Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 Open Source Vegetable Genetics

It's time to plan our plantings for next year and we're looking at alot of unique and exciting vegetable and grain genetics for the next year. We've grown a good bit of corn seed on farm: 'Bloody Butcher' and 'Reid's Yellow Dent',  lots of Lettuce: the Austrian speckled heirloom 'Forellenschluss' and the baby leaved 'Buttercrunch'. Then there's an array of special potatoes from Tom Wagoner's potato sampler.  I've also saved a bunch of 'Emkwana' Squash from my Old Salem grow-out of the rare Menonomie Indian Pepo, a gallon milk jug full of a really diverse 'Whipporwill' Cowpeas, and a good bit of 'White Bermuda' Sweet Potato seed stock.

In addition to that we're getting a share of seeds from the FACE OF THE EARTH seed csa.  Based in Indiana, FACE OF THE EARTH has been breeding diversity into alot of new landrace varieties.  This experimental csa provides seed to a network of folks around the world breeding bioregional (and farm!) adapted food plants.

What's a Landrace?  I'm glad you asked...

A Landrace is a population of plants highly variable in appearance.  Like what would have been common before the industrialization of our seed sources.  Each landrace has a core, although variable, identifiable morphology and holds a certain genetic integrity.  It's sort of like the flip side of the coin of pure bred gene lines.  By selectively choosing which plants flower together we can create a diverse genepool where we see a higher density of statistical games being played at the genetic level than in inbred open pollinated lines or their hybrid offspring.

Just check out some of the diverse offerings from the FACE OF THE EARTH 2011 Seed Bazaar to get your taste buds anticipatin':

Dry Farm Acorn Squash landrace

here's what Alan at Bishop's Homegrown says about them:
"a mix of acorn varieties from our own collection as well as that of Long Island seed grown on the absolutely worst piece of soil on the farm over the past couple of years. Hard and heavy read clay is the norm here. This year we didn’t even add compost, instead we allowed the squash to show us what they had and forwent any irrigation as well, and the best of the best survived and produced a bumper crop of acorn squash from small to large in size in a diversity of color. From there we have chosen seed from the best looking, best tasting, and best storing of the survivors. "

and then there's:

Amanda Palmer Landrace corn

We hope to use this corn to develop a good feed for our poultry:

We might even work to establish a intentionally feral population of cherry tomatoes

30 total!: 
A Millet Mix
El Diablo Tobbacco Grex
Amanda Palmer Landrace
Waxy Corn
Saucer Full Of Secrets Sunflowers
Inanna Spring Wheat (mixture of varieties rescued from Iraq post invasion)
Blackberries (mixture of seed from 10 distinct thornless cultivars, lots of room to create a new thorn less blackberry including genes from runnering or dewberry type blackberries)
UK Tuxpeno Corn
Curcurbita Maxima Grex
Dry Farm Acorn Squash Landrace
Gold Standard Summer Squash
High Voltage Hot Pepper Landrace
Easter Everywhere Bell Pepper Mix
Astronomy Domine Sweet Corn
Red Watermelon
Absinthe Green Fleshed Muskmelon Mix
Electric Head Lettuce
Olde 101 Red Tomato
Roller Coaster Cherry Tom 
Absinthe Tomato
Mer De Noms Tomato
Phoenix Pink Tomato
OSU Blue Tom
Between the Sun and Moon Watermelon Mass Cross
Dionysus Melon Grex
Edamame Grex
6 Turnip Root Grex
Summer Radish Grex
Hip-Gnosis Long White Slicing Cucumber
Green Gumbo Okra Mix

We'll also be looking towards these sources as we build our resilient farm library of bio-ecology:

1 comment:

  1. Hey, if you guys develop your own strain I would like to suggest part of someone's profile that Google Translate mangled trying to get it from Japanese to English:

    "Ball crushing bad manners & Laddish nymphomaniac politics" melons, perhaps?