Landrace Gardening: Getting What You Want


I use promiscuous pollination among genetically diverse parents to get what I want from my garden. One of the most useful traits of landrace plant populations, is that addition to adapting to the climate, and the soil, and the pests, they also adapt to the gardener that is growing them and to the cultivation methods used. It has been a joy to use the processes of promiscuous pollination and local adaptation to tailor my plants to my specific way of doing things and to get what I want out of them. 

Recently, I reviewed the business plan of a newly forming organic seed company. They are intending to sell seed localized to New England. Their marketing materials emphasize that they are growing their seed crops over plastic.  That will tend to create a population of plants that are most well adapted to growing over plastic, and will lead to plants that are not as well adapted as they could be for the typical home garden and small scale farm which do not use plastic ground covers. If you are a New England grower that plants over plastic that might be a great source of seed adapted to that particular method of growing.

Reviewing how other growers care for their plants got me to thinking about how my habits affect the plants in my garden. One way that was immediately obvious was regarding water. I constantly hear people in damper climates say that they water their plants twice a day and they are still wilting. I live in a super arid climate, and I only water once a week by sprinkle irrigation. My plants don’t suffer from lack of water. 

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