We began our process of digging up all our root crops that will be going to seed next summer and laying them all out in a row so we can select the best to save for growing out and eat the rest. This is how the Black Spanish radishes looked, we replanted half of what we originally planted. This kind of rigorous rogueing is essential to keep seed lines strong and true to type. We have grown thousands of carrots this year and it’s going to be very very exciting to be able to chose just 500 to replant at 20cm diagonal spacings to collect seed next summer. As well as the carrots and salsify we also still have the parsnips to dig up in May and do our selection work on.
We also have our brassicas in the ground to over winter for seed next summer.. this year we’re growing out Broccoli De Cicco, Borecole, Filbasket Brussels sprouts, and Red Mammoth cabbages. Once again we will be planting several hundred of each and rogueing down to around ¼ for seed. Doing that each time we do a brassica growout maintains even lines of quality seed, a thing that is difficult to maintain in many brassica lines because there is so much genetic variation in them, and they constantly try to get back to their original wild ancestors. The brassicas we have that are closest to the wild lines are the most genetically stable and easiest to maintain eg Seakale, Borecole, and Dalmatian cabbage.