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In the beginning there’s dirt . . .

It’s always a great feeling to get the last seeds in the ground, though it is a short-lived victory because my mind quickly turns to the next project. One of which is to get ALL the transplants in the ground. Easier said than done, because I am trying to find the right home (or isolation plot) for each specific variety of seed.

Isolation plots are the easiest way of proliferating a variety of vegetable, if you call tracking down people who trust me enough to let the mini pumpkin patches invade their spaces easy. Isolation plots don’t have to be in a garden, necessarily; they can be in a field or even a plot of lawn. These isolation plots have to be a half mile from any other variety of pumpkin, squash, or gourds within the same species, or they risk getting cross-pollinated or contaminated with “impure” pollen thereby creating a crossed or “impure” fruit, which is then unusable when it comes to seed saving.

We seed-save rare and unusual varieties that we feel are in danger of becoming extinct, or for which we simply can not locate and/or buy enough seed for TGPP’s purposes. I love the logistics of the process, it just takes a lot of work but is so worth it when an isolation plot is successful. Thank you all to our 25+ isolation growers.

On another note, somewhat related, I want to congratulate our niece on getting 2nd place at the Indiana State FFA competition. Her seed saving presentation was exceptional and we are all very proud of her.

~ Mac Condill