breeding plants

Carrying out diversity trials and engaging with plant breeding.

Little known potato varieties.
People in the Andes sometimes grow up to 200 different kinds in a single field.

The demand for organic food and farming methods grows fast. We need to create a resource of bioregional, organic seed varieties that will provide a basis for organically designed farming systems to flourish.

Farming communities carrying out potatoe diversity trials in Peru.

Every pattern of agriculture and every agricultural method is associated with certain crops and crop varieties that make it work and that work because of it. The varieties and the methods go together. To try to garden or farm organically with crops and varieties that were bred to excel under entirely different conditions is to assume a grossly unfair handicap. Farmers often have to grow commercial varieties, which usually do poorly without pesticides, herbicides, large doses of chemical fertilizers or water.


An independent technician works with communities to improve the quality of potatoe varieties.

We need new varieties resistant to all the modern diseases but adapted to organic methods, new varieties to support a more diversified, ecologically viable agriculture. We need entirely new crops, as well as new varieties of the old ones, to form the basis for local agriculture.


Potato day at Henry Doubleday Research Association, who preserve heritage varieties in the UK. See useful contacts.

Those who envision and strive toward a different agriculture to corporate agribusiness must be ready, willing, and able to do some of the breeding work. See the books zone for ‘Breeding Your Own Vegetable Varieties’. by Carol Deppe