About Grunt and Grungy ...
Between the two of us we had over a hundred years of experience gardening. (Now that makes me feel old.) We had gardened in climates that can be described as West Coast Marine, to Sub Arctic wilderness, to flat prairie and finally settled in what we commonly refer to as our little piece of paradise, here in the Creston valley, in south eastern B.C., Canada, located about 10 km. north of the Idaho panhandle and just below Kootenay Lake.
The property lies in a small microclimate that gives us a zone 5/6 Canadian version or 6/7 US version.
We were avid gardeners for years, and about 10 years ago noticed that more and more of the old varieties of vegetables were no longer being offered. Being raised in the generation that thought "if you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem", we decided to start growing heirloom and open pollinated varieties of vegetables (especially tomatoes) and offering the seeds to other gardeners.
Well one thing lead to another and we ended up starting a private seed bank so that our and your grandchildren will be able to have the same tastes that you are having now. This past couple of years we had gone past tomatoes and started seed banking (cold and cool storage) any annual vegetable seed.
If you have questions or would like to contribute to this blog, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Also for those who wish to trade please contact me at the below e-mail address and I will get back to as soon as possible. Thank you.
I welcome questions and discussions about anything gardening. The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask. I will try to find answers for questions that I can't answer, and may post links to sites that have clearer answers than I can come up with.
They can be obtained through trading seeds, or paying for postage at the rate of $2.00 for the first ten varieties or seed packs, and an increase of $1.00 for every ten varieties or seed packs beyond that. Seed packs are approximately 25 seeds each (not counted, just a pinch of seeds). Germination rate usually exceeds that of commercial seed packs. If you have problems with germination, let me know, and I will replace the seeds, either with more of the same variety, or with a variety that I think will give you something similar to what the original variety would have. Please note. I am not a seed company. Iwill only offer seeds from my current trade lists and also if I have lots to spare from previous years. I don't check germination on older seeds, but my experience has been over 80% on five year old seed.
2010 FALL SEED LIST = http://tinyurl.com/4whnxy3 Some seeds from this list may be in limited supply, but I will do my best to fill your request.
Albums containing photos of most of the varieties I have, and other photos that may be of interest, can be found at:
When you have made up your list, send me a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seed saving and trading/sharing will also continue. I still want to bank seeds, not just of tomatoes, but I am older than the lead photo on the blog would indicate, and have passed the seed bank on to younger hands.
In the meantime, I will continue to pay it forward, and trade/share seed to all corners of the world, as I did with Val.
This poem, which we both have known since the 1960's gave us much comfort through Val's battle with cancer.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Life comes with no guarantee of quality or quantity. It is up to you to remember to smell the flowers, watch the sunset, hear the birdsong in early morning, and the spring frogs in the evening. What ever happens in your little corner of it, it is still a beautiful world, and you do yourself a great disservice if you fail to see and celebrate what is there.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sadly, Dan McMurray passed away on February 15, 2012. His work continues.
The funeral service was held on Wednesday February 22, 2012 at the G.F. Oliver Funeral Chapel, with Pastor Brian Atmore officiating.
At the service, Dan's brother Cameron McMurray read the following eulogy.
EULOGY - DAN MCMURRAY
An adventurer at heart and a generous and kind man by nature, Dan will be dearly missed
by all those who have come to know him.
Dan lived life to its fullest, loved fishing, and loved being in remote places, or in his
garden and orchard. When he was retiring from the lighthouses in 2002, he went onto
his computer on the lighthouse and researched weather patterns to find a place with the
best climate for gardening and growing grapes. He found Wynndel, with its long growing
season and good soil, and when he retired from 28 years of service as BC lighthouse
keeper, settled in Wynndel.
Dan took to gardening much like everything he did – forcefully and wholeheartedly.
Many hours he labored in his garden and green house, and he became passionate about
preserving heritage seeds. He developed and grew over 400 varieties of tomatoes and
collected many seeds of vegetable varieties. He shared the harvest from his garden and
orchard with his neighbors, friends, and local churches.
Dan never shied away from challenging tasks, be it growing tomatoes, or the curve balls
life threw at him. He was widowed twice, but in his mid-sixties he fell in love again with
a woman named Shaoling, and he was happier than I’ve seen him in decades. Not a man
of words, he demonstrated his love for his friends and family by his actions.
He is survived by his beloved wife Shaoling, his brother Cameron and sister Vicki, his
his sons Cameron and Grant, and granddaughter Cherine.
Stories of Dan and his life as a gardener, fisherman, lighthouse keeper and beloved family member were shared by the funeral attendees, and the poem "Desiderata" - which epitomized so much of Dan's life - was read.
The heritage seeds that Dan collected and catalogued are being catalogued, and his work will be carried on by a local seed bank in Creston.