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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by reed on Today at 03:54:01 AM »
... Until then, I had been trying melons one after the other hoping to find one that would do well in my area and with my style of growing. I realised I had been going about it the wrong way...

My sentiment exactly. I wasted a lot of garden seasons trialing one thing or another, keeping track, keeping them separated and so on. The landrace style is a way faster and easier way to find what works in any particular garden. A big share of genetics in my melons came from the Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace.

A stable variety is about the last thing I will plant now days except maybe to add it in my mix. I wish there were a lot more breeders offering high diversity landrace seeds.
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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by Raymondo on Today at 02:30:07 AM »
Joseph’s melon project was the first landrace project I had ever read about. Until then, I had been trying melons one after the other hoping to find one that would do well in my area and with my style of growing. I realised I had been going about it the wrong way. Now that I am (almost) setlled on my new place I’m looking forward to breeding a melon mix that does well here. Thanks for the inspiration Joseph.
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Plant Breeding / Re: Capsaicin
« Last post by Doro on Yesterday at 10:27:31 PM »
I did an experimental cross with sweet pepper x hot pepper.
The F1 was slightly lower in heat, intermediate between the parents in size of the peppers.
The F2 (8 plants) had: 1 plant with no heat, 1 plant with almost no heat (I did not notice heat, but a fried who does not eat spicy food at all said 'it's hot!'), the other plants were noticeably hot in various levels but none reached the hot pepper parent plant. Size of the peppers was small to intermediate, none reached the size of the sweet pepper parent and two were almost as small as the hot pepper parent. Usually high numbers of seedlings are needed to find big ones. Getting size back is always most difficult and often requires back crossing at some point, especially when the parent varieties have a big size difference.
The F3 - F5 derived from the plant with no heat had only offspring that was not hot.

I didn't continue with it further, the flavour was just no good. Bad flavour is really hard to get rid of. I should have picked a better tasting hot pepper variety, just used that particular one for the cross because of its hardiness and low light requirements. It was worth a try.
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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by Doro on Yesterday at 09:47:13 PM »
What a great breeding project! It's a joy to see that you succeeded with hardier melons. Mountain weather can be so evil.
I tried melons for so many years, but eventually gave up. It's just not meant to be here. They survive, but don't even make female flowers in my weather. Sigh. But then I can't even grow ordinary cucumbers out of a greenhouse lol why should melons be different.
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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by Joseph Lofthouse on Yesterday at 09:36:04 PM »
Language is so fickle, and so variable from place to place. What the grocery stores here are selling with the name of "cantaloupe" perhaps shouldn't even be called food. They are too hard and too bland to even be palatable. But the local prosecutor isn't interested in enforcing anti-fraud laws.
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OSSI pledged varieties / Re: Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by rowan on Yesterday at 09:32:09 PM »
True cantaloupes should never be bland. Come to think of it I doubt that your local stores are selling cantaloupes unless you live in France, or maybe England.
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OSSI pledged varieties / Lofthouse-Oliverson Landrace Muskmelon
« Last post by Joseph Lofthouse on Yesterday at 08:09:40 PM »
Lofthouse-Oliverson Muskmelon


My first breeding project, and still my favorite was cantaloupes. I gathered seeds from perhaps 60 varieties of cantaloupes and planted them together in a field. Many varieties died young. Many grew poorly and didn't produce fruits. A few did marginal and produced seeds. I saved the seeds and replanted. About the third year, I was harvesting a hundred pounds per picking.

The first couple years, the only selection criteria for the cantaloupes was, "Must produce viable seeds, no matter how immature". Once the cantaloupes were reliably producing mature seeds and ripe fruits, then the selection criteria changed to must taste and smell great. For years I have been tasting every fruit before saving seeds. The fruits must be sweet as can be, and smelly as anything. I realized after a few years, that I was calling my cantaloupes by the wrong name. They should be called muskmelons! They bear little resemblance the hard, bland "cantaloupe" sold by stores. So these days i only take muskmelons to the farmer's market. They have a loyal following of people who crave the glorious taste and wonderful smell. One day, I put a couple baskets of muskmelons in the cab of the truck with me. That was a fragrant ride!

And, they actually grow in my cold mountain valley. One lady told me that she's been trying for years to grow muskmelons here in the valley, and mine was the first ripe fruit she ever harvested. If I accomplished anything with my farming, that's about as nice a compliment as I can imagine getting.

While developing this variety, I collaborated closely with another grower in my valley. We each grew muskmelons, and swapped seeds with each other for a number of years.  Each of us contributed our last name to the variety.

This is what a typical variety of cantaloupe looks like when grown in my garden, if it even survives this long.


This is what my variety looks like when planted and photographed on the same day, growing a few feet away.


100 pounds of melons per week!


Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

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Plant Breeding / Re: Capsaicin
« Last post by Diane Whitehead on Yesterday at 12:54:21 PM »
New Mexico State University has an interesting article:   https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/H237/welcome.html

Some points I find interesting:

There are more than 22 known capsaicinoids. The major ones, capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, normally occur in the highest concentrations.
( I assume there will be genes for each of them.)

environmental factors such as temperature and water influence the heat level. A mild chile pepper cultivar bred for low levels of heat will become hotter when exposed to any type of stress in the field. Conversely, a relatively hot cultivar given optimal environmental conditions will become only moderately hot.
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Plant Breeding / Re: Capsaicin
« Last post by Dominic J on Yesterday at 11:05:48 AM »
Given how wide the scoville ratings will vary, and there are stable varieties all across the board, I'd have a hard time seeing it even possible to not be based on polygenic traits.

If it was just one gene, you'd typically expect to have a cluster around the low value, the high value, and the middle value, at most, for codominant alleles. Or just two clusters otherwise, for recessive/dominant ones. But that's far from the case.
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Yes, I planted them mixed. The second largest may well be domestic. Neither tasted that great, not bad, but not good enough to eat the whole thing. I just ate a few scoops from each.

I'm almost certain the big one is partly citron, due to the patterns and pale flesh.
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