The goal is to develop new varieties adapted to Zone 3a-4b local climate, and low-care gardening techniques. These selections are based on three important principles. The first criteria is taste on the best representable single vegetable cooked, fresh, and after preservation. The second criteria is the ease of cultivation by germination, pest control, zone adaptability, and water usage. The third criteria is based on aesthetics and nutritive values represented by deep color, smell, and overall plant health.
These goals are to be met by stringent adherence to the scientific method, accurate recording keeping, blogging style journal, digital photography, homesteading community outreach, and continued seed saving practices. It is intended to return accessions to FDA and donate improved (or new) varieties of accessions to increase the wealth of diversity. This is to be done with significant documentation both visual and raw data.
- Define the question
- Gather information and resources
- Form hypothesis
- Perform experiment and collect data
- Analyze data
- Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
- Publish results
The subject vegetables will include:
List of leafy greens:
Cos, Butterhead,Spinach, Red and Green Romaine, Red and Green Leaf, Swiss Chard,Iceberg, Endive, Escarole, Celery, Red and Green Oak, Tango
List of cruciferous vegetables:
List of vegetables that are tubers:
Beets, Yams, Carrots, Parsnips, Radish, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Rutabaga
List of vegetables that are squashes:
Hubbard, Pumpkin, Spaghetti, Delicata, Zucchini, Butternut, Yellow and Acorn
List of grains:
Corn, Oat, Rye, wheat, rice cold weather types
Sugar and oil sources:
Sunflower, canola, sweet sorghum, sugar beets
Over the millenia farmers have naturally saved and selected seeds to their individual microclimates. F1 hybrids by large corporations have created a uniform monocultures that largely made sustained plant breeding unnecessary. With the rapid changes in climate and eventual shifting of the growing belts northwards. New stabilized varieties accustomed to shorter day lengths and similar heliotropic latitudes will be come genetic gold. Having these varieties identified, improved, and given to the FDA will help with the climate change adjustment. Many small growers widely spaced and organized by latitude can accomplish this goal. Large Corporations’ Achille’s heel is that they are driven in cycles dominated by short development period and profit needs. Creating true to type new varieties maybe commercially unviable in the short-term but necessary for long-term ecoculture success.
Five million new gardeners will buy vegetable hybrids slightly out of the planting window for their zone this year. Poor yields and educational deficiencies about the varieties will frustrate these new gardeners. Having long-term breeding projects and large amounts of collected data will transform ecoculture. Using the power of distributed networks to collect and distribute data, resources, and organize breeding projects will help transitioning from garden to garden, generation to generation. By geographically spacing breeding sites in narrow bands latitudinally, we can increase chances of success. Having sources of fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains grown locally will make dramatic improvements in the carbon foot print of our civilization. Having new varieties that can cope with climate shifting and rearrangement of current biomes could ensure our future.
Amazonian civilizations were able to transform the earth’s poorest soil into the prieta gold researchers are racing to unlock the secrets today centuries later. Sequestering carbon using their methods could turn around climate change on a global scale in a relatively short period of time. Lasting effects from long-term investments in long-term breeding projects could be the butterfly effect to change human behavior. In this anthropocene age a new tool set needs to be developed.
Knowledge and experience can be communicated over great distances in many different forms. Using Ebooks and PDF’s to inform and distribute organizational materials to manage the project. Collecting Data by web forms, RSS feeds, Google Earth, Weather.com and many other services to produce high quality data. This data could be mined to tease out the new varieties as they mature and stablize.
- Plant Breeding (suburbhomestead.wordpress.com)
- Garden Harvest – What Do I Do Now? (survivalfarm.wordpress.com)