583: Gregg Muller on Breeding Your Own Vegetables.
Breeding vegetables for a unique variety that is well-suited to your climate.
In This Podcast:
Diving into the topic of breeding for genetic seed diversity, Gregg Muller’s curiosity led him to experiment with crossbreeding unique seed varieties. Gregg illustrates the epic vegetable breeds he has been creating from purple snow peas to ‘single serve’ melons. Living in the dry climate of Bendigo, Victoria in Australia, he discusses the importance of protecting open genetic resources in the face of changing environmental conditions
Gregg holds a Bachelor of Arts in pure mathematics and philosophy, diploma of teaching, a graduate diploma of outdoor education, a master’s degree in environmental science, and is currently enrolled in a PhD program examining the ecology of root-parastic trees. He has worked as a park ranger, Secondary school maths and science teacher, environmental planner, outdoor instructor, and spent the last 19 years as a natural history lecturer at university. But his passion, as you will soon learn, is growing vegetables. He has grown vegetables for over 50 years, but now concentrates on breeding locally adapted vegetables, providing seeds for his local community and interested vegetable growers and breeders with climates similar to the dry, Mediterranean conditions of Central Victoria, Australia.
Listen in and learn about:
- What are the environmental conditions for gardening in Bendigo, Victoria
- How did Gregg get involved in breeding seeds
- What are the different seed varieties Gregg grows
- Cross Hemisphere Dwarf Tomato Project
- What is his process for cross-breeding
- Why is The Open Source Seed Initiative important for genetic diversity
- What kind of epic melon varieties is Gregg experimenting with
- What is the benefit of using perennial vegetables when breeding
- Which vegetables have the least genetic diversity
As well as:
His failure – Planting white carrots during his quest to grow ‘short and fat’ purple carrots without realizing the aspect of a dominant gene
His success – Having the opportunity to go back and teach at a university
His drive – The curiosity of experimenting
His advice – “Start breeding vegetables, there are many myths saying one can’t cross certain breeds, however breeding can actually create newer and better varieties.”
Gregg’s Book recommendations:
How to reach Gregg:
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