Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hunting the Great Alfalfa..

So in any down time from packing, sorting, repairing.. I am hunting down seeds for forage pastures. One of the neighboring farmers used to be our supplier of alfalfa seed. Mystery strain as it was one he perpetuated, but he passed a few years ago. 

 Alfalfa is a lovely forage crop for it's nutritional content and bonus of as well being nitrogen fixing. We'd have the fields reseeded every 5 or 6 years and never honestly stopped once to contemplate what strain it was or even hunt for a source other than the neighbor.We just always used what he sold.. didn't have to think much about what type as we already knew it did very very well in the area.

 The fields are overdue to be reseeded. It fell on the wayside as during these last few years several family members passed away. There is most likely still alfalfa, but I have no idea what percentage is left. Curiosity no doubt will overrule common sense.. and I may leave one of the fields fallow next year to see what pops up.. and if there are survivors to propagate from. The 3rd cutting wasn't done this year, which is fine and no doubt the deer will appreciate it.

 Right now, Round Up Ready Alfalfa is gearing up to make a return to the marketplace. I really do not want to have Round Up Ready anything anywhere near what I am growing. They are pushing to have it back on the market by this coming spring. 

 Although I won't be able to reseed all I want, I should be able to get a fair amount done, just as soon as I find the right seed supplier. I tend to prefer to order from small family owned and operated businesses when possible. One of my favorites being Pinetree Garden Seeds mainly because every time I have ordered from them it has been a very pleasant experience. What killed me is when I was asking about 2 different varieties.. and the girl taking my order admitted she didn't grow that vegetable as she wasn't a fan of it.. so she asked one of her coworkers about the differences in the strains! I was hooked.. super friendly people who can sometimes give first hand information about what they sell. I love small businesses! 

 However much I'd rather order from them, they aren't exactly priced to handle what I am needing. No matter who I order from, I pick open pollinated strains and propagate by various means from that anyways. 

 Only I would contemplate hunting, collecting, propagating various grasses and legumes to build up forage areas with glee. 

 Meanwhile my sister, who wasn't paying attention on the phone, insisted I should just send the seeds to her while we get organized. I can't wait to hear what she has to say when a couple hundred pounds of seed shows up at her doorstep.



  1. Good luck and godspeed in the packing and moving process!!!

  2. A couple hundred pounds of seed, I love it.:) I will have to check out Pinetree, I have heard about them but never purchased any seed from them as of yet.

  3. Family owned and operated business.. they offer small sized seed orders. It works out fine if you are experimenting to find a new variety, but it comes out to be more expensive otherwise. I have to say I have never had a problem with germination rates, even from the packages I rediscovered over 10 years later.