Until recently, every gardener in the world saved their own seed. And every gardener was, therefore, a plant breeder.
They simply saved the seed of the plants that did best for them, and which they liked most. Although simple, this was efficient.
If things changed so that your cabbages didn’t do well, someone down the road had a slightly different one that would cope. This has worked very well for the past 11,000 years.
@neauoire this is what modern seed swaps are all about. People mail packets of seeds that have done well for them to others, and get packets back that they can try out. This is how I learned about cushaws, and eventually wrote an article about them. Farmer in Kentucky sent me a packet of all sorts of squashes. I recall correctly, I sent dragon tongue beans and a couple of tomatoes.
@neauoire We used to have an entire book on this! Well, on breeding plants, that is, one that went into basic genetics and everything. Maybe we even still have it...
@neauoire ah, is it "time to hate Monsant"-o' clock again?
(rhetorical question: it's *always* "time to hate Monsant"-o' clock)
This hasn't really worked so well like ever. Unless dying from hunger was part of *working very well*. It wasn't super effective either.
@neauoire The ongoing, international attack on seed saving is just another attempt by conglomerates to entirely hijack another industry and take it away from its workers. To dumb things down, that is.
I didn't know how extensive and malicious these operations from companies like Mosanto were, until I saw interviews of Dr. Vandana Shiva.
Very true. There are also grassroots efforts to retain diversity amongst rice varieties in India. This helps save drought and disease resistant varieties which are not necessarily high yield ones.
Deb says "Companies are spending billions on 'gene mining', or seeking specific genes. Yet after 60 years they still do not have one which can withstand a drought or flooding or sea water. But all of these characteristics are available in the landraces.
Deb: "High-yielding crop varieties have resulted in the loss of numerous landraces possessing important genes. With the rapid disappearance of folk varieties, farmers have become entirely dependent on commercial seed suppliers for their crop. Seeds used to be a precious gift to relatives and friends. Because crop seeds were traditionally to be belong to the community, there was no scope for commercial appropriation," he says.
@neauoire In case there are EU folks around, I'll slip a link the EU public consultation about the ongoing work on a new seed legislation. If you dislike those proprietary seed hoggers, do fill it out :-)
Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.