[permaculture] De-evolution for fun and profit

Loren Davidson loren at farwalker.com
Sun Jul 6 13:07:29 EDT 2003

Good morning,

I had an idea yesterday that I don't recall seeing discussed here over the 
past few years, or elsewhere for that matter.

Most of us are aware of the benefits of seed-saving from open-pollinated 
species. And we're pretty much aware that hybrid plants don't breed true - 
the seed they produce won't grow something that looks just like them. 
Finally, there is the problem of loss of species diversity in many plants.

Is anybody working to "de-evolve" hybrid species back into their ancestors, 
or "forward-evolve" them into new, stable cultivars?

Let's take a hybrid tomato that has qualities you like. Saving and sowing 
seed from that tomato will give you a variety of plants in year two. Find 
the plants that have qualities you'd like to preserve and save seed from 
those for planting in year three. And so on, until you have reached a new 
set of stable, "open-pollinated" tomato varieties that do well in your 
chosen microclimates.

Is anybody doing this? It seems to be to be one possible way of reversing 
the decline of species diversity for commercially-available plants, as well 
as increasing our ability to save and perpetuate useful seed stocks outside 
the infrastructure of the commercial ag industry.

I've played a little with this, in terms of enjoying the fruits of 
volunteer plants coming up in my gardens from hybrid parents, but I haven't 
done much with the seed from these - insufficient time and space so far.

Just a meme for y'all to play with,


Loren Davidson        Earth steward, healer, singer/songwriter
loren at farwalker.com   http://www.earthspring.org/loren/
AIM: loren334     ICQ: 65291610
Loren's album & music info: http://www.lorendavidson.com
"In gentleness there is great strength." - Sun Bear

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