Naughty list

I’ve been a bad girl. :smiling_imp:

2023 planting conversations are starting just about everywhere. I hijacked a thread about seed saving (essentially the Gospel of Varietal Purity) and another on garden plans.

This will either start a firestorm or get someone to start thinking. Both would be fun.


Love to see the firestorms you create if you want to share a link :slight_smile:

Haha, bet they’re gonna cry about poisonous pumpkins. Because once upon a time a terribly stubborn German farmer died finishing horrible bitter soup. A mix between poisonous arty pumpkins and edible.
Happened to me too! I was so happy to finally have my first home grown! One bite and i choked, washing m’y tongue for five minutes.


I’d love to see the comments.

You never know, you might have started someone thinking. I’d never seen anything discussed here until I saw Joseph’s posts on a forum where people take their varieties quite seriously.

1 Like

I prefer to take the approach of praising people for doing something right, and only telling someone I think they’re doing something wrong when it’s truly necessary. Usually it isn’t. Even when I think it is, I try to think carefully before criticizing.

It’s worth pointing out hypocrisy. It’s also worth pointing out when someone is using an approach that is suboptimal for their stated goals, or for the probable goals of others they might be advising.

If somebody’s goal is to keep an inbred variety “pure” because they want it to stay exactly as it is and they don’t care about greater disease susceptibility or lower yield or other features of inbreeding depression, I won’t worry about it. I may not think it’s a great goal, but it’s not my choice to make their goal for them.

What if it’s their grandparents’ bean variety, and they don’t care about yield, disease resistance, or inbreeding depression – they just want to grow their grandparents’ beans? That’s a worthy goal. It’s not my goal, but it’s okay for it to be theirs.

I suspect the ideal is for most people to use whatever tools best suit their goals. I would simply gently recommend to someone digging a hole that they try using a shovel instead of a rake.


I didn’t argue against what others do or criticize anything. I just stated what I do, and part of why. Usually this starts a firestorm among the purists, which is their problem, not mine. But if it makes one person think, it’s worth it.


It didn’t get the reaction I expected. I actually got some likes on those, so maybe more people are open to the new than we imagine.

1 Like

That’s great! That’s also a sign that you did a great job of bringing up the subject. High five! :smiley:

1 Like

Wow surprising! Maybe they want to know more then.

I like the people who keep the old “heirlooms” I deal with a few of them and sometimes use their seeds as sources of specific traits. One fellow collects heirloom beans, he has hundreds, maybe thousands of them. He does his best to research their origins and histories, I think it’s great. I occasionally do grow outs for him and when I do I isolate his as best I can from my other beans to return pure seed to him. He knows that if they do well for me that I will also mix them in to mine and he thinks that’s great.

I also think sometimes that heirlooms and landraces can be the same thing. Greasy beans for example. Greasy beans are called that because the pods don’t have a fuzzy appearance but instead are sort of shiny. They are mostly commonly white or brown and come under lots of individual variety names, they are usually cut-short, meaning they are crowded in the pods and flat on one or both ends. They have family names, location related names, how they are used names. I have them originally by probably at least twenty different names, but they are all greasy, almost all cut short, all pole type and all very productive. Except for the limited variations in seed color, I can’ t tell them apart.

The interesting thing, besides the commonalities already mentioned is regardless of the specific “heirloom” name they all came from an area ranging from the hills of Eastern KY into the Virginias and south through Tennessee and into the mountains of the Carolinas. I’d call that an Appalachian landrace of greasy beans and if someone wants to keep them pure by any particular name, I’m fine with it.