

Quotes from the R.S.C.
‘Profits for the seed companies now, but disaster in the future . . . real farming is a project that has been ongoing for millennia, but now in the height of our tiny period of cheap oil, we think we know better and have turned it into just another industrial process.

‘Peoples food should represent stored sunlight and water, but 90% of its calories come from oil these days – for the ploughing, spraying, fertiliser, transport.’

GD and I have seeds to use up but when they are gone they are being replaced with open pollinated ones. A few of the seeds we need like parsnip, red onion and basil are not available yet but the seeds that are ready needed for the new season are as follows
Item Name       : BnCT – Cherokee Trail Of Tears Climbing French Bean
Quantity  : 1
Price : £2.91

Item Name       : BnAQ – Aquilon  Dwarf Green French Bean
Quantity  : 1
Price : £2.44

Item Name       : BBWz – Wizard Field Bean
Quantity  : 1
price : £2.38

Item Name       : CtTo – Touchon Carrot
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.24

Item Name       : FLFM_O – Flashback Mix Pot Marigold Calendula
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.63

Item Name       : FLSo – Sokol Breadseed Poppy  (White Seeded)
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.24

Item Name       : LeWM – Winter Marvel Winter Lettuce
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.24

Item Name       : LeOP – Optima Green Butterhead Lettuce
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.05

Item Name       : ONYR – Yellow Rynsburger Long-Keeping Onion
Quantity        : 1
Price : £1.99

Item Name       : PeOs – Oskar Very Dwarf Early Pea
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.19

Item Name       : SQVB – Burgess Buttercup Winter Squash (Vine Type)
Quantity        : 1
Price : £2.79

Item Name       : RaRT – Red Top Breakfast Radish
Quantity : 1
Price : £1.83

Item Name       : SPAd – Amanda Sweet Wax Pepper
Quantity  : 1
Price : £2.27

Item Name       : ToAU – Aurora Large Bush Tomato
Quantity : 1
Price  : £2.17
Total           : £32.87

These are now purchased and I am excitedly waiting for the package to post through our letterbox with our wonderful new seeds within.
As October ended we were engaged with an unplanned outgoing in support of a family member, which is leaving us challenged to get through to March. There is a peculiar sense comes about when choices become narrowed, life has to become simpler.
The above seeds will come from this weeks food money, they will be after all providing our food in the long run. Instead of Christmas shopping which we traditionally do beginning November we have been at the allotment today fixing plastic sheeting which we had already over the shed roof which lost half its felting in the recent high winds. The sun was warming as we took a rest and enjoyed a mug of tea, the community allotment folk were all there for their Friday morning meet, cheery voices reaching over, and I was glad we were there instead of the noisy shops.

This year we are using Charles Dowding ‘veg journal’ and ‘Harry Dodson’s’ practical kitchen Garden books and also incorporating planting by the moon principles into our planning, using a book called ‘The Biodynamic Food and Cook Book’. Love everything about this book, Wendy writes-

‘What biodynamic cookery is could be open to interpretation. Apart from choosing biodynamic ingredients and living with the seasons, for me it is a life times study of understanding ingredients on am energetic level and knowing how to combine them in ways that enhance the life- forces within them.’P1100408

To end I thought you might like to see some pics of our Samhain table



 From my heart to your heart- ‘ May the turning of the year bring you strength and joy’.

‘Sustainability’- last word

harmonious earth
Amazing picture by ‘Harmonious Earth’

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