Open Source Nursery

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Strategy

OSE is working on an open source nursery as part of its OSE Aquaponic Greenhouse model. We are testing the design and documenting the resulting economic model. Our strategy for the nursery part is to recruit leading practitioners in the areas of plant breeding, nursery management, plant propagation, and genetics to pursue the identification and procurement of genetic stock for long-term breeding. We are pursuing the approach of swarm genetics, pioneered by Philip Rutter for temperate climate nut crops. We are interested in applying this approach to apples, peaches, cherries, berries, and other useful plants insofar as the result is mass selection of plants that come true from seed. This implies genetic adaptability and popular access to crop development, along the lines of agricultural Open Source Product Development. One known prior art of related breeding work has happened for the Kazakhstan Apple, where apparently high quality apples are grown primarily from seedlings. The bottom line is continued breeding work of swarm selection that yields varieties that come true from seed. This takes more effort, but is required. Clones can be taken of good varieties, but the point remains that someone needs to carry the genetics forward to evolution - and that is the purpose of mass selection. This type of work can occur on a wide scale by the populace, and it is OSE's goal to foster such participation.

Comments and discussion on this important topic are welcome:

Implementation Status, 2016

The 2016 beginning involves plantout of 10,000+ nut seeds. The front window space of the structure accommodates 150 linear feet of space, and 50 more feet of linear space are found on the side walls. Shelves 1' wide are used for trays of seedlings, and a total of 10,000 seedlings can be grown. The recommended sale price for a seedling is $4. Plants can be sold, and remaining stock can be planted out as part of a productive operation. Such an operation can contribute to funding growth to 1000 acres for a complete OSE R&D center, the full-size OSE Campus.

2015 Notes

Needs/Wants Form

Miracle Orchard Want Form

Problem Statement

The current economy is not regenerative. It is possibly sustainable, but in many aspects degenerative. This means that in the future we may not have an economy. This relates to the core issue that OSE is trying to address - that 85 of the richest people have the same wealth as 3.5 billion of the poorest.

About

Plant Database

This database is specific to a global community who want to share, propagate, and make perennial food systems and Miracle Orchards and new reality to shift away from annual-based agriculture as appropriate.

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results

Mission

To identify and propagate adapted varieties for polycultural broadscale agriculture worldwide.

Enterprise Architecture

  • Distributed gene bank
  • Distributed enterprise network - with sharing of best practice
  • Seeds that come with pedigree information
  • Differentiation is documentation (pedigree, adaptation, GIS mapping), and motivation
  • Motivation - transformation from high input to adapted low input
  • Current 400,000 acres of apple orchards by 7500 farmers - can substitute for better practice. - http://extension.illinois.edu/apples/facts.cfm]
  • Open Source Enterprise - replicable enterprises
  • Having a plan vs. planting whatever you want wherever
  • Planting with deliberation - knowing sources and pedigree, documenting local adaptation
  • Directory of collaborating people

First Steps

OSE is kicking off the Open Source Nursery with the Miracle Orchard Workshop in 2015.

Methodology

One low cost avenue of starting a nursery from scratch is by using seeds. The advantage is genetic diversity that comes from cross-fertilization of seed, as opposed to cloning by vegetative propagation (cutting, layering, grafting, tissue culture, etc.). The disadvantage is that some species may not come true from seed. That depends on the plant. In general heirloom plant varieties will have more favorable results. The methodology for seed propagation involves:

  • Seeking named varieties of a plant, such as Blue Moon variety of honeyberry, or Leikora variety of seaberry
  • Obtaining a comprehensive list of known varieties (from University extensions, research centers, others)
  • Finding sources of seed
  • Providing growing instructions.

Many varieties may not be available from commercial sources. Further, many varieties may be found already growing in other parts of the world, but export controls or remoteness may make them unknown though of high potential. Thus, a research effort of finding seed may involve making contacts with individuals, institutions, research department, plant hackers such as Haskactivists, and otherwise obtaining stock. Heirloom varieties are typically robust - have high genetic diversity - and may be more likely to come true from seed. OSE is seeking useful seed sources for the following, first for USDA hardiness zone 5 adaptation - from wild types to named varieties of:

OSE's 20 year goal is to set up a large number of OSE Campuses - R&D & Education facilities - worldwide. OSE's platform involves afforesting and restoring the land with permanent agriculture, possibly Allan Savory's holistic management, as well as restoring appropriate technology to the land. The agriculture aspect involves breeding locally adapted varieties of crops, using best-practice methodologies for doing so, such as adopting Badgersett Research techniques for swarm breeding. The Open Source Nursery/ Open Source Plant Breeding is part of this platform.

Species Treatment

OSE likes the Badgersett Research methodology, which focuses on varieties that contain the maximum level of genetic diversity, as obtained from seed. In the Badgersett model, clones of stable crops are allowed - but the clones themselves are made from an individual with maximum genetic diversity that was bred over a number of generations - a minimum of 4. The swarm breeding methodology of Badersett focuses on obtaining a stable variety (one that will breed true from seed) - which is not the typical route used by industry. This stability for seed propagation is obtained by careful breeding of population swarms. Industry standards typically involve genetically-limited seed that does not come true. Because clones do not increase genetic diversity like seeds do - and seed cannot be used for propagation of desired traits wherever the seed does not come true (many cases unless swarm breeding methods are applied) - any clonal variety is an evolutionary dead end under the assumption that the environment is in a state of constant flux. This means that any species that is not propagated by seed - where seed propagation increases the genetic diversity - has a decreased chance of surviving with new pest or climate pressure. The concept is that a clone is an exact copy of the parent, outside of potential mutations - while a seed plant comes from 2 parents - thereby injecting new genetics in every new generation.

The underlying method developed by Badgersett Research is unique according to its developer Philip Rutter - in that no other institution has carried out the swarm breeding techique of Badgersett for woody plants. The only way this has happened is through generations of pre-industrial people, where entire communities were involved in selection through thousands of years - such as corn from Teosinte or the initial breeding towards heirloom apples in Asia.

It is OSE's role to uncover ways that populations can once again participate in plant breeding, such that true-seed varieties of perennial staple crops and other useful crops can be bred worldwide. The goal is to emphasize the selection of adaptable, as opposed clonal, varieties of useful plants. The techniques for how this should be done for each genus of plants can be developed by building on the Badgersett methodology.

Notes

Supplies

  • Conetainers - 8 cents in quantities of 1100 - [5]

Seeds

Collaboration

  • Haskactivist - [6]
  • More honeysuckle - [7]

Leading Practitioner Search

  • CRMPI nursery - citrus preservation - [8]

Links

  • Permaculture Apprentice Howto featuring Grant Schultz's and Mark Shepard's techniques - [9]
  • Forum for reviews of nurseries - Dave's Garden - [10]
  • Note: from personal experience - eBay plant sources live or die by their reviews, and this appears to be a great quality control mechanism for plant providers
  • OSE Nursery
  • University Extensions that Deal with Fruit Trees

Existing Databases

  • From Rory April 23, 2015 - Our database, OpenFarm, is still in its early days and we can't yet filter crops by type, function, or attribute. This is in our roadmap though and will likely be implemented within a few months. Here are a few other sources you can check out in the meantime:

Others from Rory:

Propagation Techniques

  • Hardwood cuttings - [11]
  • Book - Secrets of Plant Propagation - [12]
  • Dirr - Manual of Woody Landscape Plants - [13]

Nurseries

  • Directory of Nurseries from Cornell - [14]
  • Upstate NY - [15]. Where is their hazel stock from?

Organizations

  • Seed Savers Exchange
  • NAFEX

Wiki Users Doing Related Work

Links