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Topics - Kai Duby

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Seed Saving / In Ground -Biennial Roots- Harsh Winters
« on: 2019-02-12, 07:36:21 PM »
This is my first year attempting to save seed of biennial root crops by storing them directly in the ground over the winter. I know that a lot of seed growers hand books say that this is not a good idea but I have also met a lot of gardeners that have been able to keep the roots and get seed just fine in the ground.

By harsh winters I mean either extreme, abrupt changes in temperature often to below freezing for short periods of time or extended, months long freezing temperatures. The moisture levels in soil going into winter seems like a determining factor as well.

I've met people who say that they have overwintered carrots in frozen soil.
I have personally overwintered rutabagas through a harsh winter under some snow though quite exposed on a southerly slope.

This year I am attempting carrots, daikon, and rutabaga directly in the ground. I planted them in furrows after selecting them from the market bunches and when frost was imminent I covered them with a good 8-12'' of straw.

I also put a lot of the roots in totes filled with sawdust, but given my limited space, I buried the boxes in heaps of old hay in an old excavated hole.

Just wondering if anyone else has successfully overwinter the common biennial root crops through harsh winters.

Plant Breeding / OSSI Industrial Hemp
« on: 2019-02-04, 05:13:18 PM »
I know that this is a bit of a testy subject but given the recent legislature and current trends I think it's important to bring up.

On the land I am currently living on I have one neighbor who is growing hemp for CBD, another that is a recreational retail grower, and farther afield there are hundreds of acres getting planted in hemp. About every 5 miles down the country road there are big razor wire fences surrounding high input greenhouses growing some kind of Cannabis. So it's a huge business out here in the high altitude desert.

For this forum I am only talking about hemp as the USDA defines it:
a plant of the genus Cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.

This is obviously a bit of onerous bureaucratic lingo but I think that is why it's important to put the issue up here because, although it is now legal, hemp is steeped in regulation, which makes it less likely to be picked up by small-scale breeders and more likely to have large corporate buy in.

There are currently only 6 true, tested 0.3% hemp varieties available (that I know of) here in CO that are distributed through the CDA.
I was thinking about what would happen if a large part of the very limited genuine 0.3% testing seed was OSSI pledged before any kind of corporate seed grab occurred. Perhaps that's dangerous thinking but that's why I thought I'd throw the idea out here.

I've never actually grown it but I've watched all of this ag-industry grow up around me and it makes me wonder.

Would it be worth giving the county commissioner a key to your land and dealing with regulatory fees, testing and all of the rigmarole to breed out an OSSI  hemp variety?

Tomatoes / Are Determinate Tomatoes Weaklings?
« on: 2019-01-13, 09:26:32 PM »
I have read various accounts that determinate toms generally have a weaker root system (as above so below) and, given their reduced size, are generally weaker than indeterminates. This year was my first year really growing tomatoes in large quantities and it seemed to me that, yes, the indeterminates, although longer to maturity, tended to out perform the determinates. However, for the purposes of market gardening, the determinate tomatoes were more ideal for labor input, space requirements and generally a shorter time to yield.

I haven't seen very many farmers growing determinates for market and judging by the many schemes for trellising greenhouse tomatoes, there seems to be a disproportionate advantage to growing indeterminates.

It may be a "newbie" question but if determinate tomatoes really are doomed to a less-than fate then I might as well gear my tomato projects toward a more behaved indeterminate type.

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