Jon Wisnoski wrote:Hello all,
Was reading this thread and heard about inbreeding depression for the first time. What I am wondering is how does one go about starting a sustainable corn growing and seed saving project? I can buy several thousand seeds from any number of online stores, but there does not seem to be any guarantee about the genetic diversity of those seeds. A small packet of a few hundred seeds might all come from a single plant. And if they are not willing to even mention the genetic diversity/inbreeding depression factor, I have my doubt that they would go out of their way to provide a diverse batch of seeds to their customers.
Any help and advice on how to get into the growing and saving of some open pollinated heritage corn would be greatly appreciated.
Jon Wisnoski wrote:Some great ideas there. But the step I am really stuck at is how to start.
Jon Wisnoski wrote:Some great ideas there. But the step I am really stuck at is how to start. Assuming I wanted to shell out $100-$150 for a couple pounds of corn, which is quite an investment for me, from what I am seeing I would not even be guaranteed to have any amount of genetic diversity at all (a 5 lb packet could literally just be 3-5 ears of corn). And no matter what methods I took after that, baring buying in more seed year after year, the corn would be unsustainable. Do you need to search for specific places to buy seed to get the required genetic diversity or do all those online shops that sell seeds mix up their seed corn such that if you bought 5 lbs you would be guaranteed to get seeds from over 200 plants?
Todd Parr wrote:You could do what I did, for exactly the same reason. Just get some seeds from Joseph and start there.
Burra Maluca wrote:Have you checked out the links in Joseph's signature? He has some *very* diverse genetics in his seeds!
Jon Wisnoski wrote: 1/5 of an ache (think the area is 300' by 30'), which should be about 6,000 plants
(Joseph's) location is so radically different than mine that it might not make a lot of sense. If his corn is adapted to a desert up in the mountains with lots of sunlight than my muddy cold northern climate might be be the exact opposite of what the corn likes.
Jon Wisnoski wrote:Thanks for the continued advice. I was unaware of how easy and advisable it was to interbreed just about anything you want all the time. I would of thought that the results would of been so unpredictable that maintaining the pure genetics would be important.
Jon Wisnoski wrote:Is hand pollination doable for crops of ~10,000 corn plants, without spending exorbitant amounts of time and or money on it?
Jon Wisnoski wrote:Oh, so you are saying that I only need to hand pollinate the ones I end up keeping seed from. That's a way better idea than hand pollinating every single plant.
But that would sort of prevent me from picking for the best traits? Or at least extremely limit my ability to, as I make most of the choice well before it is particularly obvious how well a plant will produce.
Jon Wisnoski wrote:On the topic on interbreeding corn varieties. Is hand pollinating the only method to prevent cross pollination when all your neighbours grow GMO corn?