Growing and Seed Saving Can Be Done on a High-Elevation Mountain Homestead

| 11/8/2017 11:13:00 PM

Tags: mountain homesteading, remote living, seed saving, permaculture, Colorado, Pamela Sherman,

Bright Yellow Squash Blossom

When my son was a toddler and wanted to do big-kid acrobatics on the play equipment, I'd tell him, “no, you can't do that.” He'd look up at me, smile sweetly, and say persistently, “just try, Mommy, just try!”

That “Just Try” became a bit of a mantra for me in ridiculous situations.

We live at 8,300 feet in a mountain draw in the Rockies with screaming winds. It's accepted knowledge in these parts that “you can't grow food in the mountains.” This makes perfect, logical sense. But we did try, we kept trying, and we've been doing it now for over 25 years.

Saving seed has helped us create local varieties of squash, onions, kale, garlic, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers (the latter two in a greenhouse) that can actually survive here.

Learning to Break Seed Saving Rules to Breed Our Own Vegetables

Seedsman Bill McDorman, founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, tells the following story:

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