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Yacon: Seedling Progress

Last year, we grew two new yacon varieties from seed and also collected more than 1000 yacon seeds.  This year, after starting seeds in November, we have 132 yacon seedlings.  Each one of those seedlings will be a new variety, a consequence of both yacon’s polyploid nature and the fact that it is an obligate […]

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Eight ulluco varieties grown from seedlings. The tubers are small. Colors are purple, light green, yellow, orange and purple, dark purple, and lime green

Ulluco: 2015 Mini tuber harvest

We had 27 ulluco seeds germinate in 2015, but they did so over a very long period of time and more than half of them popped up in September, by which time it was growing late to produce tubers.  In addition to short day length, ulluco needs a few months of growth before it is […]

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New Variety Introductions for 2016

I’ve announced a lot of achievements that I was proud of in this blog, but this might be my favorite. These are the new varieties that we have produced in the past couple of years, all of which have been released under the terms of the Open Source Seed Initiative pledge. That picture represents thousands […]

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Ulluco: Seedling Updates

This continues to be an exciting year on the ulluco front.  We have had a total of 8 seeds germinate, one as recently as last week.  The first four plants survived the fragile stage and are now vigorous and healthy, having reached perhaps half of their ultimate size (assuming that they do not grow larger […]

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Oca: What does it taste like?

I get asked a lot of questions about oca, but one is asked more commonly than all of the others combined: how does it taste?  Most people don’t want a long answer, so it is easy to fall back on the standard descriptions like “lemony potato” or “potato with sour cream.”  These answers satisfy those […]

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2015 Projects

Plant breeding takes a long time, so 2015 projects will look a lot like 2014 projects, and 2013, and 2012, and so on.  I make it my policy to bite off considerably more than I can chew each year while imagining that it will be different this time.  2015 will be no different, as we […]

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GMO Potato Concerns

We sold out of potato seed very quickly this year.  Normally, people buy one packet and that is usually done along with a larger order.  This year, we had a lot of orders for nothing but potato seed and in quantities of 4 packets or more.  That’s a lot of potato seed!  A lot of […]

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Carrot: Ox Cart F3

Back in 2009, I set out to breed a new carrot variety out of the ashes of the Oxheart carrot, for which I could only find poor quality seed.  Oxheart is a good variety for growing in hard soils, as it is short and stout.  Unfortunately, it seems to have been grown by few people […]

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