Friday, 6 June 2014
Some good work.
One of the things I've often bitched about is the lack of rigour and possible confusion over various seed varieties in the Heritage system. With no central control and in the hands of well meaning amateurs my concern is that when mistakes are made they are compounded by being propagated throughout the community in good faith.
I was interested therefore to spot a thesis: The Characterisation of Heritage Vegetables published by Jennifer Preston for her PhD at Birmingham in 2011 examining these issues in depth.
You can read it here and although like most theses it's a dry old study there are some gems in there including a section on duplicate accessions. The conclusion is that of the varieties studied there was a potential redundancy of about 10% of accessions because they were identical in all but name. The research was limited but if it can be extrapolated to the full catalogue then that's a sizeable portion of confusion out there.