The Cultivariable Podcast

The freelance plant breeding world encompasses most of the activity that takes place outside of academic and corporate plant breeding. Lone researchers specializing in unusual species, farmers working on adaptation to their specific climate conditions, small seed companies breeding for Organic systems, backyard hobbyists, and many others work to develop new plant varieties, often in obscurity. The Cultivariable podcast highlights freelance plant breeders and also the work of the greater community that makes their work possible, including the plant explorers, collectors, and researchers who provide the raw materials and information so critical to plant breeding.

Podcast #9: Telsing Andrews of Aster Lane Edibles

In this episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I talk with Telsing Andrews, a nursery owner and plant breeder based in Ontario, Canada.  We talk about the struggles of running a small nursery, sweet potato breeding, chufa, cabbage, chickpeas, sea kale, carrots, multiplier onions, and many of her other favorite plants. You can contact Telsing and […]

Podcast #5: Q&A

In this episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I answer listener questions: 00:57 Which tuber crops are best for permaculture? 05:14 Are there any tuber crops that fix nitrogen? 08:35 Might arracacha be a dynamic accumulator? 10:35 Can you explain the process that you use for collecting plants from the wild? 14:35 Why should all gardeners […]

Podcast #4: Q&A

In this episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I answer listener questions: 00:52 – Why don’t you grow sweet potatoes and yams? 05:52 – Can you explain what a tetraploid is? 12:39 – How would you recommend that someone in high school become a plant breeder? 19:05 – What plant breeding books do you recommend? 21:51 […]

Podcast #2: Curzio Caravati and the Kenosha Potato Project

In this episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I talk with Curzio Caravati of the Kenosha Potato Project and Kenosha Urban Farm Institute about collecting potatoes, growing potatoes in an urban farm environment, and growing potatoes from true potato seeds (TPS).  Along the way, we discuss farmers markets, how potatoes can be classified by their agronomic […]

Podcast #1: Nathan Kleinman and the Experimental Farm Network

In this first episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I talk with Nathan Kleinman of the Experimental Farm Network about participatory plant breeding, sustainable agriculture, and some favorite plants like sorghum, chinquapin chestnuts, and perennial kales.  The Experimental Farm Network connects breeders with trial growers all over the country, making it possible to speed up variety […]