Tossing a Variety

digitS'

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:D This has gone Cosmic into the near-infinite in both computer analysis of genetic code and extra-terrestrial settlements.

Back home with Garbanzo the Dog and memories of Sally the Malamute, I have begun saving tomato seed ... in my casual paper and low humidity way ;). Depending on the seed company geneticists to supply me with hybrids can only be taken so far. (I'm still griped about them no longer offering Honey Girl melons 😡)

Relying on those companies to continue with heirlooms is also bothersome. Some that I have grown have fallen into the difficult to restore category. I've never grown Woodle Orange tomatoes and suppose that it is still offered by Baker Creek. Another gardener sent me seed from Oklahoma. He was under the mistaken belief that it was from Idaho. It's my understanding that he mixed up his states that start with an "I." ;)

He also had mixed up seed. It is supposedly a large orange tomato but, from the first, it had small, red fruit! It was fine - healthy, early, very mild. DW likes mild tomatoes. I saved seed ... for several years. Then, one plant had small orange fruit!

Orange is supposed to be recessive so I saved that seed. It's still a 3 ounce tomato but, DW still likes it. (Could grow veggies for Garbanzo but she would probably only like the cooked carrots - can't trust her with the onions, I guess.)

Steve
 

flowerbug

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... Although, I can imagine pink turning to "tan blah."

...
Wild harvesting - rather a different story. There was some disappointment when I learned that all the volunteer apple trees that I see so often off the country roads and in "industrial" areas, were completely unsuitable for my homemade apple butter. Waste of time.

yes, if they were seeded from people throwing apple cores out their car window it is likely they'll be a more sour cider apple than super edible. the tip for making them more edible is to wait until they're more ripe and then dehydrate them (which concentrates the sweetness). try it with a few apples first though to make sure that particular tree is worth it. i used to make the rounds with a friend up north to harvest from wild trees like this and he kept a map of trees he could use.
 

ducks4you

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If you are rose grower AND there is an abandoned lot with roses growing, you MIGHT be able to dig them up and transplant. After all, nobody has been taking care of them, so they should do well someplace else.
@Pulsegleaner , I agree about being a steward of varieties. It is best, IMHO, thought of as preserving genetic diversity. Large growers grow single crops. If they fail, other varieties could replace them. White turkeys are grown bc the average grocery shopper cannot see the white feathers that they miss. If the bird had black feathers you would SEE what they missed and maybe, not buy the bird carcass.
Re: saving seeds from a seed that you have purchased, I think you are not legally allowed to SELL that seed, not illegal to share your seeds.
Consider that seed companies save US the step and they save their seeds from very healthy plants. Sometimes our gardening is not quite that good at our gardening, and we could be putting away diseased seed.
I found this interesting download:
file:///C:/Users/12173/OneDrive/Desktop/Gardening%20&%20Forum,%202022/2022%20Gardening%20Articles/Gardening%20Articles/7_Pub.3447-VegetableSeedSanitation.pdf
 

Zeedman

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Not sure how I missed this thread...

I consider myself to be a seed steward; but we each do the best we can based upon our ability, our resources, and our comfort level. It does bother me when I'm forced to drop something from my collection, either because of seed age, or to make room for something I judge to be better and/or in greater need of preservation. Often that requires a difficult process of triage, to determine the best use of my efforts... and regretfully, acknowledging that I/we just can't save everything. Perhaps the mental focus is best directed to whatever good we CAN do, rather than regret for what we CAN'T. Any contribution we jointly make toward preservation, however large or small, is worthwhile.

The emotional aspect of giving up on a treasured variety will be brought home to me this year, as I reduce the size of my collection to accommodate the loss of my late DW's partnership in our preservation efforts. It will mean saying goodbye to a lot of treasured friends that we discovered & cherished together. :( Hopefully I can find homes for at least some of them, but the future for many of my soybeans looks bleak.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Not sure how I missed this thread...

I consider myself to be a seed steward; but we each do the best we can based upon our ability, our resources, and our comfort level. It does bother me when I'm forced to drop something from my collection, either because of seed age, or to make room for something I judge to be better and/or in greater need of preservation. Often that requires a difficult process of triage, to determine the best use of my efforts... and regretfully, acknowledging that I/we just can't save everything. Perhaps the mental focus is best directed to whatever good we CAN do, rather than regret for what we CAN'T. Any contribution we jointly make toward preservation, however large or small, is worthwhile.
See, this is where your psychology and my (unhealthy) psychology differ. No matter how much good I try to do, or even do, I just brood on all the further good I could have done if I had been better, and that negates any positive feelings I have, replacing them with guilt and self-recrimination.

So, under that, I look at every seed I plant that fails and every seed I toss out because I have no room as a personal failure, and one that needs to be brutally punished. I am the one doing the selecting, and therefore I am the one at fault if the selecting goes poorly. And, since I believe is is possible that any seed MIGHT have the unique gene combination and mutations to possibly save the world in the future, that means that, every time I make a decision, I potentially hold the fate of every single person on Earth in my hands, and my mistake could kill all of them. That's terrifying. And that applies if I grow it OR I give it to someone else to grow.

The emotional aspect of giving up on a treasured variety will be brought home to me this year, as I reduce the size of my collection to accommodate the loss of my late DW's partnership in our preservation efforts. It will mean saying goodbye to a lot of treasured friends that we discovered & cherished together. :( Hopefully I can find homes for at least some of them, but the future for many of my soybeans looks bleak.
Sounds a bit like me and my corn. Objectively I know that, if any of my corn projects (or, indeed pretty much any other projects of mine.) have any chance of succeeding, it lies somewhere, and probably with someone, else, someone who has more land, more light, better soil, fewer ravenous critters (or, at least, fewer laws to hamstring them in DEALING with ravenous critters), and, probably, a lot of extra labor to help them.
The problem is trying to find someone like that who also 1. is interested 2. does NOT have any plans of their own that they might want to fold mine into (it's happened far too often, someone asks for some corn seeds from me, ignores my advice about letting them inbreed a few generations to clean them up and up their numbers in favor of tossing my handful into their own MASSIVE amount of seed they are working on, and when my stuff gets totally drowned out due to numbers, turn around and say the fault is MINE for not providing them with a seed sample a hundred times larger.) and 3. Is somehow knowledgeable enough in what I am looking for to be able to actually SPOT it if it is there. Since the ultimate goal is a new variety anyway, they also have to not need to reap a comeback each year to justify the cost of growing (for example, If the corn is an ornamental type, they not only have to know which ears to save, but also not to sell the ones that are rejected, since then someone bigger could use THOSE to make a counter variety. Popping them, grinding them, using them for animal feed, those are all fine, but, until the product is ready, one has to be careful to make sure all of the VIABLE seed staying under your control.)

Add on the fact that most of my finds are more curiosities than things of commercial value (I don't think I've had a truly marketable seed idea since the wrinkled soybean project). And you have another problem.
 

flowerbug

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@Zeedman are they heirlooms?

i would take samples of all of them that you're not willing to grow any longer so i can give them to others, but i can't guarantee that i will grow them here (because chipmunks are a constant challenge).

however the larger the sample the more likely i would give it out to more than one person besides trying to grow some myself each season, etc.

the other problem with growing soybeans here is that we are in the middle of soybean agriculture - many years we have soybeans on at least one side and maybe more depending upon who grows corn (or very rarely winter wheat or winter rye).

still it's a thought. :)

and of course there is the seed swap coming up this winter and possibilities to rehome them via that are there.

i wish i had dedicated freezer space but i don't...

if you get no other offers of safe homes for them by the end of the year then consider me a backup plan (like before it kinda worked out for all those beans you sent even if you ended up coming to seed swap yourself after all :) ).
 

ducks4you

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I believe is is possible that any seed MIGHT have the unique gene combination and mutations to possibly save the world in the future, that means that, every time I make a decision, I potentially hold the fate of every single person on Earth in my hands, and my mistake could kill all of them. That's terrifying. And that applies if I grow it OR I give it to someone else to grow.
:eek:


:eek::eek:


:eek::eek::eek:
 

heirloomgal

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Keep in mind @Pulsegleaner that nature has set up plants to produce huge volumes of seed - most of which will not succeed. So, zillions of seeds on the planet are produced and then simply expire. The true meaning of life insurance. So you needn't hold yourself to such a responsibility.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Keep in mind @Pulsegleaner that nature has set up plants to produce huge volumes of seed - most of which will not succeed. So, zillions of seeds on the planet are produced and then simply expire. The true meaning of life insurance. So you needn't hold yourself to such a responsibility.
That's true, but each of those seeds is potentially different from every other one, and only ONE could have the right mix to solve the problem.

It's sort of of like Richard Dawkins line about evolution, that, far from being a coincidence, the sheer number of organisms at any given time makes it an inevitability. It's true, but it doesn't actually answer the question being asked. Yes, the odds of SOMETHING evolving may be inevitable, but the chances of any GIVEN thing evolving, given that evolution is the result of accumulation of random mutations and combination. is much more improbable. The fact that you existing as you do was a one in many billions chance is not made larger by the fact that it was a one in billions chance for everyone else as well. And contrary to the way we say it evolution is not "survival of the fittest" as much as "advantage to the more fit". It doesn't wait around for the best of all possible solutions to come around, the first one better than the status quo surges ahead and changes that status quo until the next one better than that comes along which changes it again. It's endless refinement and adaptation, with no "perfect" end in sight. That's actually WHY I want them to someday build computers that can "ring all the changes" of DNA, it's literally the ONLY way we ever COULD work out the "best" genome for a given set of conditions.

So yes, there are zillions of seeds, zillions of chances. But we never can know (at least not yet) which of those chances is the one needed to get ahead. And if that one chance that could have helped us is destroyed by my poor choices, then it was MY action that doomed us. As I have said before, "every person should conduct themselves in such a matter that they are ready, if necessary, to bear the weight of the whole world on their shoulders alone." If everyone does do that, you can always know that, should that weight ever fall to one person, that person will be prepared for it.
 

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