Tag: Plant Breeding

Seeking Flint Corn Propagators

Michele Carmel and Albie Barden at their Norridgewock home. One aspect of “living with the corn.” A Benjamin & Co. model corn sheller made in Winthrop in the 1800s By Jean English Photos by the author “We live with the corn, in all of its manifestations.” Michele Carmel’s understatement amuses me as I sit with Albie Barden

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Backyard Selection Dabbling in Plant Breeding

‘Pink Princess’ tomato is a selection from ‘Honey Drop’. Photo by Roberta Bailey ‘Matchbox’ pepper is now an open source selection. Photo by Roberta Bailey By Roberta Bailey Photos by the author Every farmer and gardener can be a plant breeder. Humans have dabbled with plants since they started harvesting and later cultivating them. You

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Saving Seed: An Introduction

Roberta Bailey collecting seed from ‘Kniola’s Purple’ morning glory. Rob Lemire photo. By Roberta Bailey Have you noticed that you can’t buy ‘Lutz’ beet seed anymore? ‘Lutz’ was the victim of a few seed company mergers and a lack of attention in the seed industry to low-profit, open-pollinated varieties. A few companies listed it, but

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Restoring Our Seed

Toki Oshima drawing By CR Lawn and Eli Kaufman “We are facing the germination of something larger than we can imagine. Things are falling in place in our favor.” – Evaluation by a conference attendee “Seed is the missing link in sustainable agriculture. We need seeds that are truly adapted to the organic culture of

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IFOAM participants look at a pepper trial at the Seeds of Change Research Farm. Photo by Terry Allan. By Terry Allan Breeding Diversity, the first IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) international conference on Organic Plant and Animal Breeding, was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in August 2009. Hosted by Seeds of Change,

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Matchbox Peppers

Roberta Bailey of Fedco Seeds has dehybridized ‘Super Chili’ peppers to produce a stable, open-pollinated hot pepper called ‘Matchbox.’ English photo. By Tim King In late September, my glossy green ‘Matchbox’ peppers, with their heavy load of waxy red and yellow chilies, were like decorated Christmas trees. We used to grow ‘Super Chili’ before we

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Organic Seed Alliance

Eli Rogosa talked about her heritage wheat project (www.growseed.org) when the Organic Seed Alliance met at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in July. The event was open to the public and, as part of MOFGA’s Farm Training Project, was well attended by MOFGA apprentices and journeypeople. English photo. by Jean English The Organic Seed Alliance

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OSA Conference

Conference Educates and Invigorates Seed Producers by Nikos Kavanya This winter I attended my second biennial Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) conference in Oregon. Upon returning from my first, I intended to write a “travel report” for my community here in Maine, but it was the busy time in the seeds season, and one thing led

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Spring Fiction

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) board member Frank Morton is a “salad grower gone to seed.” He and the OSA support the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed through collaborative education, advising and research programs with organic farmers and other seed professionals. Photo courtesy of OSA. Upcoming Visit From the Organic

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Farm Raised Varieties

Breeding Better Varieties for Northeast Organic Growers by Sue Smith-Heavenrich Chris Awald didn’t set out to breed a new pumpkin variety; he just wanted a stronger handle for his jack-o-lanterns. Sixteen years ago, with the ink barely dry on his degree in land surveying, Awald returned to the family homestead near Buffalo, New York. “My

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