Thursday, January 7, 2010

On the Road + Open Source Seeds

Well, I'm packing for the PAG conference...
Goal 1: Learn some new statistical/ecological genomics

Goal 2: Get some leads for a real job
It's a pretty long conference, so I'll have plenty of downtime to work on my backlog of manuscripts and job applications (and get my fill of Mexican food!). Hopefully when I get back we'll get our LCMS pipeline patched back up and I can run through the rest of our 2009 field samples.

At any rate, I'm excited that I got my 2010 Seed Savers Exchange catalog in the mail today! I'll spend part of my plane ride looking forward to moving somewhere I'll hopefully have a yard.

On a related note, Joseph is instigating some participatory amateur breeding over at Greensparrow Gardens (which I think is brilliant!). Does anyone know if there's much of an amateur breeding movement out there? I've only ever known one amateur (rose) breeder, but I'd love to hear if there was some interest out there.

I picture a wiki where amateur breeders could set up pages for their creations (with pedigrees, characteristics, etc.) and trade seeds, pollen and tips...


  1. I've community gardened for years and about half of the people there save a couple type of flowers or vegetable seeds. They are the ones who taught me how to save zinna seeds and pick the best tomatoes for fermenting and storing. However, their gardens are so close together they would never have a pure pedigree or seed line.

    If you ever get a chance to tour Seed Saver's Farm, it is amazing. You would love all the isolated garden plots, green houses, specialized deseeding devices and their big freezers for seed storage. Truely a very unasuming place for all the cool stuff they do.

  2. I haven't tried breeding plants yet, but it's on my to-do list. But I've started saving seeds. Does that count?

  3. I see quite some interest in amateur plantbreeding.

    Homegrown Goodness is a great place to look for amateurs:

    Tom Wagner, Tater Mater is a famous amateur.

    I myself breed sweet pepper, melon, watermelon, broadbean, eggplant and fennel. Well, the number of species seems to expand, though my garden keeps its area :-)

  4. Hi MAT! When you have the time, I would love to hear your take on this: Thank you.

  5. Yeah, The Homegrown Goodness Gardening Forum is the place to be if you are interested in finding lots of amateurs breeding their own varieties. (

    I myself am starting to really get into the breeding stuff now, and have been collecting some very interesting pea varieties that i plan to cross next year.

    In addition, last year i attempted to start the beginning of my own watermelon landrace, so i can adapt something great to my environment here in Colorado. (

    And i also next year I plan to cross a very rare variety of squash called Hopi Black with a feral Anasazi squash which i am going to call Wild Pueblo. I can't wait to grow out the F2 generation and see what kind of recombinant crossing i get out of that cross!

  6. wow, that's really cool. keep it up! i'm looking forward to settling in one place long enough to do the same myself.




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