[nafex] Re: Are your plants working for you? AKA, Ruthless culling

Big Swede JFrisk at pionet.net
Fri Dec 29 18:28:55 EST 2000


The "Apples of New York" just raved about an old apple named "Swaar".  It
was supposed to stay on the tree long and be very good eating.  I grew it
and found it the most unappetizing apple I ever grew.  It stayed on the tree
a long time because I don't believe the birds would even eat it.  It might
of done well in the Hudson River Valley but in SW Iowa it was a real dud.
Judson L. Frisk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lon J. Rombough" <lonrom at hevanet.com>
To: <nafex at egroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2000 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: [nafex] Re: Are your plants working for you? AKA, Ruthless
culling


> I can't swear it's the same with apples, but with many old grape
varieties,
> they tend to have rather specific climate/soil requirements.  Not
surprising
> when you realize that they were selected at a time when they didn't get
> tested everywhere before release - someone found a good vine that did well
> in their area, so they grew it and raved about it.  When the variety was
> eventually tried elsewhere, the lack of adaptibility was discovered.  In
> some ways, having a variety for every locale was natural when there was no
> shipping to bring in fruit from outside the area - you had to have the
best
> for YOUR area and you had to rely on what you could FIND/breed in that
area
> - you didn't get a lot of chances to get varieties/breeding material from
> elsewhere.  Many of the old varieties were probably the height of what
could
> be grown or was available in their place of creation, but now that we can
> compare many varieties and grow them in many different soils/climates,
only
> a few really stand out.  The rest are only useful for "historical"
> preservation.  The old "Grapes of New York" has hundreds of varieties in
it,
> but I wouldn't rate more than a dozen as really being worth growing.
> Interestingly, those are almost all ones that were rated the very top
then.
> Only those few held up.
> -Lon Rombough
> Grapes, unusual fruits, writing, consulting, more, at
> http://www.hevanet.com/lonrom
>
>
> ----------
> >From: "Christopher Mauchline" <mauch1 at aol.com>
> >To: nafex at egroups.com
> >Subject: [nafex] Re: Are your plants working for you? AKA, Ruthless
culling
> >Date: Thu, Dec 28, 2000, 6:54 AM
> >
>
> >Ed,
> >    I agree with you from one perspective: many of the "old"
> >varieties from a taste/texture perspective are not worth saving.  I
> >had grafted a bunch of "old" varieties on a tree and then later
> >discovered at an apple tasting that most of them were mealy w/out
> >much taste.
> >
> >    But I guess I've read (and maybe I'm being bamboozled here), that
> >a large percentage of livestock varieties (and by extension
> >horticultural varieties) are rapidly disappearing (i.e. in cattle
> >almost all milk production is from Holsteins and beef from Angus as
> >both are superior for those given tasks ) and genetic variation is
> >being lost.
> >
> >    Some of those varieties might contain genes that might be needed
> >in the future (maybe this is moot because of genetic engineering).
> >You noted that the station was now defunct, so those "varieties" may
> >be lost.  I have read that if a characteristic is available in a semi-
> >domesticated or cultivar it is better to breed from that than from a
> >wild variety, as far fewer "undesirable" genes have to be weeded out.
> >
> >    Of course this comes back to how much of one's own property one
> >wants to sink into varieties that aren't "the best".  But I guess I
> >feel it does argue for preservation of some of the better older
> >varieties.
> >
> >Chris Mauchline
> >SE PA, zone 6
> >
>
>
>
>
>


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