Participatory Plant Breeding: Gardeners Wanted

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Erik 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #1132 Reply


    As you may have noticed, Backyard Seed Savers offers many unique seeds from diverse populations of different plant types. Our main interest is to breed heterogeneity into our populations with the objective to increase the stability across different environments and seasons. When we say stability what we are referring to is the population as a whole. Some individuals may be poorly suited, and others more adapted, for that year and environment. The idea is that the gardener makes selections for traits of interest within their heterogeneous population for lines with adaptive traits. Think of it as evolution with a gardeners touch.

    Selection is going to be different for selfers and crossers. Single plant selection, or pure line breeding is practiced for selfers, because they most often breed true. However, crossers will not breed true, for the most part, and pure line breeding while feasible, often leads to inbreeding depression. Crossers (and selfers for that matter) are much more stable if kept as a population derived from a bulk of many parents. Of course this can become difficult for small-scale gardeners.

    If you already save seed or are interested in saving seed and want to contribute to a participatory plant breeding (PPB) program, please post here.

    We can offer substantial discounts on seed and experimental genetics that are not offered through the main website. Some examples can be found here.

    The future is with the many gardener breeders and their varieties specifically adapted to the many microclimates and tastes of the world. Start small dream big!

    If interested in learning more about PPB, or how to get involved, please post.

    #1440 Reply


    Great site and great work!!! I’ve been developing adaptive landraces for about 5 years. In many species my locally adapted landraces grow much better for my cold short season garden than anything that I can buy.

    I feel like I have finally become an honest farmer, because I do not have to buy seed any more:  I am able to grow nearly everything I need, and if I want to add a bit of diversity,  enough gardeners have started re-creating landraces that I am able to swap with them.  It’s a secure place to be, and I’m thrilled to have found your site.

    I treat selfers and crossers about the same. I figure that even at a 1% or a 5% crossing rate among selfers that since I am growing hundreds of thousands of individuals that I’ll accumulate a lot of diversity over the years especially considering that the offspring will continue segregating for several generations.



    #1506 Reply



    We really want this site to be a forum for folks like you to connect with others of like mind. If you have items to share please post!


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