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I grow my own variety of genetically diverse open pollinated land-race spinach on my farm. The spinach has been selected to quickly grow huge plants that are slow to bolt and that do not attract leaf-bugs.
The most surprising thing about developing the spinach landrace was how quick and simple it was to select for plants that thrive in my garden. Some varieties immediately bolted without producing a harvestable leaf. Bugs swarmed to some varieties. Some varieties grew incredibly slowly. Other varieties quickly grew huge plants that were slow to bolt and resistant to insects.
What if I had only planted one variety of spinach? I might have thought that I can't grow spinach in my garden. By planting a dozen varieties and saving the seeds from those individual plants that grow best for me I've created a genetic treasure for my garden and for any gardner that shares my soil, climate, pests, and cultural practices.
My Other Landraces
Landrace garden crops
Blog: Mother Earth News -- Landrace Gardening.
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Photos/Writing by Joseph Lofthouse by Joseph Lofthouse are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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