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Gardeners: COVID Vegetable Seed hoarding madness!

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Lettuce and kale btw both lend themselves to picking leaves rather than cutting the whole head. That can keep one plant producing for a relatively long time. 

(And uh dandelions, a few leaves can be harvested while letting the plant as a whole live, flower, go to seed and make more dandelions!)

 

Edited by Pen
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Plus, Dandelions are like superfood for bunnies, even better than spinach.  So I just set up the outdoor pen around clumps of them and let the bunbuns "mow" my lawn 🙂

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11 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Oh man, I'm really upset about people buying up all the chicks. Those poor birds will end up getting dumped in a few months. 😞 

I have no idea why people think there will be no produce. The stores near me have been FULL of produce (tomatoes for 25 cents a lb!), and everyone is zooming past it to get tp, water, and pasta. 

I'd love to get a little garden going, but it's always seemed like a huge amount of work for just the 3 of us. 😕 

Glad your shops still have some food

here we still have drought and fresh food is outrageous prices, broccoli is $17 kg, lettuce is  up to  $10 and cauliflower is $7 head. 

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6 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I don’t know where @MissLemon lives.

I agree with you about pots and micro greens probably being a relatively easy way to try it out if someone wants to.  I would suggest trying what is locally easy if someone wants to try.

In my area with short growing season it would be too late to start most tomato varieties from seed and get ripe tomatoes before first frosts. Cucumbers very iffy.  And peppers never easy to grow here. 

 

(But dandelions are good! Edible root, leaf, and stem! )

 

I'm in Texas, between San Antonio and Austin.  It's wet and just starting to get a bit hot right now. The growing season is pretty long, but it gets so HOT in the summer.  My entire front and back yard seems to get blasted by sun. 

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2 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Glad your shops still have some food

here we still have drought and fresh food is outrageous prices, broccoli is $17 kg, lettuce is  up to  $10 and cauliflower is $7 head. 

 

I'm so sorry. 😞 

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3 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Glad your shops still have some food

here we still have drought and fresh food is outrageous prices, broccoli is $17 kg, lettuce is  up to  $10 and cauliflower is $7 head. 

When we lived overseas, a series of typhoons took the price of lettuce, just plain iceberg lettuce nothing special about it, to $6 a head. Back then, it usually ran just under a $1 a head during the summer. It sucks when anything messes with the food supply in your area. I hope things work themselves back to normal for you soon.

Edited by sweet2ndchance

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@Ausmumof3@Stella@Rosie_0801

@Melissa in Australia

Australia 🇦🇺 https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-25/the-return-of-the-world-war-victory-garden/12085190

“The panic buying that emptied supermarket shelves across the country has now spread to nurseries with vegetable seedlings, fruit trees and seeds being snapped up in large quantities.

Despite reassurance from the National Farmers' Federation that Australia produces more than enough food, the resurgence in growing fresh produce has continued.

Pearson's Nursery in the south-west Victorian town of Allansford is among those that have ramped up production in response to the huge demand.

Manager Michaella Clements said the business had completely sold out of vegetable seedlings three times in the past fortnight.

The business has tripled its normal production.

"Everyone has gone a little bit crazy," she said.

"Everyone has been going back to basics wanting to plant a garden and fruit trees."

"They're planning for the future now."

Ms Clements said she hoped to keep the nursery open as a drive-through or delivery service while Australia grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.”

Edited by Arcadia
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34 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Dandelions are excellent as a salad with hot bacon dressing and slices of hard boiled eggs. 
 

 

A favorite of mine!

that can also be used as a topping on other greens cooked or raw and be less rich

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I suck at gardening (I try every year)—whatever grows well here (pears, garlic, peaches, dill, and raspberries) all grow despite me rather than because of me. I was able to order seeds online with no problem. 

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If you have decorative bamboo, bamboo shoots are generally edible too. 

And some other common weeds besides dandelions are also edible, with some also fairly nutritious. 

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I just ordered about 20 packs of seeds from John Scheepers today and everything I wanted was in stock.

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6 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Pen

Try them sautéed with fiddlehead ferns and garlic. So good.

 

How do you do fiddlehead ferns?  Baby shoots of ones just coming out and not yet opened? 

We have ferns, I presume the right type, but I have never understood how to use them as food. 

 

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

 

How do you do fiddlehead ferns?  Baby shoots of ones just coming out and not yet opened? 

We have ferns, I presume the right type, but I have never understood how to use them as food. 

 

A friend has them growing wild on her land and I get them from her. 

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I haven’t noticed that with seeds, but I am mostly using last year’s seed, except for some new heirlooms from TomatoFest, whom I order from most years. I also saved seeds from my tomato plants last year but I have no idea if that will actually work. Most or all are open-pollinated so *I think* that means the tomatoes might be different from expected. 

I did, however, order seed-starting peat pots from Amazon last week and they are nowhere to be found. I have been planting out all the small pots I have since I haven’t received my peat pots yet. I guess they’ll arrive when I have decided not to plant another thing. 🙄

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11 minutes ago, Quill said:

I did, however, order seed-starting peat pots from Amazon last week and they are nowhere to be found. I have been planting out all the small pots I have since I haven’t received my peat pots yet. I guess they’ll arrive when I have decided not to plant another thing. 🙄

I drilled some holes into small yoghurt containers and planted in them because my shipment of peat pots has been delayed. the method works pretty well for kale and dill so far.

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8 hours ago, mathnerd said:

Please share your 5 minute trellis idea 🙂

Buy two green t-posts and a piece of cattle panel.  Pound in the t-posts and secure the cattle panel to it with cable ties.  Voila! A nearly instant and super strong trellis.  As long as you don't have a ham radio operator in your house, this is an awesome method.

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40 minutes ago, Quill said:

I haven’t noticed that with seeds, but I am mostly using last year’s seed, except for some new heirlooms from TomatoFest, whom I order from most years. I also saved seeds from my tomato plants last year but I have no idea if that will actually work. Most or all are open-pollinated so *I think* that means the tomatoes might be different from expected. 

I did, however, order seed-starting peat pots from Amazon last week and they are nowhere to be found. I have been planting out all the small pots I have since I haven’t received my peat pots yet. I guess they’ll arrive when I have decided not to plant another thing. 🙄

You can use newspaper or tp rolls to make small, plantable pots.

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48 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Buy two green t-posts and a piece of cattle panel.  Pound in the t-posts and secure the cattle panel to it with cable ties.  Voila! A nearly instant and super strong trellis.  As long as you don't have a ham radio operator in your house, this is an awesome method.

 

Oh cool, I actually have that stuff laying around in the garage. Maybe I'll give gardening another shot. 

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2 hours ago, mathnerd said:

I drilled some holes into small yoghurt containers and planted in them because my shipment of peat pots has been delayed. the method works pretty well for kale and dill so far.

 

Similar to that I’ve successfully used cardboard egg cartons in past, and cut down milk containers

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6 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Similar to that I’ve successfully used cardboard egg cartons in past, and cut down milk containers

I was just eyeing a few cardboard egg cartons with that in mind. 

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I've used cardboard egg cartons, but noticed that I had to water more frequently than I did with a non-absorbent container. Also, they will need transplanting soon, and I'm too lazy to transplant unless absolutely necessary. I've gone to using small plastic pots or yogurt cartons with drainage holes added. Most things can go directly to the garden from their starting container, and I only have to transplant the more tender plants like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers into bigger pots. 

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15 hours ago, mathnerd said:

I drilled some holes into small yoghurt containers and planted in them because my shipment of peat pots has been delayed. the method works pretty well for kale and dill so far.

Have you had good luck with peat pots actually decomposing after planting? I have had issues with plants actually getting rootbound in the ground because the peat pots didn't decompose. I went from planting intact peat pots (not right--I was supposed to remove the bottom--oops) to planting the pots with the bottom ripped off, to just ripping off the entire pots. At that point I decided the peat pots were pointless and just planted in plastic. I wonder if it's something with my soil in particular--maybe it's not rich enough in bacteria to decompose the pots? We're working with the trucked in "topsoil" dumped in suburban areas and trying to improve the soil with compost and other amendments. 

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9 minutes ago, mellifera33 said:

Have you had good luck with peat pots actually decomposing after planting? I have had issues with plants actually getting rootbound in the ground because the peat pots didn't decompose. I went from planting intact peat pots (not right--I was supposed to remove the bottom--oops) to planting the pots with the bottom ripped off, to just ripping off the entire pots. At that point I decided the peat pots were pointless and just planted in plastic. I wonder if it's something with my soil in particular--maybe it's not rich enough in bacteria to decompose the pots? We're working with the trucked in "topsoil" dumped in suburban areas and trying to improve the soil with compost and other amendments. 

Peat pots do not decompose in my california climate as well (but roots seem to escape it and get out mostly). I break off the bottoms of the peat pots and slightly tear off the sides and loosen the root structure before planting. If the whole peat structure falls off while I do so, I plant the rootball directly. One tip that helps is to mix your peat or seed starting mix with a high percentage of perlite when you start the seeds. This way, when you try to loosen the roots of seedlings when you rip out the bottom/sides of the peat pot, you have an easier job of it.

Peat pots are just for convenience for me. I don't like to sterilize my old plastic pots to start seeds, so I use peat pots 🙂

 

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Sooooo . . . I might have impulsively put my name on the waiting list for a community garden plot.  My number came up and I was able to pick out my plot yesterday.  I garden at home, but I don't have full sun ANYWHERE so now I'm obsessed with what plants get moved to the sunny sight, what things I grow more of at home, and if i can really pull off growing cordoned apples in this space.  I'm also fantasizing about a little oasis for an impromptu tea-for-one.   I might have a problem.

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Silicon Valley peeps--PSA, the Sprouts store out off of Scott Street in Santa Clara has a big, full rack of seeds.  (Also, it's a pretty nice store, I was pleasantly surprised at the produce prices.  And they have eggs, really good free range organic pasture ones, as of today.)

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I have 12 pounds of broccoli seed which I’ll probably use entirely this year. We eat a lot of broccoli sprouts.

Broccoli sprouts are easy to grow and only take about 5-6 days until they’re ready for eating. They’re incredibly healthy, and among other things, can protect your lungs from getting hammered if you get Covid by activating the nrf2 pathway which helps to prevent viral entry and replication. I’m reading a lot of medical researchers’ advice on Covid and many of them are discussing nrf2.

Here’s an older article discussing flu and nrf2. There’s a lot of technical stuff but the takeaway is in the quote below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135631/

Quote

Conversely, supplementation with the potent Nrf2 activators sulforaphane (SFN) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) significantly decreased viral entry and replication. 

 

Rhonda Patrick and Wellness Mama have some articles about the importance of sulforaphane, too.

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15 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

I have 12 pounds of broccoli seed which I’ll probably use entirely this year. We eat a lot of broccoli sprouts.

Broccoli sprouts are easy to grow and only take about 5-6 days until they’re ready for eating. They’re incredibly healthy, and among other things, can protect your lungs from getting hammered if you get Covid by activating the nrf2 pathway which helps to prevent viral entry and replication. I’m reading a lot of medical researchers’ advice on Covid and many of them are discussing nrf2.

Here’s an older article discussing flu and nrf2. There’s a lot of technical stuff but the takeaway is in the quote below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135631/

 

Rhonda Patrick and Wellness Mama have some articles about the importance of sulforaphane, too.

Thank you for that tip! Do you have any recommendations for online sources of micro greens seeds?

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Silicon Valley peeps--PSA, the Sprouts store out off of Scott Street in Santa Clara has a big, full rack of seeds.  (Also, it's a pretty nice store, I was pleasantly surprised at the produce prices.  And they have eggs, really good free range organic pasture ones, as of today.)

Thanks. I never noticed seed racks in Sprouts before. I have one sprouts in my neighborhood and my DH drives past the one off Scott all the time - so, will check both this weekend.

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I was about to start a thread on dandelions myself.

Today was an unusual sunny (but very cool) day for us here in SoCal. I wanted to get out in my garden and (among other things do some weeding). We had a "wet" winter here and everything is exploding--including weeds.

However, after pulling some other (useless weeds) and I thought about pulling up dandelions, I caught myself. Instead I treated them like lettuce and gently plucked them, leaving the plant intact.

I gather a large portion (still plenty left). I sautéed  a little with some leftover pasta from last night, that I served as a mid day nosh. Got raves.

Then make a dandelion salad this evening to accompany out meal. Delicious!

In between lunch and dinner, I turned over an area where I'd been planning another planting bed. For now I have only a few seeds.  And no vegetables. But I will have dandelion seeds. So I'm going to finish getting this bed ready and will grow dandelion from the seed I gather.

The stuff grows like..well you know...weeds.

Everyone in my family loves eating dandelion. So these are a godsend. Not "weeds" but cherished greens.

Two tips. Clean them very well. And handle them with care. The leaves bruise easily. Only unbruised leave make a nice salad. But you can save bruised leaves by sautéing them in olive oil.

Anyway, I'm going to harvest and nurture the dandelion plants that have volunteered in my garden, but also gather their seeds to plant with intention. I see I'm not the only one who hit on this thought. Brava!

Bill

 

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:44 PM, mathnerd said:

Thank you for that tip! Do you have any recommendations for online sources of micro greens seeds?

 

I sprout seeds from Food to Live and eat about 40-50 grams per day which is about 1 semi-compact cup.

https://foodtolive.com/shop/broccoli-seeds/

Broccoli sprouts contain the most sulforaphane. If you eat frozen broccoli sprouts (not thawed, completely frozen), the sulforaphane is more bioavailable.

Pregnant women should avoid sprouts but could take Avmocal, a reputable supplement used by Johns Hopkins in their studies of sulforaphane.

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:44 PM, mathnerd said:

Thank you for that tip! Do you have any recommendations for online sources of micro greens seeds?

Just chiming in with a recommendation. I grow several varieties of microgreens and get the growing trays and seed quilts from Hamama.

https://www.hamama.com

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Thanks for the idea. Dandelions will be a nice addition to my garden... I mean when the quarantine ends, because these days I rarely leave my house.  But I managed to set up a small indoor garden in my garage and attic, it consists mostly of 4 garden tents like these and it's enough to grow herbs and vegetables. 

Edited by NotSharon

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On 3/25/2020 at 1:04 PM, mathnerd said:

Peat pots do not decompose in my california climate as well (but roots seem to escape it and get out mostly). I break off the bottoms of the peat pots and slightly tear off the sides and loosen the root structure before planting. If the whole peat structure falls off while I do so, I plant the rootball directly. One tip that helps is to mix your peat or seed starting mix with a high percentage of perlite when you start the seeds. This way, when you try to loosen the roots of seedlings when you rip out the bottom/sides of the peat pot, you have an easier job of it.

Peat pots are just for convenience for me. I don't like to sterilize my old plastic pots to start seeds, so I use peat pots 🙂

 

 

I also do this with peat pots - make cuts in the bottom and sides. I don’t think they naturally break up fast enough. 

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7 hours ago, NotSharon said:

Thanks for the idea. Dandelions will be a nice addition to my garden... I mean when the quarantine ends, because these days I rarely leave my house.  But I managed to set up a small indoor garden in my garage and attic, it consists mostly of 4 garden tents and it's enough to grow herbs and vegetables. 

 

Garden tents? That’s intriguing. Can you describe that in more detail, please?

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:58 PM, Spy Car said:

I was about to start a thread on dandelions myself.

Today was an unusual sunny (but very cool) day for us here in SoCal. I wanted to get out in my garden and (among other things do some weeding). We had a "wet" winter here and everything is exploding--including weeds.

However, after pulling some other (useless weeds) and I thought about pulling up dandelions, I caught myself. Instead I treated them like lettuce and gently plucked them, leaving the plant intact.

I gather a large portion (still plenty left). I sautéed  a little with some leftover pasta from last night, that I served as a mid day nosh. Got raves.

Then make a dandelion salad this evening to accompany out meal. Delicious!

In between lunch and dinner, I turned over an area where I'd been planning another planting bed. For now I have only a few seeds.  And no vegetables. But I will have dandelion seeds. So I'm going to finish getting this bed ready and will grow dandelion from the seed I gather.

The stuff grows like..well you know...weeds.

Everyone in my family loves eating dandelion. So these are a godsend. Not "weeds" but cherished greens.

Two tips. Clean them very well. And handle them with care. The leaves bruise easily. Only unbruised leave make a nice salad. But you can save bruised leaves by sautéing them in olive oil.

Anyway, I'm going to harvest and nurture the dandelion plants that have volunteered in my garden, but also gather their seeds to plant with intention. I see I'm not the only one who hit on this thought. Brava!

Bill

 

 

I’m glad to see this intentional growing of dandelions! I’d love to do the same, I’ve been wanting to dig some but am so wary of whether or not they’ve been treated, I haven’t done that. BUT I can certainly gather some seed heads!

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5 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

I’m glad to see this intentional growing of dandelions! I’d love to do the same, I’ve been wanting to dig some but am so wary of whether or not they’ve been treated, I haven’t done that. BUT I can certainly gather some seed heads!

Last generous rains we've enjoyed over the past few months has given us a bumper crop of dandelions. Beautiful.

I never use any spray (etc) in my garden, so I know it's all healthful.

I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed the salads or as a sautéed green added to pasta dishes. So good.I'm gathering and spreading seed.

Bill

 

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1 hour ago, Spy Car said:

Last generous rains we've enjoyed over the past few months has given us a bumper crop of dandelions. Beautiful.

I never use any spray (etc) in my garden, so I know it's all healthful.

I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed the salads or as a sautéed green added to pasta dishes. So good.I'm gathering and spreading seed.

Bill

 

 

Have you experimented with tea? Or using the flower petals in baking? Pretty sure I have a recipe somewhere. One gal I met a few years back made dandelion jelly. She lived on a large tract of land so had plenty to collect. 

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On 3/24/2020 at 2:13 PM, Melissa in Australia said:

Glad your shops still have some food

here we still have drought and fresh food is outrageous prices, broccoli is $17 kg, lettuce is  up to  $10 and cauliflower is $7 head. 

 

If that’s Australia $ — it’s possibly actually close to that a lot of the time in regular supermarkets where I am — though not via discount stores or CSAs. 

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On 3/23/2020 at 11:58 PM, mathnerd said:

I have been watching somewhat bewildered, the mad rush some people are making to buy (and hoard) vegetable seeds because of the COVID scare. People who would never in their life muck around in the garden with manure and compost are hoarding seeds preparing for Armgeddon. Most hoarders are thinking that they could grow their own vegetables in order to survive if the produce supply chain shuts down or if the produce is tainted with covid virus and worse, if they got laid off and could not afford food 😞 I met a lady today who has purchased 100+ packets of many varieties of tomato seeds and she has a 8000 sq ft suburban yard. She says that she is ensuring that she would not be left high and dry if none of the seed companies survive next year or the year after next.

 Two of the most popular seed selling websites crashed and were shut down in the past few days after weeks of historic sales. My local Home depot had empty slots in seed racks for regular seeds like roma tomatoes, corn and bell peppers where normally they would throw out massive amounts of packets at the end of the season because of low sales. I could not get some seed varieties from Baker Creek's website which was down for a few days and kept crashing all day long due to too many customers flocking to order at once. After seeing empty produce sections in stores and empty toilet paper aisles, I am seeing that the craze has moved on to the seed rack at the local stores 😕


And it's BEYOND annoying.  You know at least half these people will utterly forget their seeds and their garden as soon as their SIP is off and they can hit the grocery store.

In the mean time, the rest of us gardeners are irritated that we can't get our favorite peas........... :P 

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On 3/25/2020 at 12:42 PM, mellifera33 said:

I've used cardboard egg cartons, but noticed that I had to water more frequently than I did with a non-absorbent container. Also, they will need transplanting soon, and I'm too lazy to transplant unless absolutely necessary. I've gone to using small plastic pots or yogurt cartons with drainage holes added. Most things can go directly to the garden from their starting container, and I only have to transplant the more tender plants like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers into bigger pots. 

Water the pan beneath them shallowly instead.  They'll absorb what they need for the most part.

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On 3/24/2020 at 1:58 AM, Michelle Conde said:

Not just seeds, but there has been a run on chicks here lately, too.  My dd has been planning on raising chickens this year, and the places we have tried have said they were selling out within half an hour of getting their weekly chick shipments in.


Yes! I was glad I ordered mine early!
I admit I felt a little foolish because there will be a lot of folks getting a very good deal on cheap half grown chickens in two months!

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51 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:


And it's BEYOND annoying.  You know at least half these people will utterly forget their seeds and their garden as soon as their SIP is off and they can hit the grocery store.

In the mean time, the rest of us gardeners are irritated that we can't get our favorite peas........... 😛

This is behind a paywall, but, if you can access it, the media has begun picking up on this madness now!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/an-onslaught-of-orders-engulfs-seed-companies-amid-coronavirus-fears/2020/03/27/5a19ccca-6ec7-11ea-aa80-c2470c6b2034_story.html

I have had a modest vegetable garden for almost 20 years now. I spend a lot of effort on it and still have trouble with pests and other issues and it takes a lot of time and effort on my part to keep it going. Some years, I get some tomatoes and everything else is a washout and it is fine because I enjoy the process. I am very sure that all the millions of seed packets people are ordering will get thrown out as soon as they learn that it is a long process from germinating to harvesting with a lot of hurdles in between! (one seed company said that they got orders for over 10 million seed packets since the beginning of this year 😲 ) The weirdest thing about it is that people are buying anything that is still left on websites: meaning all the unusual and weird vegetables that normally people will not try to grow are sold out now. Seed websites now shut down for a week in order to fulfill existing orders. I cannot believe the nuttiness of the times in which we live.

Edited by mathnerd
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17 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

This is behind a paywall, but, if you can access it, the media has begun picking up on this madness now!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/an-onslaught-of-orders-engulfs-seed-companies-amid-coronavirus-fears/2020/03/27/5a19ccca-6ec7-11ea-aa80-c2470c6b2034_story.html

I have had a modest vegetable garden for almost 20 years now. I spend a lot of effort on it and still have trouble with pests and other issues and it takes a lot of time and effort on my part to keep it going. Some years, I get some tomatoes and everything else is a washout and it is fine because I enjoy the process. I am very sure that all the millions of seed packets people are ordering will get thrown out as soon as they learn that it is a long process from germinating to harvesting with a lot of hurdles in between! (one seed company said that they got orders for over 10 million seed packets since the beginning of this year 😲 ) The weirdest thing about it is that people are buying anything that is still left on websites: meaning all the unusual and weird vegetables that normally people will not try to grow are sold out now. Seed websites now shut down for a week in order to fulfill existing orders. I cannot believe the nuttiness of the times in which we live.

 

Yes. I remember clicking to see the website you had first mentioned and seeing unusual varieties and wondering “why those?” 

Idk - when I first got into gardening I tried a bunch of unusual things.  Then I think I learned my lesson, and settled into mostly relatively common things that are usually easy to grow and reliable in my garden.  

And when I want production I happily go for prolific... zucchini, indeterminate cherry tomatoes, lettuce, kale, all do very well in my garden, for example.   If I want food, overblown excess zucchini is great. 

 

There are lots of things I stopped even trying for. Okra for example, or any number of warm climate foods don’t do well. 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

If that’s Australia $ — it’s possibly actually close to that a lot of the time in regular supermarkets where I am — though not via discount stores or CSAs. 

Yes, au $

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We got the veggie garden fully netted and it is just about fully planted. DH cleaned the neighbour's roof in exchange for a full tank full of water so we also planted up the greenhouse tunnel. 

We plan on seeing how long we can go without having to go to a shop. We are aiming for 3 months. We have to see how we go... 

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7 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

We got the veggie garden fully netted and it is just about fully planted. DH cleaned the neighbour's roof in exchange for a full tank full of water so we also planted up the greenhouse tunnel. 

We plan on seeing how long we can go without having to go to a shop. We are aiming for 3 months. We have to see how we go... 

What about dairy products? Do you have cows or goats? Or do you use dairy alternatives?

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