Avatar for Shadegardener
May 30, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Just heard the term "landrace" for the first time the other day. Did a little googling about it. Does one need to grow more than one variety of a plant for cross-pollination to get to the "survival of the fittest" or are environmental factors enough (although limiting)? I've only collected tomato seeds in the past as far as vegetables are concerned.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
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Jun 15, 2015 7:25 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
I think that a central part of the meaning of "landrace" is that it developed from a very diverse gene pool.

Just one variety of plant would not have a great deal of genetic variety. Both OP and hybrid cultivars come from inbred lines that are as genetically uniform as their breeders could make them.

ATP is lucky to have @Joseph as a member. He is breeding multiple landraces using the widest possible variety of cultivars as his source gene pool.

His climate selects ruthlessly and his yields increased greatly the first few years he combined many cultivars and kept only those plants that survived his weather.

Joseph also has a landrace blog with the Mother earth news:
http://www.motherearthnews.com...
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 16, 2015 7:40 AM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
I did read the MEN article before I posted the question. I initially heard the term for the first time last month from @chelle and I got curious. It makes sense about the genetic variety but I wasn't sure if environmental factors had any influence on the genetics. I have such a small gardening area and I grow a lot in pots so I wasn't sure if I could squeeze in enough variety to experiment with. Thanks for clarifying.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
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Jun 16, 2015 9:42 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b and Fl
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Cindy,

The seeds I recently sent to you were from plants I originally grew out of Joseph's seeds. Just thought you might like to know, and I couldn't recall if I'd mentioned it before. Smiling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 16, 2015 9:58 AM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
chelle - I remember you mentioning landrace but didn't know that the seeds came from the Joseph in the MEN article. Thanks again for those seeds. I think I'm going to try a few of them in the fall to see what happens. Seems a shame to only grow them in the spring.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Image
Jun 16, 2015 10:54 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b and Fl
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
You're very welcome. Smiling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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Jun 16, 2015 12:26 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Shadegardener said: ... It makes sense about the genetic variety but I wasn't sure if environmental factors had any influence on the genetics. I have such a small gardening area and I grow a lot in pots so I wasn't sure if I could squeeze in enough variety to experiment with. Thanks for clarifying.


Certainly your environment will select for traits that support survival and propagation where you live (climate, pests, diseases, soil, etc). However, with most commercial seeds, the genetic variety has mostly been bred out of them.

So starting a landrace with commercial OP or F1 hybrids is like looking for needles in a haystack, where the haystack has very few needles. You'll find that variety's best genes for your region, but the odds are against that one variety having many extra-suitable genes.

I think that the breeding game is a numbers game: it works faster and gives more options if you're choosing the best few plants out of 1,000 plants or 10,000 plants. Picking the best plant from ten plants will go much slower, and it might be many years before you see an unusually good combination of genes.
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 16, 2015 3:01 PM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Thanks for all of the explanations. Sounds like years of daunting trial and error to find the very best variety but the fun's in the trying, right?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Image
Jun 16, 2015 3:17 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
>> the fun's in the trying

I agree.

Also, it almost feels liberating to think that there IS NO "one best variety".

There's what grows fastest in one area, what yields the most, what needs least irrigation, what survives the cold years best, what survives the hot, dry years best, what tastes best in good years, what tastes OK in stressed years, what resists pest #1 best, what survives disease #7 best ...

Every possible breeding goal can be in the melting pot of a landrace, and each grower's situation and concerns define what goals matter most to that grower.

With enough genetic diversity to draw on, all those goals can contribute to the population of genes most sought after.
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 16, 2015 5:48 PM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Whoa - I should live so long. Smiling
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
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