Re: [tomato] It's your turn

ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 (
Sun, 18 Oct 1998 10:07:48 -0400

Hi Louis,

>> I am not interested, however, in finding out
how I am being duped by big business or some other nebulous force  when I
don't mind spending a few bucks for the convince of buying seeds or

Your lack of interest in preserving germ plasm that has evolved over
centuries in opposition to utilizing that which is easiest for the moment,
seems frivolous.  The baby boomer generation seems beset with those who
think only of "me" and "now".  Extinct is forever and even the hybridizers
must have stable germ plasm from which to work.  To cite an example, a mule
is a hybrid and if mules are to continue to exist past the current
generation, somebody must continue to raise the horses and donkeys which
are crossed to create the mule.  Your few bucks for convenience are
financing the destruction of the very foundation on which gardening was
developed.  This invites going back to the "hunter/gatherer stage in the
evolution of mankind.

As far as the perpetrators being some "nebulous" force, I submit such
companies as Ceiba/Geigy, Shell, and Volvo as three of the top ten in
infamy.  Do you consider those behamothe nebulous? Companies of this
magnitude have the ability to "pull the wool over the eyes" of the majority
of readers.  After all of my research I must admit to falling for Burpees
pitch about 4th of July and once again I was disappointed.  To continue
with ones head in the sand is to march with the crowd as our genetic base
is eroded by those who are only interested in money now.  On the other
hand, it has been said that "where ignorance is bliss.'tis folly to be

I hope we woke you up! <G>

Stabilazation of a variety involves starting woth about two dozen plants
from f2 seed, collected from a hybrid fruit.  From these plants, collect
seed from the one that most closely resemples the original.  Continue this
winnowing process until all plants are edenticalfor three generations and
you can consider yourself to have a stable variety.  This is the lengthy
although vital step that the seed barons have ignored.  When they decide to
drop a seed it becomes EXTINCT as in for ever and that can very well cost
us our food crops worldwide.

Steve Parton of Melbourne, Australia and myself are currently trying to
stabilize "Firefox" a nice Aussie hybrid and are looking good at ehe fifth
generation.  I may be able to present that one in a year or so since
combining Steve's two seasons per year with my single one at the opposte
time as his will let us get three generations per year.

I know that taste is an individual thing and readily admit that if we all
had the same tastes, every manin town would be chasing my wife.  To
document what the usual taste preference is, I would like to relate an
experiance with a garden center here in Baltimore.  In 1997 I offered 200
heirloom transplants there and, with some difficulty, managed to sell them.
 In 1998 I offered 2,000 plants and all were sold in the first week! 
Personal satisfaction and word of mouth had increased demand to that
extent.  I could have probably sold 5,000.

Good gardening,
Chuck Wyatt