Post by littleminnie on Oct 16, 2015 8:16:27 GMT -5
I like the smoothness of Red Fuseau but the tubers are so far from the stalk I have to dig everywhere. They are ok sized but it is so much work. The soil is great except a bit heavy right now with dampness. I miss the larger although knobbier tubers of Stampede.
From the sandy potato fields of Sherburne county, Windy River Eco Farm grows heirloom vegetables, flowers and herbs for Market and CSA. Been growing since 2008.
I saw an article about Genome Skimming in which researchers sampled genetic material from sunchokes and determined that the sunchoke is a recursively hybridized result of two different sunflowers: the Hairy/Ashy Sunflower and the Sawtooth Sunflower.
Fine; I'm just not sure the wild ancestor is much more useful than the wild ancestors of most of our cultivated plants, not that I want to discourage anyone's investigations; if you've got the enthusiasm, go for it, by all means; we have no idea what might result from your efforts. Best of luck! Stay in touch.
"Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." E. Roosevelt "If the world is to end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today" Martin Luther
Eric Toensmeier has suggested that people try to cross sunroots with seed sunflowers in order to get a perennial seed-producing sunflower. As I believe sunroot seeds are edible as-is, I think they must not be as prolific as common sunflowers. But it's also possible that it's an issue of seed size.
I recently read an article in a formal ag journal describing perennial sunflower breeding at the Land Institute. To summerize it, the pollinated several clones of J. artichokes with pollen from oilseed sunflower inbreds. Seed set was low but non-zero. Many (most?) of the F1 plants didn't survive the winter, but some did. Seed set and pollen production on the F1s were low but again non-zero. Better than the seed set on the J. artichokes with sunflower pollen. Head on the F1 plants were bigger than any pure J. artichoke head, but smaller than the oilseed parent. Branching was reduced from the J. chokes, but all were branchedd and no plants had single heads. The F2 plants had better seed set, no suprise. They also had fewer branches, bigger heads, bigger seeds, fewer heads, but still no single heads. This was all the F2 plants, before human selection.
I'm all for increasing the genetic diversity of domestic sunchokes. But I think there is no need to recreate the species when there is so much unused natural diversity in sunchokes, especially the wild ones. But like Steev says, if it interests you, go for it. What I like most about this group is that so many people are doing things many gardeners would think are crazy. But people are getting good results. Not always maybe, but often enough I want to be part of it.
I was able to get several dozen of what look to be viable seed from a three year old patch of Waldspinel and White Fuseau sunroots cross pollinating each other. I'm excited to keep this process going with several more individuals/strains for continual building of genetic diversity for open-pollinated sunroots. I want to plant these in a wild context and for a population to be able to take care of itself and rewild back into the native seed bank.
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2016 20:06:59 GMT -5 by wildling
Hi philagardener, my home base is in southeastern Pennsylvania in Chester county, not far from Philadelphia or Lancaster. Right around the DE/MD/PA tristate. I roam around the area quite a bit though and am invested also in the area of the lower Susquehanna river between York and Lancaster counties and the high Allegheny mountains of eastern West Virginia, especially around the Canaan valley. Basically, I'm Mid-Atlantic!
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2016 20:25:37 GMT -5 by wildling
IIRC, Oikos Tree Crops was not only selling tubers from specific varieties of sunroot, but was also selling potted seedlings from random crosses. They're somewhat expensive (they sell only potted plants, not seeds, and sunroots don't set a lot of seeds generally) but you might want to take a look.
Fedco (as Moose Tubers) also sells several varieties, which shift with the year. That's where I got mine. Clearwater, Sporospelka, and Waldspinel.
I just sold Oikos 20 lbs. of the "Stampede" variety of sunchokes that I grow in my backyard. They often set more than one tuber per plant, some quite large, others medium to small size. I would love to try planting other varieties. Any suggestions appreciated.
I am in SE Tennessee, USA and they grow quite well here. I've also found a wild sunchoke that produces smaller tubers but quite tasty.
Excellent! Grow and make available: that's the deal! To paraphrase Ben Franklin ("We shall all hang together, or we shall all hang separately."), we shall all grow together, or we shall all fail to grow, separately.
I planted some of Joseph's in the fall of 2015 and got a good 1/4 cup or more seeds from them in 2016. There were actually more but I didn't mess with collecting them all. I picked flowers from some wild ones and attempted to cross them and expect at least some of the seeds are likely crossed but of course I don't know which ones. I was thinking of sprouting them in pots to see if they sell at the farm market.
Flowering did not coincide with any of my annual sunflowers so I wasn't able to do any crossing with them. I'll try that again this year.
I am blessed with sunflowers here in central Kansas. There are H. tuberosus and H. rigidus, perennial hexaploids. H. annuus and H. peteolarus, annual diploids. And H. mollus, H. giganteus, H. salicifolius, H. grosseratus, H. maximilianii, perennial diploids. The perennial diploids are all interfertiile. I have aquired sunroots seeds from Oikos and will be crossing with domestic sunflowers this summer. Sunflower pollen is easy to collect and stores well. Here it stores for a month or more in a open jar. I have rather low humidity. Pollen is collected by scraping it off the flower with a popcicle stick. Or put a bouquet of sunflowers on the kitchen table, with the vase on a sheet of white paper. Pollen will fall on the paper and can be poured into the storage jar. Brush it on the stigmas with an artists paintbrush. When my kids were young, I let them keep bumblebees off the flowers I was pollinating by tickling the bumblebees with another artists paintbrush. No one got stung over several years. Bagging the flowers is maybe better, but who has the time? When sunflowers start it bloom, a ring of florets will have pollen on the first day the flower is mature. The second day those florets will have fertile stigmas and another ring of florets will have ripe pollen. And the third day, usually, the inner florets will have pollen and the middle ring of florets will have ripe stigmas. And the fourth day teh inner stigmas will be ready. Sometimes a smaller flower will only be fertile 2 days. Others will sometimes require an extra day. But mostly I found 3 days of pollen and 3 days of stigmas per flower.