Breeding Seconds: A New Class of Product

Every year, I grow many new varieties as part of our breeding program and select only a few to continue. Traditionally, I have disposed of the rest, but I regularly get requests for our breeding seconds and it started to occur to me that these might actually be a product with some demand, rather than compost material. That actually makes good sense and I’m not sure why I didn’t approach it that way from the start.  Our customers like diversity and like to experiment, so why not make them available?

Seconds are the varieties that I considered keeping, but that ultimately didn’t make the cut.  They are considerably better than the average and are different than culls, which include everything that I didn’t even consider keeping.  Obviously, I can’t guarantee that you will get anything that performs well for you, but the difference between the top selections that I make and the average second is not that dramatic.  It is not only possible but overwhelmingly likely that I have missed great varieties that just didn’t perform well enough to attract my attention.  It is also likely that there may be varieties in the mix that will perform better in your climate than they did in mine. 

I have introduced three new offerings this year.  The oca has been selling very well, so we’ll see how the potatoes and yacon do.  If interest holds up, I will make these available every year.



2 thoughts on “Breeding Seconds: A New Class of Product

  1. Eric E Barnes says:

    Does the S. acroscopicum seed packets have 2x and 4x seeds? What are your thoughts on if grafting might improve fruit/seed set and pollen production in some species? Sorry a little success with tps plus reading the info you provide makes me see the potential in potatoes. Thanks

    • bill says:

      S. acroscopicum packets have diploid (2x) seed. For tetraploid seed, see Twanoh. Grafting can improve seed set. You can graft onto non-tuberous Solanum species or tomatoes and there is no competition for resources that way. A little success is all that you need to build on!

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