Podcast #3: Tom Wagner of Tater Mater Seeds

In this episode of the Cultivariable podcast, I talk with Tom Wagner of Tater Mater Seeds.  Tom is a well known public domain breeder, based in Everett, WA, who has worked with tomatoes, potatoes, and corn for more than sixty years.   We discuss potato and tomato breeding, the history of some of his varieties like the Green Zebra tomato and the Skagit Valley Gold potato, and about the future direction of his work.

Many of the links that I am listing are not very active, but Tom is planning to do more online, including starting his own podcast, so bookmark these links and stay tuned.  Tater Mater Seeds is not currently open for sales.  Tom’s forum is open and he is hoping for more people to post there.  There is a huge wealth of information there, so it is well worth signing up.

Tater Mater Seeds Forum

Tater Mater Seeds

Tater Mater Blog

Tom in the field
John Tom Kaighin potato
A stenotomum type potato selected by Tom
The Sweet Casady potato with pedigree
Tom’s sister with Skagit Valley Gold potatoes
Laverton, a diploid potato selected by Tom
Tom giving a workshop in Ireland
Tom’s well known ‘Green Zebra’ tomato
A potato plant with many tags where the flowers have been hand pollinated


4 thoughts on “Podcast #3: Tom Wagner of Tater Mater Seeds

  1. Ockert says:

    I am very happy to see that you have started a podcast.
    My first proper TPS experiment directly traces back to Tom Wagner and I was very pleased to listen to the conversation with Tom. This is my fourth year making and saving potato seeds and as a complete plant nerd it is one of the most fun garden experiments I have started.

    I really hope that Tom is able to make some germplasm available at some point again.

    In the mean time I keep keeping an eye on the great selection of material Cultivariable makes available.

    Keep up the good work.

    • bill says:

      Thanks Ockert! It was fun talking with Tom and I am certain that I’ll have him on again in the future. Maybe comments will help to inspire him to open his seed shop again.

  2. Tim Springston says:

    Was re-listening to this while making salsa.

    I wonder if you could get some written clarification from Tom on some of these questions on the end RE: how to help. He never really answered how much land he actually needed, how much space in a greenhouse he needed, for how long per year. I don’t live in the Seattle area, but if I did, he left it too vague what he actually needed so some folks that might be interested are maybe hesitant? Or if he needs funds, where and how to make that happen?

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