Variety maintenance

Bi-O is gaining experience with variety maintenance, and aims to start offering self-produced seeds of certain varieties in one or two years. Both sold directly, and through other channels.

Anja Hougaard Storaker (having a go with the planting of the oat roots above) is studying biology at UiO and will participate from this summer in the work in our fields at Sørbråten Gård.

This autumn, we have been working with variety maintenance for seed production of root vegetables, among other things:

  • Pastinaca sativa Parsnips ‘White Gem’, from many sources

  • Scorzonera hispanica Black Salsify ‘Hoffmanns Schwarze Pfal’, from many sources

  • Tragopogon porrifolius Salsify ‘Haferwurzel’, from Solhatt’s Bingenheim range

The salsify field was sown in the spring of 2019 and about 50% of the roots have flowered this year. We have selected those that have flowered and among those selected for the right root shape and put in their own field (what Anja is working on above). Then we have done the same with those who have not flowered and set in the field about 3 km away. These plants consistently have better root size, probably because they have been able to prioritize this, and thus this can be an interesting trait to breed on. It will be exciting to see if the trait dominates in this population, when the seeds we get from these next year form roots in 2022 and then possibly bloom, or linger with it, in 2023.

There can be great variation among the salsify plants in respect to root shape. Here we choose only the straightest to the left, about 100 roots.
Here, those who have not flowered this year shoot new shoots 22.09.2020

Salsify has beautiful flowers, and long seeds with a “parachute”, similar to the black salsify. (NB! Wear workwear when you harvest: the gummy juice from the plant forms spots you can forget to get rid of …)

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