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Topics - Ferdzy

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Short but intriguing article at Atlas Obscura about pre-Columbian farming around what is today St. Louis - it mentions some plants that I am not familiar with at all.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/native-american-farming-cahokia

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Plant Breeding / Need advice re: watermelons
« on: 2019-02-06, 07:14:52 AM »
Hello all -

As some of you will know, Mr. Ferdzy and I have been working on 2 varieties of watermelon.

One is a cross between Orange Glow and Sweet SIberian, to create a mid-sized, tasty, northern-adapted orange fleshed watermelon. We have been making good progress on that.

The other is a cross between Golden Midget with Crimson Sweet and Grover Delaney. The goal here is to create a bigger, better melon than Golden Midget, but with the trait that the rind turns yellow when ripe. We've made some really exciting progress with this one too.

Here's the problem: last summer, during harvest, I discovered one of the Orange cross in the Golden Rind project bed. Up until now they have been staying separated very nicely. On examining the plant and the fruit my conclusion is that this did not happen as a result of the two projects crossing, but by some bird or animal moving a seed from the Orange project bed. This happens pretty commonly with peas and beans in my experience, but this is the first time I have seen it with melons. However it happened, we now have a dilemma.

Do we go back a year and replant the batch of seeds we planted last summer and chalk this one up to bad luck? I have a horrid suspicion the answer is yes, at least for the Golden Rind project. The Orange project should be okay.

Or do we go ahead and plant this years seeds and hope for the best? If crosses turn up, how many years do you think it will take to weed them and their offspring out?

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Plant Breeding / Beans and Anthracnose
« on: 2019-02-01, 08:12:16 AM »
Hello all;

We have been working with anthracnose resistance in beans for the last few years. This is not a project that we chose, it chose us when I purchased some beans from a national hardware chain (Cdn Tire) the brand being one of the old American seedhouses (Burpee? But I don't really remember) and they turned out to be infected. By the time we realized what it was and how serious it was our garden was well saturated in the stuff and now growing beans is a big problem.

Meanwhile, some bean crosses had been showing up in the garden, most of them plainly fathered by Cherokee Trail of Tears. Fortuitously, CToT has really quite decent anthracnose resistance so this has been good. One of the beans they crossed with was Blue Lake S7, so we are trying to end up with a strain of beans very like Blue Lake but with better resistance. Right now they are segregating into flat and round pods, green and purple pods, and white, beige, and black seeds.

Is there anyone else out there with bean anthracnose? Would you like to try some of these seeds? If you do NOT have it, I highly recommend that you do not get these seeds from me. We do our best to collect clean seed but the odds are very good that they carry the spores and are infected.

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