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Photos of Joseph Lofthouse's Garden

 
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I'm three weeks late planting fava beans this year. Those wheels are 6 feet tall. Might be a while before I start planting.

We had 200% of average precipitation this winter. The highest recorded since recordkeeping began.
snow-April-2023.jpg
Deep snow the first week of April.
Deep snow the first week of April.
 
master gardener
Posts: 1187
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
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Does all the extra snow guarantee that you’ll have enough irrigation this year?
 
pollinator
Posts: 570
Location: SE Indiana
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Wow, I haven't seen that much snow in Indiana since the blizzards of 1978. As I recall it started on January 6, and there were still dirty piles of snow around in May. The Ohio River froze completely over for the first and so far, only time, since the high-rise dams were put in place in the 1950s - 60s. At one time temperatures didn't break zero for two weeks. A foot or two of snow at a time, came in a series and it all piled up. I dubbed it the REAL winter and enjoyed it immensely.

Here's hoping your snow melts pretty soon so you can plant and that it does reinvigorate your water supply.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2235
Location: RRV of da Nort
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Joseph,  Yes....I think other areas like the Sierra's are getting more press coverage, but my sister informed me that Alta ski resort south of you had recorded 801 inches of snow for this past season.  On the ski slopes it's a packed 230 inches if I recall correctly.  She's worried about another 1983 when the streets of downtown SLC were raging rivers after a rapid melt.  Don't know if the entire Wasatch front range has been receiving the same or if it's only certain areas with heavy snow totals.  Return of the Great Salt Lake?....   Photo below from this morning after feeding the chickens (outside of Fargo ND).  Historically, Good Friday was the target for planting potatoes in the region.  Looks like there will be some delays....   :-?
ColdGreeting.jpg
cold-greeting
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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The irrigation reservoir is expected to fill, and then run-over in a raging torrent. Stream flow in my local streams is expected to be above average through the whole summer. My irrigation comes from a combination of storage water and unimpeded stream flow.

I checked on reservoir levels. Many of the storage lakes, including mine,  are currently dumping water to the Great Salt Lake, in an attempt to save some capacity to minimize flooding from spring run-off.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Doomer Optimism Episode 133
Landrace Plant Breeding and the Future of Food


Joseph Lofthouse and Julia Dakin joins returning guests/co-hosts Shane Simonsen and Simon Gooder. The gang talk plant breeding, landrace style. They dig into hybrids, genetic crosses, wild analogues and fun things like grexes. Joseph and Shane tell everyone how to get started with home-scale plant breeding, and how optimistic they are about the future of food.

Joseph Lofthouse is a sixth-generation farmer, working on the land and with plant varieties is great grandparents made. He started his professional career as a chemist, but due to ethical dilemmas decided to go in search of himself, and seek refuge in a monastery before returning to the family farm. He now develops open-sourced landrace varieties of vegetables, and is an author, and teacher.

Julia Dakin is a farmer and seed activist in Mendocino County, California. She has been involved in agriculture for most of her life, and has devoted the past few years to growing market crops and teaching the benefits of seed saving, local adaptation, and genetic diversity.  She created most of the content available in GoingToSeed’s online courses, and is working on a new course about traditional farming methods in Oaxaca and Guerrero.

Shane Simonsen of Zero Input Agriculture started his professional career in a similar place to Joseph before deciding to commit to growing food on his own farm in Eastern Australia. His focus is on perennial staple crops with the goal of achieving [as close to] zero input as possible, breeding for drought-resistance, productivity, and general resilience. Shane also writes some fantastic fiction, writing under the name Heldane B. Doyle!

Simon Gooder is a gardener, designer, and nature nerd. He helps run Permapeople.org - an open plant database with his co-founders/friends, and is focused on growing perennials from seed, intensive vegetable gardening, homeschooling a child, building things and connecting with community through gift economies and barter.

 
Posts: 89
Location: SF bay area zone 10a
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Joseph, did you know that you got a shout-out in the letters to the editor in the New Yorker a few weeks ago?
Someone had written an article about seed catalogs, and a reader responded talking about how saving seeds for landrace gardening "as popularized by Joseph Lofthouse" was superior to just buying seeds from big companies.
I had no idea you're the big guru. I mean I know you have been doing it a long time & know a lot, but I didn't expect to see a name that's familiar from Permies in a mostly urban-oriented national magazine. Congratulations.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Thanks Ellen: Book sales unexpectedly jumped a week ago, and I wondered why...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/04/10/letters-from-the-april-10-2023-issue
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I spent this week developing springs and swales to feed the springs.

IMG_20230505_203940_161.jpg
One gallon per minute.
One gallon per minute.
IMG_20230505_203940_180.jpg
Filling a small pond with one gallon per minute
Filling a small pond with one gallon per minute
 
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Wow.....Cool

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I'm three weeks late planting fava beans this year. Those wheels are 6 feet tall. Might be a while before I start planting.

We had 200% of average precipitation this winter. The highest recorded since recordkeeping began.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I installed the greenhouse shade-cloth today (50%).

Yesterday, planted the sweet peppers into the kitchen garden, located at lower elevation, and thus warmer than my main field.

Here's some photos of what grows in the greenhouse.

A blog post, about working on a german language translation of Landrace gardening.



greenhouse-shade-cloth.jpeg
50% shade cloth
50% shade cloth
sweet-peppers.jpg
sweet peppers
sweet peppers
promiscuous-tomatoes.jpg
Beautifully promiscuous and tasty tomato project
Beautifully promiscuous and tasty tomato project
pistachio.jpg
pistachio seedlings
pistachio seedlings
currents.jpg
current seedlings
current seedlings
ground-cherry.jpg
Going to Seed groundcherry mix
Going to Seed groundcherry mix
plums.jpg
plum seedlings
plum seedlings
pecan.jpg
pecan seedlings. Probably not winter hardy...
pecan seedlings. Probably not winter hardy...
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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On November 16-17, 2022 The Seed Lab Advisory Committee, a group of independent seed professionals, met at Stone Barns Center to discuss their work along with issues that the seed community faces. I really enjoyed my time with the Committee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aDSo55fZoQ
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Please join me for a garden party at my farm.

August 19th
Paradise Utah

I’ll host garden tours in the morning.
Intending lunch at the city park’s pavilion that I built as a teenager helping my daddy.
They tell me I have to say a few words before lunch.

Here's a photo of my garden a few days ago. Yes, I gave up on trying to do no-till in this field.

pavilion-paradise-utah.jpg
Pavilion in Paradise, Utah
Pavilion in Paradise, Utah
josephs-garden-2023-06-27.jpg
Garden a few days ago
Garden a few days ago
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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My Monthly Podcast
4 PM Mountain Time
Sunday, July 9th.

Note that this time deviates from our typical schedule to accommodate Shane’s waking hours in Australia.

Dr Shane Simonsen is a former biochemist who ran away to the hills of subtropical Australia to become an experimental farmer. He writes weekly about his efforts at developing zero input agriculture at substack. In his spare time he writes science fiction as Haldane B Doyle. His debut novel “Our Vitreous Womb” explores a distant future where society has rebuilt using purely biological technology.

Zero Input Agriculture: https://zeroinputagriculture.substack.com/

Author website for fiction: https://haldanebdoyle.com/

Book: Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0645724343/

Message me for the Zoom link.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I host a garden tour and party in a couple weeks.

Farm-Tour-Flyer-19-Aug-2023.jpg
Garden tour and party
Garden tour and party
squash-corn-beans.jpg
squash and corn
squash and corn
squash-collapse.jpg
Too much rain, leading to sudden squash collapse
Too much rain, leading to sudden squash collapse
swale-2023-08-02.jpg
The swales love the rain
The swales love the rain
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Photos from my recent trip to Row 7 Seeds, Blue Hill, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
blue-hill-stone-barns.jpg
Stone Barns
Stone Barns
lofthouse-presentation-stone-barns.jpg
Felt like a science fair
Felt like a science fair
lofthouse-tomatoes-blue-hill-at-stone-barns.jpg
The colors enchant me
The colors enchant me
yellow-chariot-stone-barns.jpg
yellow chariot tomato
yellow chariot tomato
panamorous-tomato-stone-barns-2.jpg
orange tomatoes
orange tomatoes
solanum-peruvianum-stone-barns20230813.jpg
My kids at stone barns
My kids at stone barns
20230810_190526.jpg
Lofthouse current tomato on a tart
Lofthouse current tomato on a tart
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I grow a squash for USDS GRIN.
PI-438572-20230820_greenhouse.jpg
Cucurbita ficifolia
Cucurbita ficifolia
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I speak at the Heirloom Seed Expo next week at Ventura County Fairgrounds.
heirloom-expo-2023_819.jpg
Joseph Lofthouse Heirloom Seed Expo 2023
Joseph Lofthouse Heirloom Seed Expo 2023
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Going To Seed live podcast
September 9th 3:00 PM Mountain Time

Message me for the Zoom link (same as always)

Mark Reed
Broccolish, sweet potatoes and all things garden



Mark Reed has been a backyard gardener for more than sixty years. He learned basic gardening techniques from his father and grandfather. In the 1970s he abandoned the use of pesticides and purchased fertilizers, and began saving some of his own seeds, mostly tomatoes and beans. Over the years he became more interested in saving his own seeds but at first was largely focused on varietal preservation.

Mark wrote, “… one of the primary goals ... was that heirloom preservation was necessary in case the genetic diversity was needed at some point in the future. I finally realized, now, is the future, and what’s needed isn’t all of those individually named varieties but the genes they contain. Why do I care if my two favorite watermelons cross pollinate, the result is still good watermelons and the problem of isolation distance and population size aren’t really problems at all. Nothing is lost except the names.”

The discovery of a few seeds on an old ornamental sweet potato plant about ten years ago pulled Mark into the world of actual plant breeding and he’s been strongly focused on it ever since.

I first remember Mark Reed from the Homegrown Goodness plant breeding forum. His writings over the years deeply influenced how I think about plant breeding and landrace gardening. His pragmatic, sensible approach calms me, and helps me to take the long view towards my garden and ecosystem.
sweet-potato-flower.jpg
sweet potato flower
sweet potato flower
sweet-potato-seeds.jpg
sweet potato seeds
sweet potato seeds
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Finally, after 7 years of trying I harvest a great crop of Solanum galapagense wild tomato.
solanum-galapagense-wild-tomato.jpg
Solanum galapagense
Solanum galapagense
solanum-galapagense.jpg
Solanum galapagense
Solanum galapagense
 
Joseph Lofthouse
author & steward
Posts: 6542
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I cleaned the seed drying rack yesterday. Yikes, it still contained the seed crops from 2020. The last few years seem tough.

I feel content about allowing Acorn and Delicata to cross into a beautiful winter squash.

Two of my favorite corns from South America.

The volunteer beans produced heavily, mostly on semi-vining plants.

A new hybrid bean showed up for the first time: Tan Anasazi.
seed-drying-rack.jpg
Drying corn and beans
Drying corn and beans
acorn-delicata_191654.jpg
Acorn Delicata winter squash grex
Acorn Delicata winter squash grex
south-american-corns_182423.jpg
Two favorites from S
Two favorites from South America
volunteer-beans_153822.jpg
The volunteer beans produced a lot of seed
The volunteer beans produced a lot of seed
semi-vining_151346.jpg
High productivity on semi-vining beans
High productivity on semi-vining beans
tan-anasazi_173005.jpg
New hybrid bean: Tan Anasazi
New hybrid bean: Tan Anasazi
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