Breed your Own Vegetables
Have you ever wondered where all these great varieties of veg come from?
Ordinary people who were good at gardening perhaps, and who really cared about their veg,
People just like your grandfather and grandmother, the last generation that routinely kept their own seed.
If you think about it, someone has to breed tomorrows heirlooms now.
But how do you start out a new variety?
To get a new variety of vegetable, you need some variation - something different to choose from.
Usually this comes by crossing two different varieties that you like - either on purpose, or by accident.
For example, you might have a small yellow tomato that was great, but a bit sour.
The offspring - as with animals - will come out all different -
And you can select the combinations that you want - in this case small yellow sweet ones.
If you then breed from these, you'll eventually end up with a stable variety of your own.
And you can of course eat the less-good ones, so there's no great loss from the garden.
Our Gardeners Vegetable Breeding Project
What we have done is make the intial crosses for you, from parents that we know will go well together.
Each seed in the packet is slightly different - and each person will end up breeding a different variety
OK - let's start!
You don't need to know a great deal, but if you'd like to understand it further there's a book that is good.
Then, choose a variety from those below. Have fun!
Oh, a final word about ethics.
All the vegetables you and we eat these days are the end results of 11,000 (yes eleven thousand) years
We see food plants as part of our common human heritage. And we do not think it is correct to patent them.
So, we are doing this breeding work and releasing this material into the public realm for everyone.
These seeds should released and improved for the unrestricted benefit of all.
Delicious Early Vine Tomato Project - Original Diverse Selection
Tomatoes do cross occasionally, at a low level. A few years back, after growing our Latah (ToLA) and Irish Gardeners Delight (ToGi) next to each other, we noticed one plant of the next sowing of ToGi that had bigger fruit, and an amazing flavour. It had leaves like Latah, and was really early.
We saved seed from it, and planted that; getting some vine plants and some bush plants, with varying flavours and fruit sizes. From these were have selected this breeding material, based mainly on taste and earliness.
No longer available - see the improved version below:
Delicious Early Vine Tomato Project : Ben's 2010 Vine Selection
This is an alternative to the seed listed above, which is quite variable, with seed from many different of the 3rd generation plants, so people got a lot of differences to chose from.
This is seed from just one plant in the 4th generation, so there will be smaller differences between the plants - less for you to chose from - but then more certainty that the variety is good.
In 2010 Ben grew out about 30 plants from seed of the Vine Breeding project (ToXV) above; one plant was to his taste better than all the rest.
It has slightly top-shaped fruit and a particularly good flavour while still being very early. This seed from that one plant is the 4th generation since the original cross bewteen two very early tomatoes.
You’ll still see a bit of variability but we think they will all be vines now. Save your own seed from the one best (taste, earliness, yield etc) plant you get each year for 3 years; you will find that the plants get more uniform each year and at the end you will have a new variety that is stable, and selected for your own preferred taste and conditions. Have fun!
Order ToBS - 20 seeds £1.95
Delicious Early Bush Tomato Project
The other selection from our Latah - Irish Gardeners' Delight cross, this is a cherry BUSH variety, mostly variable only in truss shape.
Order ToXB - 20 seeds £1.95