seed


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Eggplant breeding line 1 F4 (top row is part of breeding line 3)

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Eggplant breeding line 3 F3

The photo above shows the harvest of eggplants from the open ground bed in the vegetable garden. The plants of breeding line 1 is grown out of seeds from 2012 harvested in the greenhouse. Therefore, this line is a generation ahead of processing line 3, which is grown out of seeds grown in the open ground in 2009. Since 2009, I harvested lots of eggplants in the open ground, but there has been no obvious progress in my plant breeding, no new generations. Until last year that is, when I put some plants of breeding line 1 in the greenhouse, and got a new generation, but without knowing anything about their outdoor values. I have spent the years since 2009 to determine which envelopes of the 2009 seed harvest do most frequently provide better plants. It is valuable, although it does not produce new generations, because it allows me to concentrate on growing more individuals from the best seed envelopes.

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Seeds from a single outdoor grown eggplant fruit

Never have I harvested so many eggplant seeds. Almost all mature eggplants contained seeds, and some of them contained more seeds than I’ll be able to grow before they get too old. The seeds appears to be of prime quality. An eggplant seed celebration!

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Envelopes with eggplant seeds from open ground

This many seeds promise a lot of labour to find the best seed envelopes to draw future generations from. Which of them will produce the most reliable plants for growing outdoor in my kitchengarden?

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The eggplant bed shortly after transplanting in June

The newly transplanted eggplant bed looked neat Later weed germinated in this fertile, well-watered bed, mostly dandelions, kale and sonchus, all edible, delicious and providing a long lasting harvest. I still harvest kale and dandelion. Easy and gentle multicropping.

Since I harvested way too many seeds for my own use, I will share with interested gardeners.
In Denmark through the danish seed savers: Frøsamlerne
Other nationalities please contact me either by leaving a comment, or PM me if you know me in some of the social networks like HomegrownGoodness or facebook.

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Frøsamlerne (Danish seed savers) exchange list 2011

Again this year the list is long and interesting: Danish Seed Savers exchange list

See eg. the exciting Caucasian Spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides), originating from the Caucasus, and with history of cultivation in Scandinavia, mostly in manor gardens.

In my garden I have a few frozen pots with seedlings of Caucasian Spinach, from the seeds I got last year from a seed savers. When spring comes, I’ll transplant them near a tree or shrub in the shade, where it may otherwise be difficult to grow vegetables.
On facebook, there is now a Group, Friends of Hablitzia tamnoides, the Caucasian Spinach

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The old Danish Prinsesse bean

Prinsesse bean is a classic on the exchange list. It’s live Danish heritage, preserved by a vegetarian family for generations. 100 years ago it was a well-known cultivar, mentioned in gardening books as the earliest bean to grow. Now used mostly as dry bean, and then it’s a lovely name!
It is also spelled with c: Princesse

Do I need to translate the name: Princess it is in queens English 🙂

I was very happy, as I stumbled upon this site, giving the breeding work of Tom Wagner a new platform to connect with the world. Go visit them to see for yourself.

I met Tom Wagner in autumn 2009, when he gave plant breeding workshops in europe:  2009 Tom Wagner workshop

 

Seeds and tubers for food self-sufficiency and food security for backyard gardeners, homesteaders, and small farmers. This is where you will find seeds and tubers for crops like potatoes, wheat, triticale, and soy that you can actually live on. If you are looking for the former Tater-Mater seeds, look here.

New World Seeds & Tubers

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Shallot “Læsøstammen” and chickpea “Assyriska bruna kikärter från Besvirino byn” (right)

Today I sowed the first seeds outdoor, and set the shallots. They are both impatient to go into the soil. If waiting much longer, the shallots will grow smaller, end the chickpeas will mould in their pods. But the soil get depressed (compressed) by me trotting on it. Soil is winter wet, behaving like pot-makers clay if I work it. Then become too hard for roots or worms to penetrate. Thus I’m very cautious when working in the garden in march. I dare not dig, just scratch a little, barely enough to get down the shallot sets and chickpea seeds.

On Læsøstammen shallot I know it was grown on the little isolated island Læsø in 1946. At that time the shallot producers started to gather all shallots from grower, and mix them, before selling or replanting. Only Læsø was not part of that, because of the transport expenses. It has been grown by three generations of farmers on the island since then.

Kroghs skalotteløg” is another shallot I set today. All was set, no left for the photo.

Chickpeas are easy to grow in Denmark, BUT it’s difficult to harvest good seeds 😦
Most seeds moulds just before ripening in autumn. For several years I could harvest no more than I needed for next years sowing. Since I started sowing in late march problems with mould are less pronounced. But I still don’t get a bumper harvest.
Assyriska bruna kikärter från Besvirino byn” I got from a refugee living in Sweden. He lived in a south-eastern mountain village in Turkey. Inhabitants were an Assyrian Christian minority, suffering from the conflict between Turks and Kurds.

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Mangel (Beta vulgaris) Prizewinner

The exchange list of Frøsamlerne 2010 has been released.
As usual, there’s lots of rare and exciting varieties, collected in their gardens by members who are willing to share.

Do you know the Horn of plenty, alias African valerian (Fedia cornucopiae)?

Or Caucasian Spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides), a perennial climber with delicious edible leaves. I expect this to become a regular on the exchange list.

59 tomato varieties in all colours, shapes and sizes.

In 2010 ”Lost crops of the Incas” has become an independent grouping, including 3 types of Mashua Tropaeolum tuberosum), 2 types Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) and a single Yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia).

But also old local seeds, like the black barley = “Sort 6 radet Byg”.
The black oat, “Havre fra Ribe”, collected by Vavilov Institute (VIR) before 1920 (VIR K11504) in south west Denmark.

Take a look in the list, if you are a seed dreamer like me 🙂

I’m sure you can translate the list with Babelfish, Google or some other free language tool on the web.

This month the garden has looked clean and white.

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Chusan Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) in snow

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Turnip (Brassica rapa) Petrowsky “Gulia”
Breeders name: Vangede (P 1948)

NordGen, former Nordisk Genbank, the Nordic countries common gene bank, send seeds to us ordinary people. It’s a bit demanding to find the wanted variety in their database SESTO, but not impossible, and worthwhile. Try clicking on “Cultivars” gives you the full list. Or search by the Latin species name clicking on “Taxons”.

I fell in love with Petrowsky “Gulia”, as it is a Danish breeding line of the tasty turnip Petrowsky. It was created by Ohlsens Enke, and approved in trials 1948 in Vangede, just outside Copenhagen. It was marketed first time in the same year.

In my old J.E.Ohlsens Enke seed catalogue from 1954 I find this turnip:

Petrowsky Vangede P. 1948.

The seeds I received was harvested in 1983, NordGen got them in 1989.
Now I hope to succeed with these old seeds. Fortunately they have been in professional care in the time passed since harvest.

When I gooled “Petrowsky”, I noticed the spelling “Petrowski” gave much more results. I found, that Petrowski was an important crop in Alaska around 1921. (Botanical Abstracts, 1921)

I also found, that Sperli in Germany seems to believe, that Petrowski and Teltower is two names for the same variety – how would that fit with descriptions of the Teltower having a unique taste? I’m sure this in future will mix up the two cultivars. Best thing we can do is to keep good records of what we grow and the source. This can be an quick and unintended way to get rid of old varieties. Thanks to the gene banks, who try to get accurate informations when they invent seeds.

Do I learn more about Petrowski, I intend to add it here, although it isn’t good practice in a blog.

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Good artichoke seeds left, right the quality I had in former years

This year I harvest artichoke seeds of a superior quality, compared to my normal harvest. The seeds are hard with a smooth surface, and of a darker shade than usual. Normally the germination of my artichoke seeds are very low, but still allowing to grow a few plants. From this years seeds I expect a much higher germination rate, as seeds are obviously better ripened. I also harvested more seeds than usual, a little more than 150 seeds of the best quality. The mother plant is the old danish Serridslevgaard, very rare and difficult to obtain, but every seed growing will be its own new variety. I expect a broad variation in the seedlings. Most of them will probably be inferior to their mother, but with some luck a few better plants might appear. The mother plant is in the elite when it comes to hardiness, many of the seedlings are likely to inherit this trace – but not all.

The inferior seeds to the right in the picture are of a lighter color. A nail on the surface of the seed shell let you feel the difference. Inferior seeds are not slippery like a ripe filbert nut, but gives resistance to moving the nail along the shell.

How come the artichoke seeds developed so well this year? I believe it’s due to the warm unusually dry late summer we had on Amager, my island.

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