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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Old, old seeds

A builder friend, re-piling an old house, found these packets of Yates seeds, dated around 1949, some of which still contained sound seeds. I've put some of the black broad beans into warm water in the hope that they'll still be viable.  The gardener, whoever he or she might be or have been, kept a record of the sowings made, and that too was amongst the seed packets, neatly handwritten and dated.


Morgan Varaine said...

What an awesome find! You'll have to keep us all updated on the progress of these seeds :)

robertguyton said...

I will, Morgan, though some can't be planted at this time of the year. The broad beans though, will get special treatment and if they sprout, I'll put them out with my 'modern' ones. I have standard (green) and deep red growing already. These black ones seem unique.

wildcrafty said...

Wow, what a score!

Joe W said...

What wildcrafty said.
Love that packet artwork.

renetsil said...

Exciting :)!

wildcrafty said...

I've just been reading (courtesy of Richard Mabey) about weld seeds still being viable after 1000 years. Broadbeans will have lost some of that dormancy capacity with breeding I guess, but here's hoping for success!

Do you know what broad bean ancestors were like?

robertguyton said...

Beany and broad? I don't know, yet, but you've set me on a path of discovery (all suggestions gratefully accepted). If you find anything out, do me a fava and share (I know, pathetic!)
The black broads have soaked and swollen and look lively to me. I'll sprout them in the jar and plant them out if they present a root or shoot.

wildcrafty said...

Bugger, I've been sucked into the internet now looking for broad beans.

This is the best so far.

Interesting place in Italian culture, because of the year that all crops failed except the broad bean (take note end of worlders).

I also found out that it played an important part in European cropping because it produces protein in spring, the lean time in that climate.

Didn't find much about ancestry in the first, broad sweep. (sorry, not up to your standard of punning today). Other than it's been in use for 6,000 years, and is part of the vetch crew.