Double Red Sweet Corn

Double Red Sweet Corn
Double Red Sweet Corn

Friday, December 16, 2016

Tomatoes That Occasionally Outbreed

              Some Implications About Evolution, Adaptation and Selection
                                       by Alan Mushroom Kapuler PhD
     As gardeners who save some of the seeds that they use for planting, one becomes accustomed to having their tomato seeds breed true. What you grew and then saved gives the same kind of plants and fruits in the following years.
     This was certainly true for us during the first several decades that we grew more than a hundred tomato cultivars. They all bred true, mostly heirlooms but some F1's as well. Rarely did the F1 hybrids show segregation of traits that one would expect from a biparental cross. After all, the tomatoes we grow have been selected to inbreed. The stigma (female) is below the stamens (male) and as the pollen is maturing the stigma is growing through and beyond the ring of pollen and pollination takes place. Pollinators like honeybees and bumblebees don't get to the stigmas until pollination has taken place. Thus, although tomato plants make fruits that usually contain seeds, the seeds arise from self fertilization. They are not crosses in an ecological sense. So they are non-adaptive. They are evolutionarly sterile.
     We usually don't look at genetics of backyard garden food plants in terms of adaptation. The crosses needed to further the process of better vigor in response to environmental changes, the production of more and better fruits and resistance to fungi like the ones that cause late blight do not take place.
      So since we began saving tomato seeds in the mid 1970's we only found cultivars in which the parents and children were the same.
      Then in the early 2000's Kusra Kapuler and I crossed the Grape Tress Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) with several wild species from the Andes of Peru, South America. One of these was Solanum habrochaites v. glabratum. This cross gave rise to large tresses, like the flowing of flowers or hair, which had more than a hundred flowers on a flowering spike (inflorescence). We call these large clusters of flowers coming as a branch from the main stem hypertresses. Sometimes the tomato plant itself is a centiflor, for 100 or more flowers on a tress. Subsequently we have seen photos of centiflors with hundreds of flowers on an infloresence. Although we were surprised and delighted with this new development of centiflors with red and yellow colored fruits, it was several years later that Dylana Kapuler began to see hypertresses in cultivars such as Palestinian heirloom, Peacevine Cherry and Sungold.
      Thus it turns out that centiflors are occasional outbreeders. The stigmas are exerted and hence accessible to pollinators that carry pollen from one flower to another. So outbreeding tomatoes can exchange pollen with other tomatoes in the garden. If hypertress centiflor tomatoes planted with other tomatoes cross and pass on their hypertress trait this gives gardeners and seed savers the opportunity to develop new lines that are locally eco-adapted without having to hand pollinate. The new genetic mixes have both hypertresses and novel recombinants encouraging environmental adaptation.
      If one has both centiflors and currant tomatoes (Solanum pimpinellifolium) in the garden flowering at the same time as favorite cultivars, there will be crosses between these different categories of tomatoes. By saving the seeds of these potential mixes for several years, one will encourage the development of hypertresses, late blight resistance from currant tomatoes and fruit size and flavor from long time favorites.
      Most heirloom tomatoes are late blight sensitive.
      By setting up the garden with a mix of centiflors, currant tomatoes and established favorites we can allow the rejuvination of the tomato plant as a widely adapted grex ie mixtures of crosses of crosses of crosses. See Mushroomsblog article called Diploids, Hybrids, Landraces and Grexes.
      It has only recently dawned on us, after 40 years of growing and seeding tomatoes that what was is a wild characteristic of native species has been eliminated in our present routinely grown tomato cultivars. They are inbreeders, not outbreeders. We have been propagating ecological sterility. We have been propagating cultivars that are non-adaptive.
      The centiflors reopen the tomato genome pool adapting them to a wider diversity of ecologies and the changes in environmental conditions. More tomatoes for more climates. More tomatoes with enhanced free pre-protein amino acids. Tomatoes that help us sleep better ie ones with higher amount of gamma-amino butyric acid. Tomatoes that help us think faster. Tomatoes that make more energy for our brains (high in glutamine for example).
      This helps usher in a new era of public domain tomato breeding using conventional Mendelian whole organism breeding techniques.
      This is a frontier for plant breeding by backyard gardeners. By using organic cultivation conditions we enhance both the public domain (new cultivars) and improve the gardening environment (no poisons in the plants, fruits, soil, water and air.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Diploids, Hybrids, Landraces and Grexes

               For a video tour of a Kinship Garden in our major greenhouse see

For Peace Seeds Annual List 2016 see

For the Andean Tubers: Yacon, Oca, Mashua, see

Diploids, Hybrids, Landraces and Grexes
Alan M. Kapuler PhD, Dylana Kapuler, Mario DiBenedetto, Linda Kapuler
January 31, 2015
          In the 1970's, Peace Seeds began purchasing F1 hybrid seeds of tomatoes, growing them out, saving the seeds and repeating the process for more than a decade. In this way Peacevine Cherry Tomato arose from the F1 Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato. This technique is now called 'dehybridizing'.
        One must reckon that most diploids are hybrids. Tomatoes are generally diploids. People are diploids. Hence all people are hybrids.
          And what is called 'dehybridizing' is genetic, generational selection. If one wants all the plants and their fruits to be the same, ie. homozygous, then it may take many years to achieve.
         If you go into a place where wild, native species still exist you can still find bean species. For thousands of years people have been doing this, putting the seeds in their pockets, bringing them back to their communities and planting them for years to come. When we go to native peoples and obtain some of their bean seeds we call them landraces. They come from species and have been domesticated by growouts, selection, human values and attitudes.
            Landraces are cultivated wild species.  
        When we take cultivated varieties of interbreeding plants like kales, peppers, corns which have been grown and selected for a long time into cultivated lines and remix them by growing, flowering and seeding them together, they intercross. This primary genetic mix has a diverse population of hybrid intercrosses depending on the number and fertility of the initial cultivars.          
         If one saves the seeds from the mixed intercrosses, plants them again and saves the seeds again, one can continue the process for many cycles. The first generation of the crosses is the G1, Generation 1. Then the next cycle and its generation of crosses is G2. With each generation it gets more complex. G1 plants crossing to G4 plants crossing to G3 plants crossing to G2 plants, for example. After many years usually one can open up the genome pool and increase genetic diversity. The original parents and all the generations of their progeny, taken together, is also a grex.
         In many ways humanity is also a grex.
        In terms of vegetables and popular flowers, grexes are intentional. After having grown and selected vegetables and flowers for several hundred years into discrete, recognizable, homozygous lines ie cultivars or cultivated varieties, humanity has begun to remix them.
       It seems that landraces precede most grexes. Good grexes require wide crosses and an abundant mixture of parents reflecting genetic diversity in visible and invisible traits. Landraces came from times when there were fewer genetic mixes since the species that gave rise to them were widely distributed.
     Right now one can obtain much more genetic diversity than was possible before Columbus, before computers, before being able to easily travel the world and collect seeds and plants. Now we have huge populations of people growing gardens.  At the same time we have industrial and corporate monoculture agriculture. Now genetics and molecular biology have changed our understanding of informational macromolecules, inheritance and genomes.
        Grexes are a way we solve the issue of how to adapt our foodplants to our local ecosystems and to the exigencies of radical climate change.
          Landraces have some aspects in common with grexes. They are not the same thing. They have very different meanings and relationships.
        While the term ‘grex’ comes from the latin for ‘flock’ as Margaret Roach so wisely points out and that it was first applied to the lady slipper orchid Paphiopedilum delenatii and its interspecies crosses, a ‘flock’ of birds encompasses the complexity of generation after generation after generation of breeding, all flying in the sky at the same time.
          Some years ago, Peace Seeds applied the orchid term for ‘grex’ in a broader way (3 Root Grex Beets, 6 Root Grex Turnips) for what is possible in making multiparent, multihybrid crosses and the complex genomic diversity that arises from them. We need more terms for the mating systems that are seasonal like annual vegetables and for perennials that have overlapping mating that can go on for hundreds of years ie old trees, long lived birds, multigenerational insects and comparable kinds of genomic interactions.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Six Papers of Kapuler and Gurusiddiah on Free Amino Acids

The Free Amino Acids that Build Proteins as a Prime Nutritional Basis for Selecting Improved Food Plant Cultivars

The Six Papers of A. M. Kapuler Ph.D. and S. Gurusiddiah Ph.D. (61 pages) collated from Peace Seeds Journals 1988-1997 in 2004 and reprinted in 2014.

cost is $20 with $2 postage in USA, $5 postage international
send orders to:
Peace Seeds
2385 SE Thompson St.
Corvallis OR 97333 USA
A New Introduction by Al Kapuler
We began growing and collecting seeds for heirloom vegetables in the 1970’s. By the 1980’s, it became clear that we needed effective criteria for the selection of cultivars. There are many useful characteristics such as vigor, productivity, flavor, and success in our local ecosystem, to use as bases for selection. Among the many possibilities, the nutritional content is of prime importance. However, which nutritional aspects are of the most general significance for maintaining and improving our health was a conundrum worth scrutinizing.
The basis for making proteins is common to all cells and hence all organisms (viruses use and depend on cells). From the microbes, bacteria and archaea, to fungi, plants and animals including us, the polymerizing of a set of 20 amino acids into thousands of kinds of proteins, usually hundreds or more amino acids in length, is a universal biological, biochemical and physiological reality.
The common feature of making proteins from amino acids is that the amino acids are specified by the Genetic Code as DNA nucleotide sequences. These are transcribed into messenger RNAs and then translated on ribosomes into proteins. Hence what is essential to the health and wellbeing of our cells, organs and bodies is the ability to synthesize proteins and to recycle them into their components: free amino acids.
We eat proteins to digest them into free amino acids so our cells can build the proteins they need from them. So why not develop a food system that relies on the free amino acids that build proteins rather than the proteins themselves? We have taken some steps in the development of this notion.
Preliminary studies, using thin layer chromatography of juices from tomatoes, salad plants, squashes and rootcrops established that indeed, free amino acids were in all of the fresh juices. We observed a common feature of our garden food plants, the presence of free amino acids in diversity and abundance, in their juices.
Thanks to Dave (Munk) Bergen introducing us to S. Gurusiddiah, at that time the head of the Bioanalytical Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, we began a collaboration which lasted many years. This allowed us to grow myriad crops under organic conditions and to analyze their juices for free amino acids using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography).
The results of hundreds of analyses are presented in six papers. This work has been done and is presented for the wellbeing of humanity and in the public domain as a common resource for improving our lives.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Public Domain Plant Breeding

direct participation in evolution

in the common purpose of serving life, humanity and sustainability

Public Domain Plant Breeding


Why not take the genes in your own hands?

We come from a long history of change.

It comes from the environment

and is inscribed in our chromosomes.

It comes from the genomes

and transforms the biosphere.

Alan M. Kapuler Ph.D.

Copyright in the Public Domain

March 27. 2011


1. Interest

It is easy to make some crosses, especially in wind pollinates like corn and beets. The issue is which crosses to make.

That means enough growouts to get in touch with the plants you wish to cross, their parents and near relatives. Its okay to cross corns but there are a lot of kinds of corns and corn crosses with teosinte.

The more acute our observations, paying attention to all the phases of growth, development, flowering, fruiting and maturation of the plants that involve us in breeding, selection and adaptation, the more likely we are to find something new, develop something unusual, contribute something to the wellbeing of humanity.

2. Willingness to Learn

Plant genomes like that of the diminutive thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), perhaps the most thoroughly investigated flowering plant (in the Brassicaceae) has about 23,000 single copy genes. That is more than people have, by about a thousand. Genomes of both people and plants are profoundly complex, remarkably different, uniquely similar and worthy of investigating. From the atoms to the solar system, life has domain as our local and world societies stumble further into the unknown.

3. Perseverance

No matter what you read, see or figure out, there is always more that is unknown, unfamiliar, inscrutable or inexplicable at one’s current level of understanding.

So while engaging in crossing plants, looking at progeny and selecting lines, it usually takes a few cycles and years to learn the background (the species and their primary crosses and hybrids) and the current level of development (new, recent, breakthrough crosses and emergent new plant characteristics and combinations). Then come the ones you make, select and develop which arise from the preceding and which lead to originality, insight and adaptive new cultivars.

4. Devotion

Sometimes it takes planting and replanting, overcoming vagaries of the weather, denying populations of herbivores your crops, overcoming intransigent weeds, struggling with too many bugs, slugs and snails. Then there is inconvenient timing, poorly chosen cover crops, new crops that escape, the endless selection under the forces of environmental change and internal genetic change.

5. Gardening Skill

No matter how much one grows and has grown, there is always more to grow.

There are many gardening techniques. Unfortunately, many gardeners use too many poisons. Hand weeding, good tools, moving into springtime with a good head, an appreciative heart and lots of kinds of old and new seeds to plant are healthier aspects. Organic systems are an advance towards microbiologically based fertility systems. Improving soils on site from the cycles of growing and composting are essential endeavors. Watering systems are important and merit thoughtful consideration. Minimize amendments.

Fields of Activity

1. Biodiversity

We live in a crucible of the creativity of/in life. It is an ongoing marvel. We now see the perspective of the receding horizon of extincted and the emerging frontier of surviving organisms that extends unbroken in essence for billions of years if not older than the solar system.

A. The Earth’s Organisms

Life is myriad, diverse, persistent, adaptive, a mega-genome of multigenomes encoded in DNA, RNA and protein. In our chromosomes are the genes for building ribosomes. They are billions of years old as is the making of proteins from translating messenger RNA.

These core discoveries are central to a unified biology. This is how life is able to remember the events of the environment, and adapt to circumstances as is clearly seen in the structure and behavior of our immune systems.

B. Viruses, Microbes and Eukarytic Cells

Viruses inhabit most of the cellular creatures that live on this planet. Their structures and taxonomy are deep, diverse and remarkable. They are the holders of the collective storehouse of genetic information of and about life. There are many, many more of them then most of us reckon. Immense beyond huge. Awesome and particular. The cells they live in are either microbial (bacteria and archaea) or eukaryotic. All the plants, fungi, animals and insects are eukaryotes. And we all have microbes living in most of our cells. Our cells are multigenomic. So are those of a maple tree.

C. The Planetary Flora

In the latest edition of Mabberley’s The Plant Book, there are some 270, 000 or so species in almost 14,000 genera. But in the world’s herbaria, there are some 30,000 undescribed species. We call most green organisms plants. Some are blue-green bacteria. Some are seaweeds or mosses or ferns. Then we get to conifers and the flowering plants. Most of what we garden are flowering plants. And for temperate zone gardeners about a quarter to a third of the world flora is temperate or temperate adaptable. With a greenhouse, one can engage a much larger subset of diversity.

D. The Gardener’s Handful

Of the hundreds of plant families, in the temperate zone we garden in less a dozen. These are the daisies, legumes, umbels, chenopods, grasses, cucurbits, alliums, solanums, brassicas and morning glory.

E. Kinship Gardening

If one chooses to explore the planetary flora , organizing the plants in a phylogenetic or evolutionary array means looking into the diversity with more than a passing glance. One can do this within a single genus. One with 20-50 species is a good size to try. For a larger subset, one can do the Monocots, or the Old Trees, or the Rosales, or the Legumes. All are interesting and if one is formulating survival of diversity, the more kinds we plant together who are related together the more chances there are of encouraging interbreeding and adaptation of their progeny in the current times of erratic weather and the consequences of environmental degradation.

F. Common Garden Foodplants and Flowers

Adapting plants that are vigorous, productive, with nutritious and delicious attractive leaves and fruits to our own gardens has been my primary objective in developing new cultivars. So sweet corn and tomatoes have been constant foci. While my first crosses in the late 1970’s were with corn, making new kinds of tomatoes began twenty years later. It is possible to purchase some F1 seed and then select out a stable open-pollinated line. This is a good way to begin. There are many F1 hybrids available commercially and some are wide crosses that yield diverse and interesting F2’s. Others show very little variation in the F2. After our family grew hundreds of kinds of tomatoes for several decades, my daughter Kusra and I made crosses of Lycopersicon (Solanum) habrochaites to Lycopersion (Solanum) humboldtii.. It was an opportunistic cross, not by plan but circumstance.

In the progeny were tomato plants whose inflorescences had tresses of more than 100 flowers. Some folks growing these hypertress tomatoes have had hundreds of flowers on a spike with huge clusters of cherry sized fruits. These are public domain cultivars. They have several unique traits that can be introduced into many other of the popular tomato subgroups: paste, rainbow colors, slicing, huge, determinate, indeterminate, drying, long storage, resistance to blights and so on.

By good fortune a comparable thing happened with vine peas. Almost twenty years ago we began breeding peas, reading Mendel to find out how to cross them, and making a public domain green snap pea wherein most of that category were patented. In our pea growouts from seeds obtained from the SSE we had some Carnouby de Mausanne which has purple pods on bushes. So we crossed Sugaree with the purple podded bush shell cultivar and several years later had a mostly snap pea line with purple pods. The snap pods were bitter. At that time in the field, there were Parsley peas. They are bushes with shell pods and tendrils modified into parsley-like leafy structures. An obscure garnish. We crossed the purple snap vine with a bitter flavor with a bush shell with no tendrils and several years later had lines of good tasting snap vine peas with hypertendrils. This hypertendril trait in the public domain makes it possible to reinvigorate pea breeding as the hypertendrils of the pea vines are distinctively beautiful. We like bicolor purple flowers, in snow and snap cultivars as well.

In both of these examples with tomatoes and peas, the results were unexpected. It was pure discovery. What a thing to be able to do with most all the plants we garden.

F.1. Sweet Corn

In the mid 1970’s after collecting sw Amerind starch corns, I wondered why all the sweet corns we liked to eat were monocolors, all yellow or all white seeded. A consequence of this observation was Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn, the first of our multicolored sweet corns. A later one was Painted Hill Sweet Corn. Every once in a while a sweet corn would have some dark burgundy purple, high anthocyanin seeds. We picked out a few and began selecting so that now we have Double Red Sweet Corn with intensely dark purple seeds from a genetic trait that inherits in the female. Some years ago, Rosemarie LaCherez sent us a popcorn (Chires) that tillers and makes 3-5 little ears per stalk. Some plants will have several dozen ears. Crosses with Double Red Sweet Corn have given a remarkable diversity of new corns. Selection is difficult. The direction is still inscrutable.

F.2. Brassicas, Solanums and Daisies

Marigolds and sunflowers have always been a part of our gardens. Years ago a neighbor gave us a few plants of a Tagetes patula marigold that was in a 1790’s gardening book called Striped Marvel or Pinwheel. In 200 plants there was one with unattractive double flowers. We saved the seeds. They have given rise to China Cat Mix in which most plants are different from one another and to several new 3-5’ tall beautifully flowered cultivars called Frances’s Choice, Sparkler, Red Metamorph and Golden Star.

In 1997 we grew a kinship garden of the Daisy family, some 16 tribes of which we had reps (representatives) of fourteen. In the sunflower tribe, the Heliantheae, there are many genera and particularly in one, Helianthus, the sunflower genus, a group of 50 species endemic to the mainland USA we had many species and cultivars. The GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) of the USDA kindly provided seeds of more than a dozen species plus some collections of Helianthus annuus from different countries around the world. We planted them together. Several years later it was clear from the volunteers that crosses between H. annuus and the Texas Silverleaf Sunflower Helianthus argophyllus had taken place. The plants flower for several weeks to months longer in our cool wet fall weather. The finches prefer the seeds. The flowers are smaller, with dark centers and in many flowered racemes. Now 13 years later we are once again introducing Helanthus argophyllus into the field to introgress once again with our reseeding volunteer population of sunflowers to develop some new architecture, flower structure and arrangement.

Living in the Pacific Northwest in the remnants of a magnificent, giant coniferous rainforest and working in the rain has led overwintering foodplants to catch our attention. Most interesting to us have been the brassicas.

Kale thrives here. There are many kales with many kinds of leaves in two species that do not cross (Brassica oleracea and Brassica napus). Foliage varies from soft to hard, from ruffled to plain and smooth, from crimped and crumpled to dark purple to pink striped held on plants whose stature varies from a foot or two to 10’ tall with a diversity of branching patterns. They intercross easily, generally outbreeders. We have had good crosses involving 2 plants (Romanesco Broccoli x Eco Brussel Sprouts). With seven plants, a central one became the female and the other six surrounding ones were males. We work towards perennials that make broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and small cabbages. One cabbage had 8 heads but the polyheaded trait was not inherited in 40 next generation plants.

The Solanaceae is a temperate zone gardening family with many well known fruits. With capsicum peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries, potatoes, tree tomatoes, there are good reasons for adapting/selecting for our own favorite kinds. If one prefers growouts to favorites then there are hundreds to thousands to grow up. After decades of Capsicum annuum hot pepper cultivars we have been growing Capsicum baccatum, Aji Colorado which have many subspecies/cultivars that can be interfertile with our other successful cultivars. Peppers that like cool, wet local temperature conditions would make sense. The Apple Chile, Capsicum pubescens, has overmintered in our non-freezing greenhouse and begun to look like Physalis peruviana, the Giant Groundcherry, now ten years old.

Fields of Activity

2. Genetics

The 64 codon triplet genetic code of life is the basis of a universal biology.

Embodied in DNA and RNA, triplets of the nucleic acid bases A=adenine, G=guanine, C=cytosine, T(U)=thymine (uracil) specify each of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins. The strings of nucleic acid bases code for genes, a few in most viruses, low thousands in bacteria/archaea, high thousands in fungi and tens of thousands in plants and animals.

A. Cells

The tiny free living cells whose ancestors have lived and inhabited the earth for several thousand million years have given rise to blue-green bacteria that have become chloroplasts in the leaves of trees, and all green plants. A common ancestor of a common soil bacterium became the mitochondria that burn sugar to make ATP, the common energy source of most eukaryotic cells. Our bodies, the plants we grow and the foods they provide are cellular in origin. One makes many. And from many comes one. This riddle is a core axiom of genetics. During the 1960’s, Seymour Benzer genetically analyzed a bacterial virus called T4. He studied the rII region of two genes connected by a spacer that he genetically removed. It was called 1589. It was the 1589th genetic variation within the gene among many more hundreds of thousands that he mapped. His work revealed the complexity of the genetic fine structure in an obscure virus found in urban garbage that lives in a common human intestinal bacterium. And his work and discoveries impacted our understanding of the common genetic system that is central to all life. His life has been devoted to public domain breeding with bacteria and their viruses and fruit flies (read Time Love Memory by Jonathan Weiner} The internal core process of change is in our genomes, in the nucleic acids in our cells, in the collaborative network of cells that coordinate the growth, repair, adaptation and wellbeing of our bodies,

B. Adaptation and Selection

Change is inexorable. No matter what we think, do or figure out, it is always in process. Genomes and organisms are not frozen. Heirlooms change. Gardeners and seed collectors are part of the evolutionary mix. And whether change or not, selection is inexorable. Adaptation is the result.

C. Number and Variation

By getting a full set of chromosomes from each parent, most of us and most plants are diploids. Occasional doubling of the chromosome number gives tetraploids. Crossing diploids with tetraploids gives triploids, Some plants like the Andean root daisy Yacon are polyploids with 6 or 8 sets of chromosomes. Sweet potatoes are hexaploids but the species they come from are diploids.

Sometimes large populations give more opportunity for seeing changes. Sometimes one can jump ahead with just a few plants.

The Future of the Future

The back to the land movement of the 1960’s took many urban and suburban kids into the fields and countrysides. Partly in opposition to the endless wars, partly in search of an agrarian life built on healthy soil, clean water, fertile soil and the heirloom seeds of our ancestors, we have continued growing organic gardens, saving seeds of heirlooms and local native species. Impelled by the times that continue to change, we have begun breeding new vegetables and flowers for the public domain to promote a healthy biology unfettered by ownership in support of a path towards world peace and the well being of everyone.

Contextual Commentary

As I grew up, service was not high in the goals of the society. Success was more important. Now as we encounter ecological catastrophe in the era of cyber communication, our disastrous ignorance about discovery and invention makes greed and profit the leading values.

As an anodyne to these problems, a virtuous, difficult endeavor like organic gardening is a good beginning.

Public domain plant breeding and kinship gardening are two of the next steps. The first develops new, original and adaptive gene combinations for our local ecosystems, their gardens and for sustainability. Plants that cross pollinate yield populations of F1’s that give evolving grexes that can optimize adaptation and survival in these times of radical weather. Kinship gardening is an exploration and conservation matrix for getting direct experience within the 300,000 plant species and their manifold hybrids.

In the garden, our ten standard deviation units beyond the norm ideas can be tested out, explored for veracity and transformed into better soil, fertility, home grown seeds and new kinds for every season.

As pre-human biodiversity continues to decline, there has been an increase in patenting, ownership and MTAs (Material Transfer Agreements) for plants and other living systems. While the genetic systems of almost all life pre-exist humans, one can manipulate one or a few genes, or insert a gene from a distantly related organism and obtain ownership rights. This tends to close down innovative and more broadly useful work with these organisms. The basic framework of life, the wild species, are common to all, like the air we breathe. With decreasing wild diversity, more and more becomes property. Public domain plant breeding is a counter to this. Indeed, the original intent of agricultural universities with public domain plant breeding programs was to provide locally adapted cultivars so the growing of food was diversified to provide health and stability for the society at large.

This ongoing travesty of treating life as intellectual property is quite unlike the patenting of a computer or its parts. We did not invent the cell.

Public Domain Plant Breeding has for generations established improved plants. Primary foci are plant architecture, flowering, fruits, fertility, resistance to fungi, bacterial and viral diseases, ecological adaptation, nutrition, and beauty. By making crosses, growing them out, selecting in a wide variety of aspects, one engages the genetic system of life, a place of immense activity and potential. So as plant breeders who work for the common good in the public domain, we are allied with the genetic systems to provide changes that have benefits to humanity, local and planetary ecosystems. In this sense, the genetic systems and their codes are like common source computer code for which a system has been developed which allows one to use it, to change it, to add to it, but not to own it. Janet Hope’s recent book Biobazaar, the Open Source Revolution and Biotechnology explores the analogy of the genetic code with the computer code in terms of open source and public domain.


Great thanks to the myriad people and the aeonic lives of all the organisms of the biosphere. Great appreciation for the opportunity to discuss genes, genetic systems and the open threads of life in the context of public domain plant breeding.

We continue to learn more about life and existence with every moment and every day that passes. These are extraordinary times.

Genomics is developing a reality map of the process of evolution throughout billions of years. And we carry it around in our hundred trillion cells. The environment leaves its marks in our chromosomes and genetic systems exist to promote adaptation, facilitate change, correct excess damage and counteract poisoning. This makes survival more likely, gives us a chance for cooperation and promotes conservation of diversity and ecosanity in our times.

Particular thanks to Linda Kapuler of Peace Seeds, Dylana Kapuler and Mario Dibenedetto of Peace Seedlings and Kusra Kapuler.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

PEACE SEEDS 2011 Seed List

PEACE SEEDS 2011 Seed List

A Planetary Genome Pool Service

Plant Breeding for the Public Domain

Pacific Northwest (PNW) Eco-Adaptive Seeds

Alan and Linda Kapuler


To Order

Send your list of requests to Peace Seeds, 2385 SE Thompson St., Corvallis OR 97333-1919 USA, with a check or well concealed cash for the appropriate amount including $3, shipping and handling. For orders outside of the USA, please include 30% of cost of order for airmail postage and handling. We can be emailed at

Appreciation and Recognition

To Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto, dba Peace Seedlings. For a 2011 list send a SASE to 2385 SE Thompson St., Corvallis OR 97333 USA.

To Peace Seedlings for a great crop of Double Red Sweet Corn in 2010

To James Lawson for and Bi Jihuan for

To Hal Brown, Tracy and Dan Lamblin.

To Peter Liebes and Judy Weiner, Windy River Farm.

To the SSE, GRIN, Steve Northway, seedfolk locally and worldwide.

To Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and The Grateful Dead.

Thanks to all of you, the endeavor grows.

Terms of Business

We are responsible that the seeds we supply and fertile and correctly labeled. We are glad to reimburse anyone dissatisfied to the cost of the seeds and no more, or to re-supply given kinds. We are not responsible for the mis-use of the seeds or the plants that arise from them. Our seeds exceed state and federal germination requirements. We list the minimum number of seeds per packet. Frequently we pack more, depending on the harvest. Seeds from our breeding work and other staple crops are grown eco-adaptively in our 3 acre Peace Seeds and Peace Seedlings garden aka Brown’s Garden. A few kinds come from our home garden. Brian Walker and Locally Grown Seeds provided most of the pea seeds. The remainder are collected in the PNW or in other places that we visit.


After decades of writing seed lists and catalogs, this is the second time using the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2 System, called APG2. There is a further update called APG3 which is not included here. For a good introduction see P. Spears 2006 A Tour of the Flowering Plants, Missouri Botanical Garden Press or enquire on-line under APG2/3. If you would like an 8.5”x14” xerox copy of our Kinship Gardening bed diagram layout for the world flora using APG2, send an extra dollar with your order.





Camassia leichtlinii v. leichtlinii

Camas Hyacinth, major Maturity 1-5 years 100/4.00

One of the major PNW Amerindian foodplants. We provide seeds of the white flowered variety of this species corresponding to the type. The more common and widely spread one has purple flowers. Both have edible bulbs of one of the major foodplants of this bioregion. At one time, the Willamette Valley in springtime was a blue-purple blaze from the coast range to the Cascades as the camas was widespread and prolific. Camas was tended with care by the people who harvested it. Now it is marginalized. Burbank, 85 years ago bred cultivars with large bulbs and a variety of flower colors including pinks, blues, pale yellows to show that this is a multifunctional taxon with delicious bulbs and beautiful flowers. Calochortus has these traits in common.

Camassia quamash

Camas Hyacinth, minor Maturity 1-5 years 25/3.00

One of several species of camas used by PNW natives as a primary vegetable foodplant. Flowers are blue-purple, smaller than C. leichtlinii, as are the bulbs. Used for centuries, baked in pit ovens whence the bulbs which contain inulins caramelize into a delicious food.


Allium cepa Newburg Yellow Storage Onion 100/3.50

An open pollinated selection from an F1 hybrid with excellent biological and agronomic

traits: tight wrappered single spherical bulbs, longterm storage, crisp medium hot flavor, selected under organic conditions.

Allium porrum Winter Giant Leeks 100/3.50

Long white shanks, 1-3” thick, hardy, overwinters well, heirloom.

Allium sativum Italian Purple Garlic-top bulblets 30/4.00

8-10 large easy peeling cloves per rosette; hard stalk/rocambole cultivar. Large rosettes if soil is well developed. Bulblets will give rosettes in single season under fertile conditions.


Ruscus aculeatus Knee Holly/Butcher’s Broom 7/5.00

Perennial shrub to 2 feet with sharp pointed leaflike structures and red berries. Is known to increase circulation and an herbal for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.



Sagittaria latifolia Wapato 50/3.00

A widespread aquatic foodplant of north America, used by natives for untold centuries and of major importance in the pacific northwest where it also feeds ducks, geese, muskrats, nutria and beavers. Plants are attractive, to 3’, with large arrow-shaped leaves and spikes of 1” white flowers, male and female on the same flowering spikes, sometimes sexes on different plants. Seeds are fresh collected from plants we grow. Japanese high school students have found that seed germination is promoted by 300 ppm GA-3 (Gibberellic Acid-3) reducing germination time (from years to months) cf:



Dioscorea batatas Jinengo Potato 4/6.00

Temperate vine that develops 2-3’ or longer starchy edible roots, sometimes wrist sized and taking several years. On the vines, small aerial edible tubers develop which drop to the ground and produce new plants. We supply these vegetative seeds. An alternative name is Mountain Yam and this is a true yam, a dioscorea rather than a sweet potato which is a tuberous rooted morning glory with which it is frequently confused.



Zea mays Double Red Sweet Corn 1 ounce/6.00

Intense purple seeds from anthocyanin pigments similar to the ones found in blueberries.

Makes an extraordinary corn bread. Plants 5-7’, 1-2 ears/stalk. Dark purple stalks and leaves.

This is the best seed crop and selection since we began working with high anthocyanin

sweet corns more than 15 years ago.

Zea mays True Gold Sweet Corn 1 ounce/5.00

In 1955 three acres of Golden Jubilee Sweet Corn gave me food and shelter. One of the best corns bred in the USA, we offer an open pollinated selection from the original hybrid. Plants are 5-8’ tall, green, cobs with yellow-orange seeds high in zea-xanthin, one of the three pigments that protect our eyes from bleaching. A great sweet corn.

Zea mays Painted Hill Sweet Corn 1 ounce/120seeds/5.00

For many decades, Dave Christiansen grew native Amerindian starch corns at 5000’ in the Rocky Mountains selecting for survival and fertility. His Painted Mountain Starch Corn was crossed to Luther Hill Sweet Corn to develop the cultivar we offer. It is 5-6’ tall, tillered, multieared, adapted to cool, wet soils and been further selected by Peace Seedlings for dark multicolored seeds with few whites and yellows.

Zea mays Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn 1 ounce/6.00

Our first sweet corn breeding project in the late 1970’s with white seeded Peruvian chokelo starch corn, southwest native Amerindian starch corns and several predominantly heirloom sweet (su) corns. Inadvertently, with the help of underground rodents and persistence, we got some multicolored starch corn with large flat seed. The year after, we found a few multicolored crinkle seeds in the large mostly starch filled ears. Now Peace Seedlings has grown up some fresh seed that we are pleased to offer. 8’ green plants, 2 ears/plant.



Amaranthaceae includes Chenopodiaceae

Amaranthus andeana Elephant Head Heirloom 50/4.00

A Peruvian woman who walked into our greenhouse one day remarked ‘kiwicha’ upon seeing the mature cut plants that reminded her of an heirloom grain that she grew up with. Our seed came from Frances Hoffman whose plants in Nampa, ID grew 5’ tall and 6’ across with tall columnar drooping flower spikes that reminded her of elephants in her garden. Her seed came from Germany in the 1880’s. Curiously, Peru and Germany had political connections during that era. In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, plants are considerably smaller, 3-4’ and seed production is enhanced by letting plants fully age.. Beautiful, striking plants.

Amaranthus cruentus Hartman’s Giant 100/4.00

Once a year, in Jacksonville Oregon, in the 1970’s, Mr Hartman would fill a glass vase with about two pounds of tiny, shiny black seeds and give $100 to the person whose guess of the number of seeds was closest. I sent some seed to a friend who had an electrobalance to determine that a single seed weighed 0.6mg but it did no good, I never won but ended up with seeds of a vigorous cultivar to 10’ with large, dark purple paniculate inflorescences with excellent production of seeds.

Beta vulgaris Three Root Grex Beets 40/4.00

An interbreeding mix of three distinctive cultivars, Crosby Egyptian Purple Heirloom, Lutz Overwintering Heirloom and Yellow Intermediate Mangel Heirloom.

Chenopodium quinoa Faro 100/3.50

Sea level cultivar from Chile with white seeds, 3-4’ plants and fair seed production.

Bitter saponins can be washed from the seeds with warm water.





Cornus kousa Kousa Dogwood 5/3.50

Hardy shrub to small tree with 1” spherical fruits with hard seeds and palatable sweet flesh. Another dogwood, Cornus mas, the Corneliancherry Dogwood seems to be somewhat confused with the Kousa Dogwood. The latter has a fruit juice appropriate for a sorbet. The former has a single large seed in a small, rather unjuicy fruit.




Nepeta cataria Catnip 100/3.00

Traditional feline euphoric; seems to be cat specific. Hardy plants to 5’.

Ocimum sanctum Tulsi Basil 50/4.00

Annual in the temperate zone with soft, velvety leaves whose fragrance and medicinal qualities have been revered in India for millennia. A venerable teaherb.

Perilla frutescens Yamazaki Shiso 100/3.00

In their northern California garden, Kazuko and Jensai Yamasaki grew an aromatic, crisped purple leaved herb whose leaves they used to flavor and color the Prunus mume (Japanese flowering apricot) fruits that they salted and fermented into umeboshi plums. The salted plums have many beneficial health promoting properties and are an essential part of macrobiotic cuisine. This traditional Japanese shiso grows to 3’.



Capsicum Peppers-for an uplifting educational article about wild capsicum species peppers see

There is new interest in Capsicum with the discovery of more than a dozen new species in southeastern Brazil, all with 2n=26 chromosomes while the commonly known species have 2n=24. Further, as we grow more species and their cultivars, it seems that as for example in the following list of Capsicum baccatum distinguished by cultivar as well as variety, the different varieties could well be species. In part it will depend on interspecies fertility which can be further developed. Some C. baccatums are more cold tolerant than many of our cultivated peppers which are Capsicum annuum=C. chinense=C. frutescens.

Capsicum annuum Aci Sivri Cayenne 30/4.00

A Turkish heirloom adapted to cooler nights and clay soils that grows to 3’ and routinely produces 30-50 fruits per plant, 6-8” long, of mixed hotness from very little to medium that we eat fresh at most meals from summer through fall.

Capsicum baccatum v. baccatum

Criolla Sella Pepper Maturity-90 days 50/3.00

Small 1’ bushes, highly branched with remarkable production of 2-3” fruits

that mature orange; hot, good for soups.

Capsicum baccatum var pendulum

Malagueta Pepper Maturity-75 days 40/3.00

1-2’ bushes with pendant 3” fruits, hot, matures red.

Capsicum baccatum var pendulum

Omnicolor Pepper Maturity-80 days 20/4.00

Small sprawling plants with 2-3” elongate fruits that are cream colored, then blush with purple, then turn orange and finally mature red. Succulent fruits are hot, good fresh and lovely to grow.

Capsicum baccatum var pendulum

Orange Pendulum Pepper Maturity-80 days. 50/3.50

1-2’ bushes with 7-9” elongated fruits that mature orange. In the field the plants were 1’ tall and quite hardy to frost. In the greenhouse in pots in full light they were 2’ tall. In half light in another greenhouse, also in a pot, a plant grew more than 6’ in one season. Fruits are mildly hot, flavorful, eaten out of hand and used for cooking.

Capsicum baccatum var. umbilicatum

Monk’s Hat Pepper Maturity-120 days 50/5.00

Small 1-2’ bushes with unusual bell shaped, trilobed fruits. These are hot and dry to a bright red color, suggesting high levels of the tomato anti-oxidant lycopene.

Capsicum pubescens

Red Chile Manzano 25/4.00

The Apple Chile is sweet except for the central membranes that hold the seeds. These

are sprawling bushes with purple flowers and 2.5x1.5” fruits. A greenhouse perennial.

Seeds are black and plants have light green velvety leaves.

Capsicum pubescens

Gold Chile Manzano 25/4.00

Another Apple Chile but with smaller orange-yellow fruits 1”x1” that are not as hot as the

red ones. The flesh is sweet, seeds are black, a characteristic of the species.

Lycopersicon cheesmanii Galapagos Is. Tomato 30/5.00

Bushes to 3’, attractive foliage, yellow fruits, fine flavor, crosses to L. esculentum.

Lycopersicon esculentum Tomato

The genus Lycopersicon with about a dozen species in an interesting

place for gardeners to learn about species and how they were/are the foundation of modern cultivated varieties. The modern edible tomato has seeds 2-3x larger than those of the species. Plant architecture is different among the species and flavor of

the small wild fruits has distinction lost in many modern cultivars. The solids in the juices of tomato fruits are mostly free amino acids central to the function of our cells and bodies.

Early Willamette Bush Tomato 50/3.50

Determinate bushes with 3 flowerings and fruit sets. Fruits in clusters of 4-10 red fruits 0.5-2 ounces each, similar in earliness to Stupice.

Lycopersicon esculentum

Geranium Kiss Bush Tomato 25/4.00

Stocky 2’ plants with hypertresses of 10-25 red fruits of 1 ounce size, excellent flavor, makes 2-3 sets of flowers and fruits.

Lycopersicon esculentum

Joe Pesch Tomato 15/4.00

A pink tomato with a long acuminate tip, quite unusual and unique in tomato fruits

we have seen during the past decades, of excellent flavor and a gift from Peter Zukis of Talent Oregon.

Mr. Zukis, an accomplished gardener, got the seeds from an east coast buddy whose girlfriend’s grandfather was a market and produce gardener in New Haven Connecticut during the 1920’s. Joe Pesch brought it from Italy some time previous.

Lycopersicon esculentum

Peacevine Cherry Vine Tomato 50/3.50

Selected from a well known hybrid since the early ‘70’s, this vigorous indeterminate vine with two ranked flower spikes of a dozen flowers makes many very tasty 3/4” red fruits. In a university study of 30+ varieties of cherry tomatoes for Vitamin C content, this was #1. The fruit juice also contains 17 of the 20 amino acids used to make proteins with significant amounts of the neuromodulator GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid).

Lycopersicon esculentum

Red Centiflor Hypertress Cherry Tomato 50/5.00

From our cross of L. humboldtii, the Grape Tress Tomato with L. hirsutum arose this unanticipated cultivar with clusters of dozens to hundreds of flowers held above the foliage where the silky hairs of the flower buds resemble insects followed by clusters of large numbers of 1” red sweet fruits that resist cracking and rot.

Lycopersicon esculentum

Yellow Centiflor Hypertress Cherry Tomato 50/5.00

Derived from the same cross detailed in the previous listing, this line makes somewhat larger fruit, with a distinctive point on the end of the round bright fruits. While both parent species leading to this cultivar have 5-20 flowers in a spike, these centiflors (meaning 100 flowers) have hypertresses of flowers leading to a unique and distinguishing aspect.

Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium hybrid Matt’s Wild Cherry 25/4.00

Small red fruits in bichalazal racemes reminiscent of Sweet 100 or Peacevine Cherry. But the fruits are much smaller. The plants ramble extensively. The foliage is characteristic of the Currant Tomato.

Lycopersicon piriforme Pear Shaped Tomato 50/3.50

Shrubby plants to 2’ with many tasty, red, pear shaped fruits.

Physalis peruviana Giant Groundcherry 35/4.00

Rambling 3-5’ understorey plants treated as 7 month annuals in the temperate zone. 1” spherical berries are orange when ripe with a aromatic, fragrant and delicious flavor. Gabriel Howearth picked up some fruits in Guatemala in the late ‘60’s, passed them on to us and we have been maintaining it ever since. Start seeds in Jan-Mar for good outdoor crops. One plant in our main greenhouse grows over and around an 8 foot trellis. It has been thriving for more than 10 years.


Apiales- close cousins of ginseng and the daisies


Bunium bulbocastaneum Earth Chestnut 25/4.00

Small shrubby aggressive temperate perennial from Europe with small round

edible and tasty tubers. Propagates by seeds as well as stolons.

Heracleum susnowskii S. Siberian Giant Umbel 15/5.00

From South Siberia almost 20 years ago, now grown up into plants with 3-4’ across

leaves and a giant inflorescence of 8-10’ tall whose central umbel of tiny white flowers is

more than 14” across. Monocarpic with perennial character.

Lomatium species

We have been collecting small amounts of seeds of the desert parsleys, genus Lomatium, mostly from north central Oregon to southern Washington. This endemic genus with 60-80 species native to the Pacific Northwest having a range from northern California to southern British Columbia and extending eastward from the high desert plains to the Rockies has many species used by local native people for food, medicine and survival. Areas that are now occupied by Hanford were once food and species rich making it possible for a person, usually a woman, to gather 60 pounds of edible roots in a day. Some species were dried in the sun, pounded into flour and baked into breads. Names like breadroot or biscuitroot were applied to several species. These are not easy to identify though the seeds of each species we have seen thus far are uniquely distinctive. Seeds of Lomatiums have germinated well for us if planted from late November to March so they receive the cycles of rain, cold, frost, mist, sun….

Growing up larger plants is more difficult. Some species have very long primary taproots that make transplanting difficult. Soils too are an important factor and good drainage is essential.. We use mixtures of basalt scree, pebbles, sand, compost in an ongoing work dedicated to growing these rare, beautiful and disappearing species.

Lomatium californicum Wild Celery-Parsley 25/7.50

Umbel native to northern California and southern Oregon. Perennial herb to 1’ (3’ in spike) with large roots sometimes more than 10 pounds and hard to determine age but likely more than a hundred years old in wild, endemic populations. In one patch of several hundred plants, during the 20 years of our observation, there were no fertile seeds as weevils ate them thoroughly until after a drought there were no seeds at all and the subsequent year there were seeds and they were fertile. A PNW Amerindian foodplant: the roots are edible and used to flavor soups; leaves are fragrant and an excellent herb for salads, stir-fries and good health.

Lomatium dissectum Fern Leaf Desert Parsley 25/5.00

Well respected medicinal plant with powerful and bitter roots that come from slow growing large rooted perennials. From the Siskiyou’s to the Cascades and in the Gorge, these

umbels have yellow, sometimes pale yellow to purple flowers.

Lomatium nudicaule Pestle Parsnip 15/5.00

Eaten as spring greens and winter roots, there small herbs endemic to the PNW and used by generations of local native peoples for their nutrition and sustenance. The seeds were carried and distributed by medicine folk and healers with stories that they were used for bacterial infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis and virus infections like influenza.

Some of our best herbalists consider these seeds an effective and worthwhile replacement

for Lomatium dissectum roots. These plants take a long time to grow.

Lomatium suksdorfii Suksdorf’s Desert Parsley 10/5.00

Very large clumping perennials with stout inflorescences, rare.

Myrrhis odorata Sweet Cicely 15/4.00

Hardy perennial European herb with tasty immature 1/2” licorice tasting fruits that become fluted conical seeds. Attractive ferny foliage.

Pastinaca sativa Hollow Crown Parsnip 50/3.50

Excellent European Heirloom; long roots, large crowns, excellent flavor.

Petroselinum crispum Turkish Parsley 100/3.00

Selected from heirloom land races collected for the USDA and adapted to our yard during a decade of acclimatization and selection. Distinctive aroma and thin leaves.

Smyrnium olusatrum Alexander’s Salad Greens 25/3.00

Another tale of adaptation, selection and weediness: it took a while for this European species to germinate and adapt to our shady, moist, PNW valley yard. Then for a few years some nice large green plants flourished in january to march before much else was thriving. The next year, 1/4 of the yard was occupied by Alexander’s. Turns out that the compost pile needs fresh green during late winter and early spring. Now Alexander’s, more popular before celery was commercialized as a crop, is a prime ally for compost making, fertility enhancement and tasty spring greens for soup and salad.


Asteraceae-largest family of dicots, 14-16 tribes, the golden daisies.of the sun.

Arctium lappa Takinogawa Burdock, Gobo 50/3.00

A staple of the macrobiotic and vegan diets. Long roots work their way into clay soils bringing up minerals and breaking thru hardpans. The roots can get bigger than one’s wrist. They contribute a unique flavor to soups and stir-fries and have nutritional/biochemical traits in common with milk thistle and globe artichoke.

Helianthus annuus Supreme Mix 50/3.00 800 seeds/7.50

Our ongoing annual selection from volunteers and plantings after decades of public domain sunflower breeding including polyheaded and large single heads, early and late flowering, single, double and tiger’s eye petal morphs, color variety including bronze, amber, red, gloriosa, yellow and lemon. Crosses with Helianthus argophyllus, the Silverleaf Sunflower, a rare Texas endemic have given some late giants, stiff multiflowered spikes and a longer flowering season.

Helianthus annuus x H. argophyllus China Cat Sunflower Mix 50/3.50

From the cross of Gloriosa Sunflower, 4-6” yellow flowers with purple blotches on the petals giving rings of color in the flowers, with Silverleaf Sunflower, 3-4” yellow flowers on stiff, long stems and fuzzy leaves, comes this ongoing development combining these species to improve horticultural and aesthetic traits. Towers of flowers and flower-thick spikes are in the genome.

Lactuca sativa Peace Seedlings Lettuce Mix 100/3.00

From the 2009 growout, a mix of more than 18 kinds in all categories.

Lactuca sativa Brown’s Garden Volunteers 100/3.00

Many excellent volunteers from more than a dozen kinds, 2010 crop.

Lactuca sativa Purplus Looseleaf Lettuce 100/4.00

Intense purple crisped leaves, a worthy new introduction., a plus for purple.

Silphium perfoliatum Cup Plant Daisy 25/3.50

Perennial to 8’ with large leaves that cup the central stem, clusters of 2” yellow flrs.

Tagetes erecta La Ribera Double Marigolds 50/4.00

From the single flower discussed in the following listing, we are selecting a beautiful polypetalous line with 3-4” thick double flowers on 5-7’ plants. Tolerates light frosts.

Tagetes erecta Summer Snowflake Marigolds 50/5.00

In 1997, in the sole restaurant in La Ribera, BSC, Mexico, there was a small dried up marigold plant with a single dried up flower. It had fertile seeds and was very heterozygous, giving rise to lines of both single petaled and polypetalous types. In 2009 we finally grew a stable line whose flowers have 8 orange petals looking like antelope horns and taken together led Kusra Kapuler to liken them to snowflakes in summertime. Plants get 4-5’ tall and bloom late into fall.

Tagetes patula Marigolds

Burgundy Double Mix Marigolds 50/5.00

Selecting China Cat Mix for polypetalous double flowers with intense wine purple burgundy flowers having gold margins led to this new mix. Plants are 3’ tall and equally wide.

Tagetes patula China Cat Mix Marigolds 50/3.00 800 seeds/7.50

A mix of single and double flowers. 2-3’ shrubs with marvelous colors and patterns. It is our core mix that gives rise to new varieties.

Tagetes patula China Idyll Mix Marigolds 50/3.50

Selected from China Cat MG to give 3-5’ plants, mostly double flowers.

Tagetes patula Frances’s Choice Marigolds 50/5.00

Towards the end of Frances Hoffman’s life, I would wander the garden and pick her a bouquet. She was a lifetime seed saver, horticulturist and plant genius so my eyes were open to the unusual and unique. By the time I had picked several dozen kinds of flowers, I walked down a 40’ row of China Cat MG and saw a heretofore unseen flower, single petaled ie 8 petals, dark red-purple with a gold rim around each petal. I cut the flower and put it in her bouquet and tagged the plant. A few days later, on the phone, she expressed her appreciation for the flowers. Her only specific comment was ‘that’s a right beautiful single marigold’. So having tagged the plant and collected several mature, fertile, seeding flowers. I planted them the following year and got a 40’ row, all with the same flower as I sent Frances. Of particular relevance here is that the seeds from the one plant, now called Frances’s Choice bred true in spite of the layout wherein the one plant was in a direct seeded row of about 300 plants of a marigold mix that upon close inspection can be seen to have virtually every plant different from one another. So we found that most of the T. patula’s breed true rather quickly. This is not true of Tagetes erecta which outcrosses very easily. Frances’s Choice is 3-5’ tall and has 8-9” long stems, ideal for picking for small, distinctive and outstanding bouquets.

Tagetes patula Garden Companion Mix Marigolds 50/3.00 800/7.50

We consider marigolds and sunflowers the most important companion flowers in the vegetable garden. This mix returns the tall and wide marigolds to our gardens. Plants are 2-8’ tall with a yearly changing mix of colors, patterns and morphs.

Tagetes patula Golden Star Marigolds 50/5.00

2-3’ stocky, well branched bushes with hundreds of 2” yellow and orange flowers that change color as the season progresses into burnt chrome, paisley and stardust.

Tagetes patula Orange Sunshine Mix Marigolds 50/3.50

Selected from China Cat, this is an ongoing orange flowered mix. A mixture of single and polypetalous flowers, or double flowers in the horticultural slang terminology. Flowers are fluffly making soft orange 3-4’ bushes.

Tagetes patula Red Metamorph Marigolds 50/5.00

2-3’ closely branched shrubs with flowers that change color and pattern during the season making floriforous and attractive hedges along pathways in the garden. In the cool weather of spring-summer the flowers are all wine-burgundy purple. As the days and nights become warmer, the flowers develop golden orange sectors giving a pinwheel-like appearance. Then as the cooler weather of fall comes on, the young flowers become all burgundy once again. The Metamorph’s or Face Changers were a race of people created by Robert Silverberg.

Tagetes patula Sparkler Double Marigolds 50/5.00

3-5’ tall plants with 2-3” double flowers, a selection from Frances’s Choice. Like its parental line, it has 8-9” flower stems making it another fine choice for marigold bouquets. In Mexico and Central America where Tagetes patula is a wildflower, it and Tagetes erecta are important health promoting herbs. Sacred to the Day of the Dead, these plants and their flowers are brought into houses and provide sesquiterpene fragrances that inhibits the growth of common infectious bacteria like staph, strep and pneumonia and their viruses. The bright flowers maintain well in mild frosts and last well into fall in the Willamette Valley. They light up our home for months and remind us that fragrance and color from organically grown flowers help our moods, brighten up our spirits and sustain our bodies as winter comes on.

Zinnia violacea Sunset Mix 25/3.50

A new mix developed by Peace Seedlings with many colors and morphologies on 3-5’ plants. Large attractive flowers with some new ones peeking through.




Cucurbita pepo Summer Squash

Costata Romanesca Vine Zucchini 20/4.00

Vigorous vines and excellent ribbed fruits with a star-like pattern in cross-section. This worthy Italian Heirloom grows delicious zucchinis for most of the summer into fall.

Curcurbita pepo Summer Squash Golden Bush Zucchini 20/4.00

Developed from an F1 hybrid, in collaboration with Richard Pecoraro, medium sized plants make long, golden fruits that brighten up stir-fries and make good raw snacks.

Cyclanthera pedata Achocha 15/4/00

One of the Andean vegetables considered a lost crop but for many of us this is a new

garden plant. Vines are prolific, thriving in our cool wet fall weather where myriad 1-2” green

cucurbitaceous edible, crunchy, nice fruits are produced.


Fabaceae sustainer of the world soil fertility as homes for microbes and as green manure and cover crops. The legumes and roses have different species of bacteria that fix nitrogen in their roots yet the flowers are

Very different. Thus Linneaus supported a misconception about plant relationships that took more than 200 years to correct.

Cajanus cajan Pigeon Pea 20/4.00

Perennial nitrogen-fixer living 3-10 years, growing 6-10’ bushy plants that are a sustainable foodplant of tropical ecosystems. Growing and overwintering in our greenhouse, they began making flowers, pods and seeds the second year. Now, some years later we prune them down to 3-4’ and they regrow in the following season. Our seeds are a mix of two cultivars. A primary foodplant in zone 10 and warmer places, used for dahl and tempeh.

Glycine max Soybeans The Chinese call the soybean ‘the great bean’. In The Book of Tofu, Bill Shurtlieff promotes the soybean as the major protein food source for humanity. It is impressive that these seeds, originating in the colder northern regions of China, selected and adapted for thousands of years gave rise to tofu, tempeh, tamari, miso, amasake, and edamame. .

Glycine max Cha Kura Kake Soybeans 20/3.00

3’ prolific plants; large bicolor seeds-redbrown on yellow; 46% protein (Lobitz)- good edamame. Maturity 110 days.

Glycine max Hakucho Edamame Soybeans 20/3.00

Stocky 2’ plants with large green succulent seeds, 2-3 seeds per pod. Maturity 95 days.

Glycine max Hidatsa Early Edamame Soybeans 20/3.00

16” plants mature early and do well in cool, wet soils. Seeds are medium sized.. Maturity 80 days.

Glycine max Jewel Soybeans 20/3.00

2-3’ plants with beautiful bicolor seeds, yellow with black saddle, having 37% protein (Lobitz). Maturity 120 days. They come from Manchuria (USDA) thru Robert Lobitz who named it.

Glycine max OAC Ares Soybeans 20/3.00

4’ plants that twine if planted early; yellow seeds, good yields. Maturity 120 days.

Glycine max Oosodefuri Edamame Soybeans 20/3.00

3-4’ well built productive plants, green pods, large green seeds. Maturity 140 days.

Glycine max Velvet Soybeans 20/4.00

3’ plants with silky white hairs on leaves and pods conferring insect resistance to some pests. Scott Vlaun in Maine found that Japanese beetles ate the edamame and tofu cultivars but left the Velvet alone. Said by Lobitz “found as a mutation of the Blackhawk variety in 1956”. Flowers are white so can be used as a genetic testing strain for outcrossing among soybean cultivars in the same field. Small yellow-white seeds.

Maturity 120 days.

Glycine max Vinton 81 Tofu Soybean 20/3.00

An excellent tofu bean; cream-white seeds, productive on 4’ plants. Maturity 140 days

Glycine max VIR 1501-40 Soybeans 20/3.00

4’ plants with twiners; yellow seeds with blue-grey overlay; productive. Maturity 110 days

Phaseolus coccineus v. albus Jack’s Runner Pole Bean 10/4.00

An Austrian Heirloom from Donna Truss of Eugene, Oregon that can run up 20’ in a season with large lima-bean-like seeds, 2-3/pod and white flowers. Named for the legend of climbing a beanstalk and ending up in another world. Gardening can do that for us, sometimes.

Phaseolus coccineus Scarlet Emperor Runner Pole Bean 20/4.00

A superior food plant cultivar. Vigorous vines begin flowering when a foot tall, providing delicious steamed green beans from early on in the season. Flowers are red, pods 6-8” long with 5-6 seeds/pod of pink overlaid by purple. An heirloom introduced into the USA in the 1800’s.

Phaseolus vulgaris Alice Sunshine Snap Bush Beans 25/3.50

20” large vigorous plants with flat green 7-8” pods with fine flavor and productivity. Original public domain breeding Robert Lobitz. For an extensive listing of Robert Lobitz’s snap bush beans, see the 2010 Peace Seedlings Annual List.

Phaseolus vulgaris Biko Snap Pole Beans 40/4.00

Productive snap bean cultivar with 6” pods and distinctive blue-grey seeds. Named in honor of Stephen Biko who was murdered in 1977 for opposing racial discrimination in South Africa .

Phaseolus vulgaris Domatsu Snap Pole Beans 40/4.00

Vigorous vines, 7-8” green round pods held in clusters, excellent cultivar.

Phaseolus vulgaris Hutterite Soup Bush Beans 25/4.00

During our first decade of seed growing and saving, we grew many different cultivars of bush beans without much savvy as to why they were heirlooms. Then one unusually cold and frozen winter we had to eat some of our bean seeds. At about the third pot of bean and vegetable soup we tried the Hutterite bean. Rather than staying as beans in the soup, they quickly turned into a thick, creamy chowder. It gave us some insight as to why certain seeds and their plants have been cherished and passed on from generation to generation. Sometimes we can rediscover the essential aspects of value to humanity in what continues to be worthy, even in high tech, high stress, high demand times.

Phaseolus vulgaris New Mexico Cave Snap Pole Beans 25/4.00

Distinctly patterned seeds on tall, medium–late vines with excellent 6” snap pods combine with its history to make this worth growing. A few years after we became members of the SSE (the Seed Saver’s Exchange), we received a package in the mail from a Mr. Pritchard with a note saying that the enclosed seeds would be of interest to us. He said they were the third generation from seeds found buried in a cave in a clay pot, sealed with pine pitch and C-14 dated to 1500 ago. Interestingly, some 15 years later, one of my customers related that her daughter in a UCLA anthropology course digging for pygmy elephants in New Mexico found a clay pot with the beans and had them carbon dated. No one has related about their initial germination and growth, both of which are considered unlikely in modern scientific terms. We have grown them for decades and the seeds are unlike any other. Several people have selected lines of this bean whose markings are characteristic and distinguishable from one another.

Phaseolus vulgaris Red Swan Snap Bush Beans 25/5.00

One of Robert Lobitz’s original public domain cultivars. 16-20” plants have 5” red snap pods of good flavor and distinctive appearance.

Pisum sativum Green Beauty Snow Vine Pea 30/3.50

8’ vines make 5-8” snowpeas in abundance, bicolor purple flowers, green pods, a choice

cultivar with large delicious oriental style peas.

Pisum sativum Magnolia Blossom Snap Vine Pea 25/5.00

Prolific vines exceed 8-10’ with green snap pods having a purple stripe and biolor purple flowers.

Pisum sativum Opal Creek Yellow Snap Vine Pea 25/5.00

Unique and tasty 3” snap pods on 5-6’ vines with while flowers and remarkably sweet leaves that surround the stems of the vines. The first yellow podded snap cultivar. Has been longstanding and productive in tropical ecologies. Named to commemorate the struggle to preserve our old growth forests.

Pisum sativum Spring Blush Snap Vine Pea 25/4.00

Vigorous vines to 8-10’ with regular tendrils, bicolor purple flowers and green snap pods

with a pink blush.

Pisum sativum Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Vine Pea 25/5.00

Vigorous vines with purple flowers and purple 3-4” snap pods of fine flavor. This year’s seed stock has a mixture of tendril types: regular, hypertendril and vetch (no tendrils). Unexpectedly, the cross of a Parsley Bush Pea with a Purple Podded Snap Vine Pea generated a hypertendril trait. Hypertendrils are very distinctive, they hold a population of vine peas together, a useful self-supporting characteristic.

Pisum sativum Sugaree Snap Vine Pea 25/4.00

An excellent tall growing vine with 4” green snap pods, 2 flowers/ node, white flowers.

A public domain cultivar in a heavily taxed taxon.

Vicia faba Longpod Major Fava Beans 15/4.00

5-6 large seeds per pod on 3’ plants; plants can make nodules the size of a dime. They overwinter well here when small and before flowering. Then they make food early in the season before peas.

Vigna unguiculata Yard Long Beans=Yalobe 20/4.00

Tropical vines that make long pods16-24” or more depending on cultivar. They are a staple in several asian cuisines, cooked with oil, garlic and mushrooms. We provide a mix of cultivars, including Orient Wonder, Purple Pod as available.



Oxalis tuberosa Oca 10 tubers/$10

A staple foodplant in the Andes of South America. Brilliantly colored tubers come out of the mud in November and December as jewels of the earth. We supply a mix of medium sized tubers for 5 cultivars: Amarillo (yellow), Hopin (Hot Pink), Mexican Red, Rebo (Bolivian Red) and Grande. Plants are 1’ tall with shamrock leaves and tasty acerbic leaves. USA only.



Rhamnus purshiana Cascara Sagrada 10/3.50

Hardy perennial tree to 30’ or more whose bark and berries provided a much needed

laxative for folks whose protein rich diets lead to digestive problems.




Brassica campestris ssp. rapifera Turnips

6 Root Grex Turnips 100/3.00

An interbreeding mix of six cultivars chosen for edible leaves and quality roots that is adapting to our local gardens, an ongoing eco-adaptive development. This is the third cycle of interbreeding.

Brassica napus Frizee Kale 100/5.00

From a single plant among many Russian Red Kale was the progenitor of this new line. Leaves are ruffled, complexly shaggy, soft and of excellent edibility.

Brassica napus Russian Red Kale 100/3.00

A dependable heirloom for winter greens; to 4’, vigorous plants with leaves for salad and steamed greens in fall, winter, spring and summer.

Brassica oleracea Oregreen Curled Kale 100/4.00

Plants are 3-4’ tall with deeply curled green leaves on stocky stems. Selected from a

cross of Scotch Curled Kale and Pentland Brig Kale.

Brassica oleracea v. italica Nutribud Broccoli 100/5.00

Open pollinated, large primary heads and good side-growth after primary harvest, to 2’. Vigorous and nutritious with significant amounts of glutamine and other free protein synthesis and energy amino acids in the stems and buds.

Eruca sativa Arugula/Roquette 100/3.00

One of the choice temperate zone salad greens, particularly in fall, winter and spring where its unque spicy and pungent flavor improves salads and tickles the palate.

Tropaeolum tuberosum v. pilifera Mashua 2 tubers/$5

A very vigorous and productive new foodplant for the PNW. This is a tuberous rooted

nasturtium from Colombia, SA. Since it comes from north of the equator, there is no day length

problem in the production of tubers as we have found with Bolivian mashua cultivars. Tubers

are white with an anise fragrance, 6-8” long and produced in abundance, exceeding that of potatoes.

Makes a tight mat over the ground and small attractive orange flowers. USA only.