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Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties 2ND Editionby Carol Deppe
Synopses & Reviews
All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.
Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower. Discover:
In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.
About the Author
Carol Deppe is a plant breeder and writer who lives in Corvallis, Oregon. She has a B.S. in Zoology from University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University. "At least I think I have a Ph.D. from Harvard," Deppe says. "But when I got the diploma it was in Latin, and I don't read Latin, so who knows?" Deppe's garden and science writing has appeared in Horticulture, Organic Gardening, National Gardening, and elsewhere. She works to develop crops for sustainable agriculture.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Original Edition xi
Introduction to the Second Edition xiv
How to Use This Book xvi
Part I: An Introduction to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving
1 Amateur Vegetable Breeding 3
Why every gardener should be a plant breeder. Stories of three amateurs and what they've done.
2 How Much Space Do You Need? How Much Time? 17
Vegetable breeding can be done on any scale. You can do an elaborate tomato-breeding project in a few half-gallon pots of soil, or a pea-breeding project in a few feet of row. Some projects require only a year or two to produce material that is an improvement over anything available commercially.
3 Roles and Goals for Amateurs; Wish Lists and Wild Ideas 23
Breeding for flavor. Breeding for size, shape, color, earliness, cold or heat resistance, disease resistance, regional adaptation, yield. Breeding as an expression of individuality, for your tastes and needs. Breeding varieties that do well under organic gardening or farming methods. Breeding new and unusual crops. Discovering popbeans and tiny fast-cooking chickpeas (garbanzos). Thinking small, thinking big, daring to dream.
4 Finding Germplasm 42
Obtaining germplasm and information about it. How to work with seed companies, seed saving organizations, and plant science professionals. How to gain access to and use the collections of the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System.
5 Evaluating Germplasm and Experimental Material; Variety Trials and Gardening Research 54
How to design, conduct, and evaluate garden trials. How to combine trials with production of food and beauty. How to get good information with the least amount of land and labor.
6 Genetics and Plant Parenthood 77
7 Sex and the Single Gene; Mendel's Genes 85
8 Modern Genes 93
9 The Genetic Basis of Seed Saving 111
Inbreeding and the genetic nature of inbreeding crop varieties. Saving seed from inbreeders. Heirlooms. Outbreeding and the genetic nature of outbreeding crop varieties. Inbreeding depression. Outcrossing and self-incompatibility. Saving seed of outbreeders. Inbreeder or outbreeder - how you can tell? Saving seed from hybrids. Making and breaking hybrids.
10 Plant Breeding Stories 126
Popbeans and purple peas. Perennial vegetable buckwheat and perennial lettuce-salsify. Power selection, power inbreeding, crosses, backcrosses, and recurrent backcrossing. 'Rainbow Inca' sweet corn. Tomatoes, squash, and melons.
11 Bigger, Brighter, and More Beautiful 148
Creating polyploids. Chromosome doubling using colchicine. Breeding with established polyploids.
12 Fun with Wide Crosses 152
Crosses between distant relatives within a species. Crosses between different species. Creating entirely new crop species.
13 Happy Accidents 156
Taking advantage of new mutations, sports, bud sports, and accidental crosses. More cold-hardy fava beans, bigger tomatoes, and giant top-setting onions.
14 Domesticating Wild Plants 163
15 Expanding Horizons 172
Table I 801 Interesting Plants 175
Vegetables of the world and their wild relatives; edible plants that have the potential for being developed into vegetables; fruits, nuts, and grains. Scientific names, common names, families, and lifestyles. Basic breeding systems, chromosome numbers, flowering patterns, flower types and modifications, average cross-pollination frequency, major pollen vectors, and incompatibility system information. Recommended isolation distances, seed yields, location in the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System, and references.
Part II: Seed Saving Practice
16 An Introduction to Seed Saving 209
Why save seeds? Seed-saving overview. Saving seed from hybrids. Roles and purposes.
17 Growing Seed 213
Preparation and planning, planting, tending.
18 Isolation 218
Traditional seed saving and isolation distances. Isolation distances for organic farmers and gardeners. Isolation basics. Factors that affect the need for isolation. Isolation distances, absolute and practical. The Basic Rule for Everyday Seed Saving. Isolation tricks and methods.
19 How Many Plants? 232
Inbreeders and outbreeders. Practical compromises.
20 Selection 237
Selection basics. Selection complexities, subtleties, and surprises. Selection for the purpose of germplasm preservation. Evaluating a selection program. Does selection always work?
21 Harvesting, Processing, and Storing Seed 243
Harvesting, threshing and cleaning. Dry and wet processing. Drying seed. Protecting seed from insects and rodents. Storing seed.
Part III: Developing Crops for a Sustainable Future
22 Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Foods 261
Carol Deppe meets the FlavrSavr tomato. Standard plant breeding versus genetic engineering. Everything in this book is illegal with genetically engineered varieties. Genetic engineering and sustainable agriculture.
23 Conversations with a Squash 272
Why not just select? Choosing the right cross. The agroecological virtues of a squash. The grand plan. Choosing the cytoplasm. The reality. The squash speaks. Carol falls in love. Disaster and opportunity. Sandwich-slice. To market, to market, to sell a new squash.
Appendix A Breeding and Seed Saving for Eight Common Vegetables - An Illustrated Guide 291
Common Bean 304
Alliums (Onions) 309
Brassicas (Cabbage and Relatives) 311
Squash and Pumpkins 314
Corn (Maize) 317
Appendix B Technical Aspects of Hand-Pollination and Performing Crosses; Overcoming Incompatibility Barriers 322
Appendix C USDA-ARS Plant Introduction Stations and Germplasm Collections; Using GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) 332
Appendix D Addresses of Seed Saver Exchanges, Seed Companies, and Organizations 335
Appendix E Sources for Seed Saving, Plant Breeding, and Garden Research Supplies 339
Appendix F Statistical Predictions and Actuality 340
Annotated Bibliography 347
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