Ella's Garden 2014 PIGGY SEED SWAP: Joseph -- Wild, Semi-Domesticated, and Landrace Food Crops

MEMBERS NAME: Joseph -- Wild, Semi-Domesticated, and Landrace Food Crops

CMAIL CONTACT ADDY: http://cubits.org/users/mail/new.php?q=joseph



My seeds are promiscuously pollinated (PP) and have been adaptively selected to thrive in my garden. I believe this seed to be most suitable for gardens that share my pests, clayish calcite soil, arid climate, cool-nighted, high altitude, brilliantly-sunlit, short growing season, and philosophy towards diversity. I expect that the more of those conditions you share with me the better my seeds will do for you. If you require stability or predictability from your seeds you should look elsewhere. If you like new and exciting varieties, or if you are interested in adapting a variety to your garden, then continue reading: I may have just what you are looking for.

I grow and breed mostly landrace crops: A landrace is a food-crop with tremendous genetic diversity which tends to produce stable yields under marginal growing conditions. Landrace crops are adaptively selected by survival-of-the-fittest and farmer's observation for reliability in tough conditions. The arrival of new pests, new diseases, or changes in cultural practices or in the environment may harm some individuals in a landrace population, but with so much genetic diversity many plants are likely to do well under the changing conditions. Landrace seeds are great for an emergency survival stash and are the traditional way that farmer's practiced crop security since time immemorial.

In the case of mostly self-pollinating plants like peppers, tomatoes, beans, wheat, and peas a land-race may be thought of as many distinct varieties growing side by side.

In the case of more out-crossing plants like melons, squash, beets, spinach, or corn, a landrace can be thought of as an open pollinated population with tremendous genetic diversity. Many of the seeds in an out-crossing land-race end up being unique F1 hybrids.


I am determined not to be the last piggy to send a box in this year, so If I actually manage to get anything packaged I'll add it here. It is my plan this year to only offer seed that I have already put into envelopes.

Added December 6th

Proto-landrace sweet peppers:
These are the sweet peppers that passed the survival-of-the-fittest test in my garden during the past 6 years. I have trialed lots of varieties. Most of them fail. A few manage to be short enough season to reproduce... They are mostly yellow fruited maturing to red.

Rat-Tailed Radish:
The seed pods are large and edible.


Mohawk Tobacco -- 3 packets Star, Christine00, Andi. Gifted to me by an Indian who grew it near Twin Falls. He got the seed from his mother who grows it on the Mohawk reservation in upstate New York.

Cache Valley Tobacco. -- 5 packets: Star, Andi, Dayjillymo, risingcreek, ____. Seeds from the four most vigorous growing and shortest season plants out of about 200 seedlings that were screened. Some of the ancestors of this population came from Dan McMurray of British Columbia.

Lofthouse Wheat. -- 1 packet to Star. Developed in my village by my grandfather's grandfather. At one time it was the most widely planted wheat in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. An older (I believe tetraploid) winter wheat.

Okra: Tallest, Most Vigorous. -- 2 packets of 9 seeds. jhgarden9, PlantNutz. From the plant that grew most vigorously as a seedling, and ended the season being taller than the farmer. From the third generation of my okra breeding project.

Okra: Runner up. -- 1 packet of 7 seeds. From the third generation of my okra breeding project. From the second most vigorous seedling. The plant only got to the farmer's shoulders. The first generation the plants weren't much more than ankle high.

Okra: Bushy. -- 1 packet of 9 seeds to Wildflowers. From my okra breeding project. From a plant that grew about 4 feet tall, and had lots of side branches, leading to high productivity.

Okra: 3' to 4' Tall. -- 1 packet of ~20 seeds to EricaBraun. From the third generation of my okra breeding project. Plants that grew well and produced a crop of fruit to take to the farmer's market. Okra at my farmer's market??? Wow!!!

Okra, Grex. -- 6 packets of ~100 seeds. PlantSister, Critterologist, ____, ____, ____, ____. Bulk seed from the seconds from my okra breeding project. Selection criteria was for vigorous growth of seedlings, and production of seed in my garden in spite of the short/cold growing season. These were great plants and produced well, they just weren't the top 10% of the patch. I've offered that seed separately. Pods might be green, red, or yellow.

Maxima Squash, Jagged Leaf. -- 1 packet of a dozen seeds to Star. I am constantly watching for unusual phenotypes on every crop that I grow. I noticed one maxima squash this year, a small buttercup, which had leaves that are different than I have ever seen on a maxima squash before: They had a jagged leaf margin. It might be a highly recessive trait, and the mother might have gotten overwhelmed with pollen from small orange/green buttercups that don't have the jagged leaf trait, but the potential is locked within the seeds. http://garden.lofthouse.com/images/squash/squash-maxima-jagg...

Maxima Squash, Mottled Leaf. -- 2 packets of a dozen seeds to IndianaMike, ____. The mother plant had mottled leaves. That is a very unusual trait among maxima squash so I am offering seeds separately. Same caveats as for the previous listing. http://garden.lofthouse.com/images/squash/squash-maxima-mott...

Maxima Squash, Silver Leaf. -- 1 packet of a dozen seeds to ____. The mother plant had slightly silvery leaves. That is a very unusual trait among maxima squash so I am offering seeds separately. Medium sized orange fruit. Same caveats as the other unusual squash.

Pistachio -- 2 packets of ~30 seeds to JonnaSudenius, risingcreek.. Descended from seeds brought from Iran by students at USU. The first generation was grown on the south slope of Old Main hill. The second generation was grown in Thatcher. I collected these seeds myself. Don't know how to germinate them or if they are even viable. Caveat Emptor.

Hutterite Dry Bush Beans: -- 1 packet of ~20 seeds. Too long season for my garden.

Red Podded Soup Pea -- 6 packets of ~20 seeds. EricaBraun, jhgarden9, risingcreek, Star, PlantSister, Sorellina. Red podded peas from my project to develop a red-podded mange-tout pea. The genetics are still sorting themselves out. (This is F4 seed). I expect mostly fibrous pods, with an occasional sugar snap or snow pea. I kept for myself all of the peas that I could identify as non-fibrous mange-tout. A few pods might be yellow instead of red. A few of these seeds might produce nice tasting shelling peas. Vines are about 4 feet long. I typically grow them sprawling, but they could benefit from a trellis. This pea is stunning when the sun shines through young pods.

Joseph's Dry Bush Bean Landrace, Short Season -- 5 packets of ~25 seeds. Star, ArleneB, JuliesAcre, Critterologist, PlantSister. Dry bush beans for soup. My definition of a bush bean allows tendrils up to about 2 feet long, but they are not twining, so they don't climb a pole if one is offered. These are very short season beans, and are not shattery so I typically allow them to dry in the field and harvest the entire plant at once. Those of you that pay attention to such things may have noticed that this variety carries my name this year. That means that I am very satisfied with it and think that it is very well adapted to my growing conditions and way of doing things.

Tomatillos, Landrace. 5 generous packets. JonnaSudenius, Danita, ____, ____, ____. Selected for early productivity, great taste, and sweetness. Fruit color is yellow, green, and/or purple.

Balsamorhiza sagittata, Arrowleaf Balsamroot. 3 packets. chelle, JonnaSudenius, EricaBraun. A dryland perennial wildflower collected in Cache Valley. Thrives on about 9 to 14 inches of water per year in alkaline soil. The seeds were used for food and oil.

Linum lewisii, Blue Prairie Flax. 3 packets. ____,____,____. A dryland perennial wildflower collected in Cache Valley. Grows well on about 14" of water per year. Gets taller and bushier with more water.

Cache Valley Favas. 2 packets of about 20 seeds. JuliesAcre, ____. A grex of fava beans that successfully reproduced when spring planted in Cache Valley in the Rocky Mountains. The three major races of favas are represented: pigeon beans, horse beans, and broad beans. Colors are green, tan, brown, and purple. These are the first or second generation of plants that have survived my growing conditions. The only selection criteria was survival-of-the-fittest.

Great Northern Dry Bush Bean. 1 packet of about 20 seeds ____. Short season.

Midnight Dry Bush Bean, F3. 4 packets of ~100 seeds. Star, IndianaMike, PlantSister, WeedWacker. These beans are descended from a naturally occurring cross pollination that one of my collaborators discovered. He shared the F2 seed with me. I grew it out and got all sorts of sizes, and shapes, and colors of beans and plants. I am excited to offer this seed in large batches because each seed is a roll of the genetic dice and I am hoping that the lucky recipients will grow it out and select for plants that thrive under their growing conditions and management practices. Because of the genetic diversity within this seed, it's like getting 100 different varieties of beans!!!

Tomatoes, Pollen Donor Group. 3 packets of ~25 seeds. IndianaMike, ____, ____. I am working on a project to develop promiscuously pollinating tomatoes. As part of that project I have been working on identifying plants with loose or open flowers so that pollinators can easily access the flower parts to cross-pollinate more effectively. These are seeds from the plants that I found most suitable. They were selected from among Croatian Brandywine, Hillbilly, Virginia Sweets, DX52-12, and/or [Black Early, Indian Stripe, Danko, Zolotoe Serdise, and F1 crosses between them]. These varieties produce large fruits, and were way too long season for my garden. Because some of the plants didn't produce any ripe fruit at all, they were selected via survival-of-the-fittest for quicker maturity.

Joseph's Slicing Tomato Landrace. 5 packets of ~25 seeds. Andi, Mistirose, PokeyJo, IndianaMike, ____. Early determinate slicing tomatoes. Red fruits weigh about 8 to 10 ounces. This is my production canning tomato.

Tomato, Extra Early Saladette. 5 packets of ~25 seeds. Mistirose, Bluee19, ____, ____, ____. My earliest tomatoes. Red fruits weigh about 2 to 3 ounces. These ripen about a month earlier than my slicing tomatoes. Highly determinate. The smallish fruits are a pain to pick later in the season, but they sure bring a lot of joy early on.

Cache Valley Garbanzos. 2 packets of ~35 seeds. ____, ____. A grex of garbanzo beans that have survived one or two growing seasons in Cache Valley when planted a few days after the snow melts. Survival-of-the-fittest is the only selection criteria. Color of seeds is black, tan, brown, or green. Seed size is about 0.2" to 0.3" in diameter. These are not the huge beans sold in the supermarket.

Virginia Creeper. 1 packet of ~100 seeds. A grape-like vine. Collected growing wild along the Wasatch Front Range.

Oregon Grape. 2 packets of ~25 seeds. A short evergreen bush with edible purple berries. Collected growing wild along the Wasatch Front Range.

Opuntia humifusa, Eastern Prickly Pear. 2 packets of ~25 seeds. Winter hardy in zone 4. So called "spineless" pads. Bright yellow flowers.

After so many years of participating in the hoggy swap, what could I possibly be missing? The hoggy swap has been one of the primary sources of seed for me since I started landrace gardening. I like getting fruits and vegetables: Basically anything that is edible as food, spice, or medicine. This growing season I want to trial more kinds of soybeans and cowpeas.

I am mostly looking for medicinal herbs and for food producing crops that can grow feral in a permaculture food forest. This list includes many plants that grow wild in my area, so I'm using it mostly as a guide for myself about plants I'd like to learn about and watch for during the next few years.

Psorales esculenta (prairie turnip)
Actinidia arguta (hardy kiwi)
Ribes uva-crispa (gooseberry)
Yard long bean
Mustard for seed
Celery for seed
Broccoli for seed
Caragana arborescens (Siberian peashrub)
Orogenia linearifolia, Indian parsnip
Sweet potato, but only seeds, not tubers or cuttings.
Salad radishes, especially if they are of mixed parentage.
Tomatoes, but only if they are varieties that are known to be very attractive to bumblebees, or if they have wide open flower structures. Especially if they are determinates and/or short season.
Wild Tomato species and interspecies crosses.
Rhus trilobata (squaw bush)
Camassia quamash (Camas)
Paw Paw

Medicinal Herbs that might be winter hardy or self seeding annuals:

Arnica montana or Arnica chamissonis
Astragalus propinquus
Actaea racemosa (Black cohosh)
Chamomile suitable for tea
Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)
Ginkgo, dwarf or semi-dwarf
Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender)
Sage (any culinary variety)
Satureja hortensis (Summer savory)
Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)
Valeriana officinalis (Valerian)
Marrubium vulgare (horehound)

I have imposed a garlic/onion quarantine on my garden.

My gardens are at high altitude in USDA zone 4/5, so there isn't much point in sending perennials that are not winter hardy.

My garden is very arid. I would love to grow ferns, or other humidity or water loving plants. But don't waste the effort of sending them to me. I won't be able to keep enough water on them to keep them happy.

My frost free growing season is 85 to 100 days, but it's so cold here that I can only reliably grow warm-weather crops that are around 70 DTM or less.

I'm not much interested in salad greens. I am primarily interested in staple crops (corn, beans, peas, squash, roots), and in feral-like edibles that can grow in the landscape without being used unless needed.

Silt/clay, high-altitude, super-arid, sun-drenched, irrigated-desert garden. Cold radiant-cooled nights. Up to ~100 frost free days. Grow most of my own locally adapted landrace seed. GDD10C ~1300. Author of Mother Earth News: Landrace Gardening Blog. http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse

The last week of August is a gorgeous time for my garden.

The yellow flowers are turnips planted for seed production.

The north field.

Another view of the north field. Showing off the mountains.

The west field.

The east field.

The south field.

The long field.

The desert research station.

(Image by joseph)
"Landrace Food Crops"
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