Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving, 2nd Edition
By Carol Deppe
All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn’t require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It’s enjoyable. It’s deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.
Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower. Discover:
- how to breed for a wide range of different traits (flavor, size, shape, or color; cold or heat tolerance; pest and disease resistance; and regional adaptation)
- how to save seed and maintain varieties
- how to conduct your own variety trials and other farm- or garden-based research
- how to breed for performance under organic or sustainable growing methods
In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to “take back their seeds.” They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.
Reviews and Praise
Review by John F. Swenson, Volunteer--Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden
There is nothing quite like this book in the world's literature--it is the Hope diamond of horticulture. In the field of edible plants, Carol Deppe is a modest legend who has been a matchmaker and midwife to many new vegetables.
In this book, Ms. Deppe explains how she and a few other masters of plant breeding have achieved their success. She encourages the rest of us to try our hands and hearts--and patience--at producing our own culinary gems. Ms. Deppe, who combines a doctorate in plant genetics with insatiable curiosity and soil-stained hands, will continue to inspire growers to participate in a creative process as ancient as farming itself.
This book is an intense and readable exposition of the science and art of plant breeding, which will inspire and inform any reader. Even the casual reader who doesn't take up the challenge of developing unique garden specialties will become aware of humanity's debt to our predecessors, who turned wildlings into the organisms that can feed all of us. Ms. Deppe deserves a special pedestal in the company of her kindred spirits for this book, a revised version of a work originally published in 1993.
In Good Tilth-
“Every serious organic gardener and farmer needs to read this book. Even casual gardeners—in fact, anyone interested in our food supply, whether in its production or its consumption—should find it fascinating and inspiring. No one who reads it will ever look at vegetables or other plant foods in exactly the same way again. Joining Carol Deppe on her plant-breeding adventures throughout these pages is a privilege and a delight. Her mastery of genetics, far-ranging experience and contagious passion in plant-breeding, and wonderful talent for conveying it all through the written word, make her book as unique as her vegetable varieties. The food supply of the future can indeed be flavorful, nutritious, interesting, and sustainable, if we amateur plant breeders learn the lessons she shares.”
"Any gardener interested in vegetable plant breeding must have this book. It is the standard reference. But it is also much more than that. Deppe's grasp of the intricacies of plant life will enlighten food lovers as well as general readers. Thank you Carol Deppe!"--Michael MacCaskey, editor-in-chief, NationalGardening.com
"Deppe invites you on a journey of discovery to reclaim the lost lore of our ancestors, to relearn the traditions of seed-saving and seed-breeding and to take back control of the seed.
Within you will find information not available in other garden books or anywhere else. Learn how to design trials, why and how far apart to isolate varieties for purity, how to understand and appreciate the subtleties of selection and why the detailed artistry of classical plant breeding makes most genetic engineering look like the work of simpletons.
Here is a woman who knows seeds, who knows the ineffable joys working with them brings, and who has penetrated deeply into the mysteries of their inner workings. She can be your guide as you chart your own path to restore and renew a time-honored tradition one experiment at a time."--C. R. Lawn, Fedco Seeds
"The gardening book of the decade." --Ken Allen
"So new and unique that it could truly be called one of a kind . . . [it's] unlike any other book on the market . . . Certain to change the way many growers see the act of gardening."--Don Parker, Publisher, The Growing Edge
"Deppe has done Luther Burbank one better. She has bred many significant new varieties and now has provided the instructions for others to follow her lead. Great Work. Great Book."--Suzanne Ashworth, author of Seed to Seed