Author Topic: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!  (Read 392 times)

Andrew Barney

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Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« on: 2018-10-12, 03:08:37 PM »
I know many breeders and gardeners on here already from various forums, but already there are some talented people on here that i don't know!

Why don't we all give a nice introduction about ourselves, what alternative user names we might be known by, and any current or past breeding projects we've worked on or want to work on.

Hi, I'm Andrew Barney, I'm 28 years old and currently living in Loveland, Colorado. I'm recently married and we are currently in an apartment, which makes gardening and plant breeding tough. We might move to Cheyenne Wyoming next summer.

I'm commonly known as "keen101" or "Biolumo" on other forums such as Homegrown Goodness or the MIT Open Ag forum. Sometimes i publish CAD designs on Thingiverse for 3d printing. I currently work assembling large robots for military contracts and bomb squads which is cool,  and i like robots and technology,  but more of me likes plant breeding and being outside far more. I haven't decided if i will go back to school for a plant breeding or science degree,  but i have the option open.

I've worked on breeding for high anthocyanin foliage Indian corn,  teosinte, perrennial teosinte, teosinte-corn hybrids, Peas (this year i planted 18 different lines and still did not have room for all my other pea germplasm), Watermelons adapted to Northern Colorado, and a new project involving [Domestic watermelon x red seeded citron melon] hybrids. Oh And somewhat helping with the "large wild tomato /promiscuous tomato" breeding project involving all kinds of different goals. Basically finding and breeding good tomatoes for my soil and climate for my lazy gardening habit (of which there currently are very few).

I Also have a blog: keen101.wordpress.com
« Last Edit: 2018-10-12, 06:10:07 PM by Andrew Barney »

rowan

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #1 on: 2018-10-12, 03:56:42 PM »
Hey Andrew, your work sounds awesome, both the robot, and the breeding work.

My name is Rowan, but I also respond to 'peasant', 'hey you', and 'wanna go out for a coffee'. I have a small seed farm growing heritage seed for small seed companies here in Aus. I started my breeding with melons since I love them, but have since moved into zucchini and potatoes. Damn I need some extra hours in the day, lol. I also love growing Andean tubers which I grow under shadecloth.

I live in southern Victoria, Australia and grow in very acid, low nutrient sand over iron buckshot. At least my kind of soil can easily be improved and worked. Our summers get very hot and dry, and my water table in winter is at surface level so I can't grow much in the ground over winter.
My blog is:  https://garden-larder.blogspot.com/
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Garden Larder:  www.gardenlarder.com.au

Lauren

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #2 on: 2018-10-12, 07:30:59 PM »
I'm pretty much just Lauren on most forums, except when I use my real name. :) Lauren is me when I'm writing, which is mostly what I do during the winter. Except now I have my greenhouse so I'm playing with that this year.

During the summer I'm an obsessive gardener with delusions of grandeur (I can improve my sandy, rocky soil in two weeks! Wheee!) and insufficient patience to see through my grandiose plans. I do tend to dig up the seeds to see if they're growing yet...

I've been harvesting my own seeds for most of my life, but only recently have I started actively breeding/selecting for the qualities I want rather than just sticking seeds in the ground and hoping they grow (See the note about sand and rock above).

I started a watermelon landrace (2nd year, but I'm pleased with the results so far) and next year I'll start dry beans. I'm also playing around with dry farming, with the goal of 0 water use.

Raymondo

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #3 on: 2018-10-12, 09:35:58 PM »
Hello everyone. My name is Ray, raymondo on most forums I frequent. I live at about 1000m (about 3300ft) in northern New South Wales in Australia. The farm is 16 hectares (about 40 acres) on an old flood plain, great soil but lifeless through years of poor management. Weíre setting up a mixed market garden and orchard and agist cattle.
I dabble with tomatoes (did a number of the original crosses for the dwarf tomato project) and have a kale mix I grow and add to from time to time. Once the market garden is better established I want to develop a flint corn mix that will do well here and a melon mix and a winter squash mix that donít mind the often coolish summer nights we get here.
« Last Edit: 2018-10-13, 02:23:04 PM by Raymondo »
Ray
Growing in slightly acidic clay loam over clay and ironstone

Oxbow Farm

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #4 on: 2018-10-13, 06:48:07 AM »
Hi,

I see lots of people I know from elsewhere.

My name is Tim, I farm in the Northeastern USA on approx. 30 acres of mixed tillable land, woodland, and wetland.  Zone 5A (USDA) on gravelly/stony silt loam.  Severe frost pocket.

We are commercial market gardeners/vegetable farmers.

i breed some crops that we grow for market, brassicas and lettuce mostly. Some squash and sometimes cukes. I'm very interested in breeding for color and visual impact, and also for pest resistance, particularly for swede midge in B. napus kales. 

I also breed corn and potatoes for our homestead use.  I've dabbled with beans, soup peas, cowpeas, and soybeans.

I have been very inspired by Carol Deppe's works "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties" and "the Resilient Gardener".  My corn breeding program was directly modeled on her work as described in TRG but has diverged widely since, as we eat corn completely differently than she does, in almost every way. 

reed

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #5 on: 2018-10-13, 07:10:44 AM »
Hello, I'm also reed on HG and Reedy on theeasygarden bean network. I garden in SE Indiana on a dry ridge about 400' above and two miles away from the Ohio River.

I'v been a gardener for a long time, for the first 30 or so years, with a couple exceptions, I just bought seeds every spring, dumped on plenty of seven dust and 10-10-10 and started over the next year. About 20 years ago when I moved to my current place I decided to stop buying anything that comes in a can, bottle or bag. If stuff won't grow without all crap, I decided, then it just wouldn't grow. Some did and some didn't.

I had saved some of my own seeds, maybe a tomato or two and some corn but when I decided I wanted to move almost exclusively to that I got some books and read up on the subject. It was very discouraging. I don't have the space to meet all those rules on population sizes or  isolation distances and all that stuff. I almost gave up.

Then it occurred to me that since I just didn't care anyway about the likely fictitious family history of Aunt Poly's petunias, that the terrible curse of inbreeding might easily be solved just by letting different varieties of the same thing cross all they want. I don't need 200 plants if they aren't identical from the start. I don't need 1/2 mile isolation distance, 2 feet is more than enough. 

I started researching that idea, most specifically about corn at first and  came across some writing on Mother Earth News by this feller named Joseph Lofthouse. He was flat out saying that the world would not end just because some bees mixed up the pollen on my beans. Then I found and joined the HG forum and read oll of Carol Deppe's books so now it comes down to this: Hi, I'm Mark, and I'm a plant breeder.

Most all of my crops are being converted to a landrace style treatment. I like to save my seeds for the most part according to the Alan Kaupler definition of Grex. Where multiple generations are just all grown together.

As far as more controlled breeding with more specific selection, I have two crops I'm working with, A fast maturing flour/ornamental corn that does well in my area and creating a massively diverse grex of Ipomoea batatas. I'll be adding winter squash to that list but not far enough along on it to know how it might turn out.

William S.

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #6 on: 2018-10-13, 08:26:12 AM »
Hi, my name is William and I live and garden in Ronan Montana. I have an empty eight acre lot with a well and about 3.25 of my eight acres are arable historic farmland. It's glacial lake Missoula lacustrian parent material (clay) mollisoil (grassland soil).

 I work as a botanist summers, am married, have a toddler, and am working on becoming a science teacher. Botany works busy season is the same as gardening and this has historically led my gardens to be smaller, more neglected, and sometimes even entire skipped gardening years because of work. For instance a field season in California usually means no garden that year.

I read Carol Deppes book on vegetable breeding about twenty years ago which got me started on several early projects. I was also very inspired by Gary Paul Nabhan's writings on land race crops.

I have a series of questions about tomatoes. Can I grow them direct seeded in Ronan Montana? The answer for this was yes. Can I do it without supplemental watering? - maybe but the plants will be smaller and yield less. Without weeding? Not yet. Can I get fancier and tastier super short season varieties? Working on it. Can I get wild tomatoes crossed into the project? Working on it.

Then I have questions about California chia, tomatillos, Wheat, rice, barley, fava beans, miners lettuce, peas, beans, corn, and more. If I have one variety of something I look for a second.

Year before last (as measured in garden time) I sent Joseph some dimes and a letter. He sent me back a world of germplasm. I allowed much of it to cross with my existing stuff. I think of these mixes as grexes they may contain large amounts of germplasm from a Lofthouse modern landrace or a Native Seeds Search historic landrace- but they may be a recent cross between the two so I relegate them back to Grex status. I've also gotten alot of seed in the last couple years from relatively few seed trades. I've now got so much germplasm I find I can't work with it all every year. So I try to pick out a few species to focus on each year. Tomatoes are currently highest on the list. Beans need to be grown out again. I also really need to freeze some seed for longterm storage.

I am also addicted to volunteering populations. I love just weeding around them year after year. For a lot of species, this is becoming how I save seed, and breed them. Tomatillos, lettuce, dill, siberian kale, amaranth, orach, mustards, radish, miners lettuce, california chia, turnips, carrots, and parsnips are all in this category.

I have a few breeding goals, but largely I have found that I am happiest with diverse seed mixes. It leaves open the possibility for further selection, and maintains diversity in the meanwhile.

I am also very curious about the potential for resilient seed mixes to adapt to current and changing conditions.

One recurring question I have is Fukuoka inspired. What can I stop doing? What are the minimum inputs necessary?
« Last Edit: 2018-10-13, 09:51:52 AM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

bill

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #7 on: 2018-10-13, 02:18:25 PM »
My name is Bill and I am a plant breeder.  I suppose I am even a professional plant breeder, although I don't really feel like one, whatever that means.  I run Cultivariable, through which I sell just enough seed that I am able to spend the majority of my time on breeding.  I release new varieties under the OSSI pledge and I am a recent addition to the OSSI board, where I will be helping out on the variety review committee.  Like many freelance breeders, I got my start with Carol Deppe's Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties.

I work mostly with minor crops, with the exception of the potato, but most of my potato work is with Andean and wild potatoes, rather than the more common modern types.  I spend the majority of my time on ulluco, oca, potato, yacon, mashua, dahlia, sea kale, skirret, and sunchoke, in roughly that order.  Most of those are clonally propagated polyploids and I guess I have developed a bit of a specialization in dealing with these kinds of plants.  I tinker with another 30 or so crops, but not very productively so far.

I live with my wife and some mongrel dogs on the central coast of Washington, about 300 yards from the ocean, in the fog belt.  I do most of my work in about an acre in our yard and I have another eight acres down the road that I will be increasingly expanding into, although I doubt that I will ever use more than three acres in any given year, my limitation being more the amount of attention that I have to dole out, rather than space.

Richard Watson

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #8 on: 2018-10-14, 02:20:33 AM »
Gidday my name is Richard, i post on HGG as RichardW and Medbury Gardens on Tomatoville.

My love of gardening started at about the age of 5 when my dad gave my a corner of his garden to poke a few seeds in, i pretty much grew in that square piece of soil till left high school where cars, girls and beer became a priority. Marriage in my mid 20's renewed my interest again where i also joined a local organic growers group and so the real learning began, you look back and see the mistakes made, my first garden back was a no dig style using old hay as mulch, well the black birds moved in and sent the hay flying in all directions so that garden was not overly successful but i managed to grow some stuff. The end of that marriage and drifting between different houses for about another 4 years meant gardening was limited till i meet current partner Jackie and got seriously back into gardening again. I had read about a lady called Kay Baxter who had started a heirloom seed company called Koanga Gardens here in NZ, so i became involved with Kay as a seed grower for them, at that stage the only seed i saved was a carrot i now call Benhorn, in those days i was horribly breeding it, I was totally focused on heirlooms, heirlooms were the be all, that was till i stumbled upon a forum called Home Grown Goodness and I learnt about grex crosses and landrace breeding, it all made so much sense so i starting playing around crossing different vegetable varieties, celery and parsnips and later my Benhorn carrot received added genetics.

It was about that time i set up a Co-Op of keen seed growers and named it Sentinels group, there's five of us with just over a hundred seed lines listed on our website.

We live on 5.2 hectares surrounded by dairy farms which has its benefits as in limited chances of cross pollination. The soil type is free draining loam on alluvial shingle, great soil to work but drys out fast even with a fair amount of carbon that's been added over the last 17 years.                   
« Last Edit: 2018-10-14, 02:29:23 AM by Richard Watson »

grokrathegreen

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #9 on: 2018-10-15, 08:19:44 AM »
Howdy I am a seed dabbler in the South West corner of Colorado, Dolores Colorado. Open source and locally tailored seeds are, to my mind, a very basic part of regional culture and local economy. This fall I am recovering from a pretty tough growing season, between a serious drought, and trying to farm land with serious soil contamination I got fewer seeds back than I planted for most crops, but still managed to get about a dozen breeding projects to make a little forward momentum.

I have an oodle of seeds from a few volunteer Muskmelons which showed up in my drive way and proved to have greatly superior flavor to their parents generation. I now have more than a pound of carrot seed descended from the best of the pinch of Lofthouse seeds I started with. Found some lettuce types I really liked. Put up a mess of seeds from a feral basil grex I grew to try starting a basil landrace. Expanded seed from a cultivar of amaranth I rather like. And got one more generation of selection closer to a sweet corn that might be reliable enough to provide as seed to other farmers. Then onions, sweet potato, tobacco, hazel nut, okra, beet, garbanzos, lentils, spinach, chard, mustard, orach, sunflower, millet, and tomatillos all took a step forward. Really, it wasn't a terrible year, but very far short of the aspirations.

Almost all of my new world bean lines are on thin legs as the seed planted mostly perished in the contaminated soil, and a couple phenotypes I had found in 2016 may be extinct now. The squash varieties I was playing with, out of a half dozen lines and hundreds of mounds I have three fruits. Cukes, melons, tomatos, peppers, flour corn, kale, all went bust this season.

At present I am mulling over how much to bite off for breeding next year, considering that for more that a hand full of species I can breed in my 20 by 20 personal garden I need to borrow land from a friendly neighbor. After the 90% failure of this years garden, and the  realization that more than 50% success would have overwhelmed me on harvest work, I am wary of what yo bite off for next season to run personally.

Not being landed, most of my employment is in the harvest crew for local organic market gardens, so I am trying to orchestrate breeding plants based on collecting seeds from the best champion grade products of other farms, something of a multi farm seed coop for the county. The details are vague, but since I work at more than three farms in a season, and maintain friendly relations with half a dozen more, I think I could generate more seeds by out sourcing the growing to those farms, and working myself to process the seeds for the various grows. Then depending on what each farm grew for the project they get shares in the total seed hall.

Sorry, that's all over the place for an introduction, but showing y'all a tangled mess of dreams and half baked experiments shows a pretty true picture of me, and that's kinda with an introduction is about.

Raymond Wharton of Dolores

Richard Watson

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #10 on: 2018-10-15, 11:45:52 AM »
Welcome Raymond, you have lots going on,well done.

You say ' contaminated soil ' can you elaborate more

grokrathegreen

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #11 on: 2018-10-15, 04:08:23 PM »
Thank's Richard, basically I was given access to an acre of underutilized land by a buddy neighbor, so I planted most of it using zai pit gardens. Things were going decent, until I noticed that excluding a few spots most of the area started coming up with super distorted leafs; stretched and curled and weird; like they were from the nightmares of Dr. Seuss. Come to find out that the land had been sprayed with herbicides none too long ago, but my buddy didn't know about it, because with extended social groups its hard to keep track of everybody. I don't know exactly what the herbicide is, but suspect it to be in the Aminopyralid family. The corn still produced, and in the gaps in the original spraying I managed to get enough surviving plants to keep the gene lines developing, but most Cucurbitoideae and legumes were complete crop failures.

I am hopeful most of what I want to breed for next year I can raise at the organic farms I work for, but for certain crops not profitable at a market garden scale I might still need to sort something else out.

Meganp

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #12 on: 2018-10-16, 02:24:44 AM »
Hello, Megan here, meganp & meganzqn on other forums. All my growing is done at a community garden where Iíve been trying to produce true garlic seed, unsuccessfully but agonisingly close. I recognise a few names from HGG & Tomatoville here ;)

Nicholas Locke

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #13 on: 2018-10-18, 05:48:27 PM »
Hi,
Nick Locke here,
I live in the Darling Downs area of Queensland Australia.
Im a Married Male with 2 girls under 3, so life is hectic for me at the moment!
My paying jobs are -Market Gardener, Carpenter, Steel Fabricator, Musician
Would love to be doing full time plant breeding / seed sales. Working on it..
Working on alot of Landrace projects, TGS, a few melon and watermelon projects , and improvement of current varieties I use for the market Garden.
currently collecting Varieties and germplasm not available in Australia.
 


"Maybe" said the farmer...

nathanp

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!
« Reply #14 on: 2018-10-23, 09:35:59 PM »
Hi,
My name is Nathan.  I am a hobby gardener in coastal New England, in the Northeast USA.  I grow small amounts of quite a few crops, that vary from year to year. I've dabbled with a few oddities, and usually try something new each year.  I mainly am interested in crops that can be grown sustainably, with little care required, so disease resistance and no chemicals are two of the bigger factors in determining what I save seed from year to year.

I am probably most heavily invested in potato breeding, and typically grow these from both TPS and tubers each year.  I am a member of the Kenosha Potato Project on Facebook, and post pictures of some of my potatoes occasionally.  I've also posted on several other online forums over the past few years.  Having diversity in anything I grow is important to me.  I've been working with late blight resistant potatoes for the past few years and am starting to shift towards Colorado Potato Beetle resistance as a new focus.  Some year I probably will just decide to drop all my tubers and start over with only TPS plants. 

I tend to enjoy growing unusual and unstable crops and the unpredictable is what makes plant breeding fun for me.  I enjoy learning, so failing at something each year ensures I stay on an educational path.  I have a full time job that is unrelated to plant growing, so my plant growing hobby is relegated to weekends and evenings.  Practicality is a function involving the limits of available time, so that tends to eliminate plants that fail to thrive from my plant genepool. There is no babying plants in my gardens.

I have other plant related interests in trees, forests and landscape plants.  I live in a fairly wooded suburban neighborhood, and grow plants both at my home and other locations as I have opportunity to do so.