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The Miracle of a Seed

By Anderwood
April 15, 2016

During this time of year, so much anticipation lies in the power of a tiny seed. It gives gardeners ideas. Nature brings those ideas to life

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 14, 2016 7:41 PM CST
Nice article!

You might be interested in the Roughwood Seed Collection. A grandfather and grandson have been getting to know their seeds for a few generations, and recently went commercial to the extent of trying to defray some of the costs of curating so many strains.

As you described so well, they maintain some strains, hybridize others, and select for interesting traits all the time. They were breeding one edible strain to be cold-hardy enough to over-winter under plastic film when they noticed that it had escaped the hoop tunnel for breeding and was naturalizing outside without being seriously bothered by the winter going on around it.

Baker Creek describing Roughwood:
http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/william-woys-weave...

William (the grandson):
http://williamwoysweaver.com/roughwood-seed-collection/

you can buy some unique varieties from them here:
http://www.roughwoodseeds.org/category-s/115.htm
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Apr 14, 2016 8:40 PM CST
Thanks @RickCorey ! I am familiar with this work and ordered some seeds from this collection.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 15, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Cool! I was proud to receive order #22, with hand-written paperwork.

"Mizunarubasoi" and "Grandpap's Golden Chard".
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Apr 15, 2016 3:59 PM CST
Very well written Smiling i tried to save spaghetti squash seeds once, but they certainly were not heirloom seeds lol! The next years crop from seed was not spaghetti "ish" at all.

Would like to get heirloom tomatoes this year. Any recommendations for a good slicing tomato?
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 15, 2016 7:08 PM CST
Sorry, the biggest tomato I was ever able to ripen was "Stupice", a little larger than a cherry.

Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Anderwood
Apr 15, 2016 8:17 PM CST
German Giant or Martha Washington
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter
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DonShirer
Apr 16, 2016 2:49 AM CST
     Nice article, Reid, a seed is a miracle in dormant form. I share your sense of wonder every spring when I see a living plant sprouting from a tiny seed I've planted. But I often wonder if we tend to over-use the term "heirloom". It's a much catchier designation than "OP" but many experts think there is a distinction.
     Craig LeHoullier says "An heirloom is an open-pollinateed variety that has history and value embedded within its story" and goes on to point out that all heirlooms are OP but not all OP varieties are heirlooms.
In her book (which has Heirloom in it's title!) Carolyn Male says her sympathies lie with the camp that says heirlooms have been passed down within the same extended family for generations. Both authors point out that most varieties available commercially before the 1940's were OP while after that "the vast majority of new varieties were hybrids". And to make things worse, there is the term "commercial heirloom" some people use, which I can only guess may mean a variety from a well-known hybridizer which has been grown out or "de-hybridized" until it is OP.
     Regardless of which side of the heirloom definition argument one is on, I would hope that we could agree that the two distinct variety types are hybrid and open-pollinated. If we describe all non hybrid varieties as heirlooms, we are in danger of losing any meaning to that term, much as the term "organic" has been blurred in recent history (but I don't want to open that can of worms here!).
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 20, 2016 7:09 PM CST
DonShirer said:     ...
     Craig LeHoullier says "An heirloom is an open-pollinateed variety that has history and value embedded within its story" and goes on to point out that all heirlooms are OP but not all OP varieties are heirlooms.
...
I would hope that we could agree that the two distinct variety types are hybrid and open-pollinated. ...


I agree with you! And I could agree with either or both of Craig and Carolyn.

Also, just to say it again: I like the meaning of "OP" that seed catalogs use:

An OP VARIETY is one that is
"genetically stable" enough, or inbred enough,
that it "comes true" enough,
when self-pollinated."

Some people use "OP" to mean "this batch of seeds was pollinated in an uncontrolled or unspecified but natural fashion, for example by bees and wind - but NOT bagged and daubed or otherwise pollinated unnaturally by human intervention".

http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/1279/OP-vs-OP/


Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Anderwood
Apr 20, 2016 7:21 PM CST
I like this thought @RickCorey

There is a seed company in Oregon that let 17 varieties of kale cross that they collected from Europe. They sell a seed packet called, kale coalition that is the result of this gene pool.

Check it out at Adaptive Seeds.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 20, 2016 7:45 PM CST
>> kale coalition
>> Check it out at Adaptive Seeds.

Cool! That's like things that @Joseph does - making a "contemporary landrace" from as much genetic variety as possible, selected by the local environment over multiple years.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/joseph/1157/The-Complete-Guide-...

I think he also has an article in (?) Mother Earth News (?)
Oh, geeze, our IT department blocks Mother Earth News !?!

The Roughwood Seed Collection also does things like that:
http://www.roughwoodseeds.org/product-p/pcg004.htm

Since Monsanto tries to prevent anyone they can sue from doing useful seed work that might benefit anyone but Monsanto, this kind of backyard breeding might be a good way to protect ourselves from crop-genes-legal-blackmail when Big Bad M and their cohorts like Syngenta get their global monopoly on edible crop genes fully locked down.

"Want to eat? Or grow food? Pay us whatever we want.
Or you can fight us and try to eat lawyer bills."

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