The Northeast Organic Farming Associations of New York (NOFA-NY) is happy to announce the recent publication of “Breeding Organic Vegetables: A Step By Step Guide for Growers.”
A century ago, all gardeners and farmers saved their seed and planted local strains. Today, the art of plant breeding is nearly lost. Much of modern plant breeding uses biotechnology and caters to the high-input needs of large-scale commercial growers. Through the work of university researchers, on-farm researchers and home gardeners/homesteaders, NOFA-NY brings practical solutions for plant breeding to organic growers of all experience levels through the Breeding Organic Vegetables manual.
The purpose of the 96 page manual is to give farmers and gardeners clear, concise and tangible tools for plant breeding through theory and techniques that allow growers to create varieties that suit their particular needs. In addition to explaining basic plant breeding theory and methods, the authors cover all the necessary steps in a breeding project, from deciding on a breeding goal and finding suitable germplasm to performing selections and evaluations. Five grower-breeders also share their insight and breeding “recipes.” The authors’ goal is to not only show how plant breeding can be done, but also to empower growers everywhere to breed imaginatively, and to produce vegetable varieties that are attractive, productive, disease resistant, and well adapted to organic systems.
The recently released publication was co-authored by Rowen White and Bryan Connolly and edited by Elizabeth Dyck. In collaboration with the Mohawk group Kanen:hiio, Rowen White is the curator of an extensive collection of heirloom seeds for native communities all over the Northeast region. She is also the author of Haudenosaunee Native Seed Restoration. Bryan Connolly is the state botanist for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and has authored The Wisdom of Plant Heritage, the NOFA handbook on small-scale seed production.
Copies are available for purchase for $18 (plus tax and shipping) on the NOFA-NY website, www.nofany.org/shop or by calling (585) 271-1979. Orders of more than ten copies are eligible for a 25% bulk discount.
NOFA-NY, Inc. is an organization of consumers, gardeners, and farmers working together to create a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and educational opportunities, we promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing. NOFA-NY brings consumers and farmers closer together to make high quality food available to all people.
The project was supported in part from funds from the USDA Organic Research and Education Initiative Award No. 2004-51300-02229 and USDA-SARE grant LNE04-204.