Constantinople Quince!

I traveled to the Sierra Seed Cooperative’s seed exchange to pick up the Constantinople Quince I bought from the Felix Gillet Institute.  It’s a nice tree – well rooted, lively and healthy.  I put it in the ground in the food forest, atop a hügelkultur mound I prepared a few weeks ago.  So excited to have this piece of local history in the garden!


I wasn’t able to spend much time at the event, but I did pick up a handful of interesting packets from the lovely Sierra Seeds display.  These folks are doing good work, and I hope to attend (and maybe even trade seeds) at one of their future events.

UntitledI planted a lot of seeds this weekend – here’s a list of what I can remember:

Amaranth (Golden Giant)
Celeriac (Brilliant)
Dill (Mammoth)
Quinoa (Faro)
Stinging Nettle
Tobacco (San Juan Nicotiana rustica)
Tomatillo (Purple Keeper Landrace)
Tomatoes (Super Sioux, Beefsteak, Red Calabash, San Marzano, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Pruden’s Purple, Oaxacan Pink, Yellow Perfection, Santiam, and Japanese Black Trifele)
Currant Tomatoes – Solanum pimpinellifolium (Sugar Cherry and Red Currant)

I was also able to scrounge up a few for the FLC Seed Library, which went live last week.  I’m talking with some local MG’s to get one started at the county Master Gardener office – stay tuned.


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19 Responses to Constantinople Quince!

  1. pumpkin says:

    Hope springs anew! I love this time of the year in the garden…=)

    Around here (CO), we are in a very very severe drought, so there is doubt if we will be able to water much (if at all) this summer. Ordered/growing some veggies that are native to Mexico in hope of some surviving…(and doing waterdances. :-/)

    • zack says:

      A good strategy! I love that there is a hyper local seed collective in my neck of the woods, and I hope that the seeds perform well in my garden. Is there one near your area in CO? Alternately, I’ll bet that Seed Savers Exchange has some CO listings – I’ll check when I get home. Might be a good source for seeds from well-adapted plants.

  2. Envy!
    Question: how long does it take for hügelkultur to yield working soil?

    • zack says:

      A good question, and one I don’t have the answer for. I do know that burying woody materials creates a near-term severe nitrogen deficit in soil, as all available nitrogen is used up by microorganisms trying to break down the wood. To get around this – at least, I think I’m getting around this – I dig a very deep hole, bury very wet, very decomposed wood (mostly stumps that have broken down into crumbly, soft wood fiber seemingly heavily inoculated with fungi) cover that with up to a foot of soil, and then plant in a mound on top of that. No evidence yet either way, but I believe that by the time the roots have worked their way really down into the decomposed wood, any short-term nitrogen deficit will have balanced itself out. Either that, or I suppose I’d expect that the trees (which are very good at scrounging the nitrogen they need) will simply avoid the woody area altogether, no harm done. A good question.

      • Interestingly, I’ve not had problems with the nitrogen robbing. I think it’s because the logs aren’t rapidly eaten away by voracious soil microorganisms. If you tilled in sawdust… you might be in trouble – but burying logs doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Even wood chips haven’t been too bad for me.

  3. Hm. I know wood takes *forever* to break down.

    • zack says:

      It does. The stuff I bury usually isn’t recognizable as wood, and the way I figure, the worst that happens is that the roots avoid that section and seek out better soils around it. Trees are very good at scrounging nitrogen, and I’m not doing full on mounds, so the roots have room to roam into other soil.

  4. Hm. Maybe hugel is a long-term thing, then.

  5. Good luck with the currants. Wish I could grow those down here. Looks like you’ve been crazy busy.

    We got an early bit of warmth here in N. Florida which brought lots of new growth out… which was then ripped off by a frost. I can’t wait for winter to be totally over.

  6. BTW – thanks for the link in the sidebar. Your site is always inspiring – I enjoy sending folks over here.

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  11. adam says:

    how did that quince do? Thanks for supporting us!

  12. How did that quince do? Thanks for supporting us!

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