Long time lurker, first time poster. Many thanks to Templeton for encouraging me to jump on board.
Firstly about myself, I've previously worked for some Aust Ag companies breeding sorghum/sunflower/sweet corn. Currently hold B.AgSc and studying a research masters in Irrigation dynamics for pulse crops. Have long had a keen interest in plant breeding (mainly grain crops). However I stumbled across one of Joseph Lofthouse's articles on landrace gardening and breeding which got me interested in veg breeding. I jumped aboard one of the Oz forums and Templeton was very kind enough to send me a heap of seed to progress some of my continuing projects.
My current projects: Red Sweetcorn, Purple Snowpea, White-fleshed rockmelons, a range of tomato projects (blue beefsteaks, pink trusses, whites), also working on a C.maxima pumpkin and also improving C.pepo Spaghetti Squash (sweeter, orange flesh).
My location is Goondiwindi, Qld. Semi-arid which usually gets temperate winters down to -3oC and subtropical summers up to 40oC. Rainfall is spread between the two seasons however is highly variable in summer and subject to very hot and dry periods.
Well I don't want to waffle on to much, so anyway that's me
Hi troppo, welcome to the forum. Yes, as templeton says these folks REALLY do know maize. More info here than you could poke a stick at. And I too came across some of Joseph Lofthouse's landrace projects and it changed the way I think about plant breeding today I reckon for the better. How do the peas go up your way - what's your growing season?
Hi Steve1, thanks for the welcome. Good to hear from other people who have got bitten by the plant breeding bug. My pea growing season is usually over winter. I sow late Autumn with peak pea production over winter, I have a spot on the north side of the house so the plants don't get direct frost just cold temps. My season ends now as its already getting a bit hot for them (and i needed the space for other projects). I would like to try and get spring production but i think that its just to hot for them here that time of year (summer is definitely out).
I've been fooling around with Joseph's Cherry (red) sweet corn (when drought has permitted); not sure about sending to Oz, but I have lots of seed. It may be things could work out; let me know, if you're interested.
It's adequate as sweet corn, but fully colored and starchy, it's stunning in a salad or whatever.
I've still not gotten the blue/yellow out of the pool, but that's actually better sweet corn IMHO. If the drought relents, I want to pursue the two lines separately.
Many thanks for the offer Steev, unfortunately due to quarantine laws corn can't be brought into the country which is a bit of a pain and limits the OP varieties we can work with here. Templeton sent me quite a few a few months ago which will allow me to add some new genes into my lines to beef up the diversity.
What other projects are you working on?
My current projects apart from the red sweetcorn project include: C. maxima - developing something similar to Joseph Lofthouse's buttercup maximas but with a more familiar pumpkin shape (ie no 'buttercup button on the blossom end) C. pepo - developing a sweeter and more flavorsome spaghetti squash Purple Tomatoes - red beefsteaks with purple shoulders and white cherries with purple shoulders Snowpeas - stabilizing my own purple line and red/yellow bicolour line