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Messages - Oxbow Farm

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I've never heard of Outstanding, I am familiar with Outredgeous.  I believe Frank Morton from Wild Garden Seed developed Outredgeous.  I have not grown it often as I stopped growing romaine at all several years ago,  it is difficult to grow good romaine here as it is badly damaged (cosmetically) by tarnished plant bug for most of the summer months. 

Outredgeous is a very very red lettuce when it is small, and it is used a lot as a baby leaf lettuce.  It doesn't make a very strong head as a full sized lettuce, so it is a pretty loose lettuce for a romaine.  Its also a lot less red as a full size lettuce than a baby leaf. Thats about all I've got.

Plant Breeding / Re: Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-11-15, 01:31:20 PM »
So it seems like I can never find a seedling that is 100% what I am looking for. 

This seedling yielded just about the maximum possible yield a potato is capable of, at 13 lbs of tubers.  I wonder if I'll ever see single plant yields like this ever again, this year was such a bizarre weather year with almost an extra month and a half of growing season when you add the early start and super late end.  Plus colossal rain from July till winter. 

They did have a bit of hollow heart, and many of the tubers were on the small side.

I cooked them up and they were extremely floury, the flesh texture was just exactly what I love.  I had steamed the split half tubers in the picture till they were fork tender, and the skin peeled away from the flesh, so I had tried the flesh separately.  When I tasted the skin it was EXTREMELY BITTER.  The bitterness lingered in the back of my mouth and throat for several minutes after eating the skin from one of the half tubers.  Several hours later and my stomach does not feel any discomfort, but the initial bitterness was so intense that I am pretty sure that this potato has unsafe levels of glycoalkaloids. 

In the Cultivariable podcast with Tom Wagner, Tom talked about liking to use Lenape (B5141-6) as a parent variety, even though it had been found to have excessive glyco levels.  So I'm wondering about the wisdom of saving this one as a parent for high yield and flouriness, despite the bitterness.  I don't have any idea how one goes about testing for glycoalkaloid levels  other than tasting the spuds.  I've never had a seedling that I found offputtingly bitter before this. 

Community & Forum Building / Re: OSSI Varieties forum?
« on: 2018-11-12, 08:11:31 AM »
Is there currently a location with a list of the existing OSSI varieties? I admit I have not even noodled around the main OSSI site at all.

Plant Breeding / Re: Hybrid Beans
« on: 2018-11-12, 07:52:00 AM »
They look wonderful!
I have no bean breeding project yet, but am thinking about giving it a try next summer. The flower shape scares me though lol so fiddly!
I'm not very lucky with common bean growing. Soil temperature stays too low here for most varieties and the long photoperiod is making things even more difficult. Most varieties flower too late and don't make ripe seed. I found one bush variety (searching since 10 years lol) which gives a decent harvest. I tried adapting it to my conditions by selection, but hit a wall. Very uniform plants, must be fairly inbred already.
My old family runner bean, has adapted fine to its 'new' garden the past 12 years. Stabilizing the different colour lines is progressing nicely too. But most important, it does not mind cold feet or long days. Being a runner it grows huge though, not a field plant and trellis space is limited. Pollination has been an issue lately too.
An interspecific hybrid of both could be interesting. Having a bush bean with the hardiness of my runners would be a dream.

I'd like to learn some more about colour genetics in the dried beans, to make a better decision on which line of my runners to cross with the one common bean variety I can grow. But I could not find much online... probably I'm not using the right key words when searching. Could you help me with a link or the proper English search terms please?

Adding a picture of grandmas runners and the only common beans that grow for me.

Hey Doro,  I don't know much about color genetics of beans, but I do know that there are two separate domestication events in P. vulgaris one is called Meso-American and the other Andean.  The two lines are genetically distinct, and distinguishable somewhat by phenotype.  I'm given to understand that most large seeded P. vulgaris are likely descended from the Andean type, and this was the type that was first introduced widely in Europe.  Meso-American is typically smaller seeded. 

The two types are fully interfertile, except there is a root-shoot incompatibility in the embryo of the F1 which typically kills them during germination.  If the embryo successfully manages to sprout adventitious roots above the radicle it can survive and grow, but most of them die.  So this results in something of a crossing barrier that is fairly easy to overcome if you work at it, but results in low levels of crossing between the two types.  It might be possible that one or the other type might cross more easily with coccineus?  No idea though. 

In terms of color genetics, the only thing I know for sure is that black is very dominant over other colors except some of the white patterns, and that horticultural seed coat patterns seem pretty dominant too over solid colors. 

Plant Breeding / Re: Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-11-05, 08:46:46 PM »
I guess I'll use a recently harvested seedling to kind of discuss my confusion on how to proceed with certain seedlings and how much of a struggle it is to figure out if you should keep a variety or not.

This potato is a seedling from a batch of bulk seed collected from my 2017 seedling row of Sarpo Mira X Bulk mix that was crossed by nathanp and he gifted to the KPP seed train. This plant produced 1 pound 12 ounces of these coal purple round tubers. 

My previous cut off was 2 pounds. I would toss any seedling that yielded below that.

When I cooked a tuber of this variety I have generally been steaming them in chunks or whole depending on the size of the tuber.  This tuber did this after 10 minutes of steam.

 I don't exactly understand what is going on with the skin, but it has about the flour-iest, highest dry matter texture of any potato I've ever had.  It also has some light purple streaks in the flesh before it is cooked, so the cooked tuber flesh is a bit grey. 

There are a lot of aspects to this potato that I don't like.  I don't like black/purple russets that are shaped just like rocks.  They are impossible to see when you are harvesting.  I don't like purple tinted/streaked flesh. It looks grey after it is cooked.  The skin seems oddly thick but doesn't hold together when cooked in steam.  The yield was low.

But I LOVE floury potatoes.  Shouldn't I keep this one because it is unusual and so floury?  I don't know that I would want a huge row of these, but if it is fertile then wouldn't it be possible to breed a better skin color, yield size, crossed to it to make a good potato?

Plant Breeding / Re: Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-11-05, 05:38:04 PM »
Here's another general question regarding selection, I've been thinking more and more about the complexities of potato selection, even on a homestead scale.

In John Navazio's book "the Organic Seed Grower"  I was really fascinated by his discussion in each crop of how to avoid unintentional selection of negative traits.  So I've been thinking about the way in which I have been assessing seedlings and wondering what assumptions I've been making that might be leading to rejecting promising seedlings and continuing with seedlings that are not actually what I'm looking for.

The first few years of my TPS seedling growouts, I was always cutting the tiniest microtubers to get a sense of the internal flesh color etc, and I didn't always even do a cooking test of the tuber.  I was also preferentially growing out the highest yielding seedlings and rejecting anything below an arbitrary yield cut off. 

This year has been kind of a bizarre season for my potatoes, as well as a completely freakish weather season for the most part.  The weather was fairly normal in the spring, although the growing season started several weeks early, but in July it started raining and essentially has not stopped.  My soils are saturated with water, despite this being a gravel soil that is freakishly well drained.  Farms in the area cannot get any corn or soybeans off or really do any tillage or similar work without burying their equipment in the pit of despair. 

For my potatoes, I've had an insanely productive year, both for the seedlings and for harvested berries and TPS yield, and the tuber plot.  Yields have been massive, but I've also had significant rotting issues, and serious levels of hollow heart in many of my tuber grown potatoes. 

It seems from a comment Bill made recently that by selecting to grow the highest yielding seedlings, I was selecting for rapid growth and thus significant risk from hollow heart. 

So with yields being variable from year to year based on varying weather, where in the spectrum of seedling yield is the sweet spot of maximum productivity and minimum tuber defects/growth problems etc?

It also seems to me that the tubers from a seedling differ somewhat from the second and following plants grown from tubers.  I'm wondering if Doug Strong style "pull starts" would be more like a seedling tuber or a tuber grown plant from that perspective.  Even seedlings that seem to give full yield seem prone to producing more tubers in the seedling grow out than the tuber grown plants of the following generation.  Or is that my imagination?

Community & Forum Building / Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« on: 2018-11-05, 05:21:21 PM »
Hi there, I'm Dorothy and on the few platforms I frequent (Instagram mostly) I go by 'torp tomaten',

Torp-Dorothy I'm so excited that you are here! 

Plant Breeding / Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« on: 2018-11-05, 07:36:40 AM »
In my experience, in the eastern US, late blight has become adapted to be much more virulent on tomatoes than potatoes. After the great blight outbreak of 2012, my answer to late blight in tomatoes is to never grow them outdoors ever.  This has completely solved blight for me with tomatoes, which is a major income generating crop for me.  For potatoes, which I grow primarily for my own consumption, I have almost never seen severe late blight, I'm surprised by bill's comment saying late blight is not a big issue in the PNW.  I thought it was.

Here on the east coast, they grow tomatoes year round in Florida and on the Gulf Coast, which provides a year round habitat for late blight, and provides a selection pressure towards increased adaptation for virulence in tomatoes.  At least it seems so to me.  AFAIK, we don't have both breeding types of late blight in the US, which is baffling since it is endemic in Mexico, but they do in Europe and is capable of forming oospores/recombining etc in Europe but must persist in live tissue here in the US? 

reed, have you considered changing your timing or cultural practices to avoid the hottest part of the year?  It seems crazy that you can't grow potatoes along the Ohio river.

Plant Breeding / Re: Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-11-03, 04:59:14 PM »
I'd be interested in any resources/papers related to breeding potatoes for starch characteristics.  I am very partial to high dry matter/floury potatoes but most of my seedlings seem to be waxy to medium texture.  What are the genetics of floury vs waxy flesh? 

Its pretty impossible to say how common the nitrogen fixing symbiosis is amongst different corns, but I think aerial roots are incredibly common, and almost every corn I've added into my breeding projects has expressed it to one extent or another.  I also think the "gel" on the roots has more functions than feeding bacteria.  I also think the time when it is most visible to us is the period when nitrogen fixing is completely NOT its primary function.  The gel appears and disappears on the same roots based on the humidity conditions at that time of day.  On a dewy morning or right after a rain, they are covered in gel.  On a hot windy afternoon, the gel is completely invisible.  It is clearly a very hygroscopic, mucus-like excretion.  Its not clear to me if the plant produces fresh gel every time the conditions are right, or if the gel is always present but just rehydrates and dries out as the humidity changes.

I think that when the roots are above ground, the primary function of the gel is to lubricate the penetration of the root into the soil surface.  Once the root is below the surface, that's when the fixation symbiosis becomes relevant if the plant is capable of it (JMO).  All the plant/fungi/bacteria symbiotic systems I'm familiar with require structures with lots of surface area.  Aerial roots don't have any surface area to speak of.  If you dig up a root ball, you see that those aerial roots start branching immediately when they get below the soil surface. 

Plant Breeding / Re: Capsaicin
« on: 2018-10-29, 05:13:22 PM »
The seeds don't actually express any heat as far as I know.  All the heat in a pepper is produced by the maternal tissue, so there would not be any change in heat in the pepper containing the crossed seeds, they would be the normal heat of whatever the mother variety was.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salanova lettuce Questions
« on: 2018-10-25, 11:09:25 AM »
Yes, we wandered off topic, and I helped.  According to the US patents most of the Salanova lettuce patents are expired or about to expire except for the one that was filed in 2013.  For Nicolas' purposes though it probably is more important what the status of the patents are in OZ. 

Plant Breeding / Re: Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-10-25, 11:05:24 AM »
Diploids are interesting, especially the extreme yellow flesh types- Papa Amarilla and Yema de Huevo, but for growing lots of useful food, tetraploids cannot be beaten.  I grow both, but if I could only grow one or the other I'd drop the diploids in a hot second.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salanova lettuce Questions
« on: 2018-10-24, 05:37:00 AM »
I would much rather sell whole heads of lettuce, or even loose salad mix (which I do) but the reality is that I sell a SH*T tonne more when bagged. People are Innately lazy , I had many idealistic/ ethical dilemmas over this sort of stuff but it came down to me either being able to pay the bills doing organic market gardening , or doing work which I did not enjoy and was alot more against my ethics then the former.
I think if the biology thats on your veg is dominated by what is going to make you sick washing it with water isnt going to get rid of it anyway, unless its with bleach or heavily chlorinated.

Nope, washing removes a lot of pathogenic bacteria.  Not washing leaves them on.  The studies on this are really cut and dried.  Washing produce with plain water is an important safety step. The idea is not to remove all bacteria, it is to reduce the population of bacteria below a harmful threshold.  It doesn't even need to be harmful bacteria that were on it when you harvested and bagged it, it can be harmful bacteria that came from their own hands or lives in their fridge.  If you bag salad mix, people treat it as a ready to eat product, and they will throw it in their fridge and use it for as long as it doesn't look visibly rotten.  Its a nightmare. 

In any case, the nice thing about the giant mechanized greens producers and robot microgreens farms is that they are rapidly lowering the price point for salad mix/microgreens to the point where it will be unprofitable for small farmers to compete.  That can't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

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