|Little cotyledons on the first 'Purple Maize'|
The United States government is involved in saving seeds and has been for many years - but today, few folks know about these collections - we have ordered wheat seeds from them which didn't get planted this year in time, but next year, we hope to grow out an open pollinated white wheat that used to be grown in California. If that is successful, we might begin to experiment with wheat as well as corn - but right now, we've got our hands - and garden space - filled with these corn projects.
We have nicknamed the current corn project - a stable purple dent corn - Purple Maize. Most of these projects, in our private notes, have silly names. So far, we have about 70% germination of the corn planted out a couple weeks ago. On order are husk bags and silk bags (from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange ) and a great niece is stitching up a pollination apron! With any luck we'll get to practice hand pollination on some of the sweet corn we have getting ready to flower out in the Garden now - and that'll make us all experts by the time my corn is ready for its controlled pollination.
If you feel so inclined, look online at the resources offered by the USDA - they have a LOT of good stuff in storage. We don't think we can trust the USDA with all this material for a long time - they have shown very poor judgement as regards to the proliferation of GMOs and their unwillingness to stand up for the consumer (and taxpayer) in how they allot their resources. It seems to a lot of us, that we need to exploit these resources as thoroughly as we can now and get a lot of this material back into the hands of people who really will conserve them and grow them out lest some Monsanto-owned governmental individual suddenly dumps these seeds into a landfill at some point. This material from the past IS the key to our future and may well be the only resource we have that will keep us fed in the coming decades.
I hope some of this blog's readers will take up the challenge and keep these old varieties of grains and vegetables alive by growing them out!