Re: Question about how to save legume seeds #NewSeedLibrary #SeedSaving #SeedQuality #NativeSeeds #ResilientGardens

Rebecca Newburn

Peas and beans (except favas and runners) are extremely self-fertile, which means they tend to pollinate themselves. So cross-pollination would be low even if planted close together.

Mendel's choice of peas to do his research was great because they are extremely self-fertile. He had to manually remove the male parts and hand-pollinate. I spoke with plant breeder Alan Kapuler (a.k.a. Mushroom) of Peace Seeds who actively breeds peas a few years ago because I wanted to do a pea breeding project with my middle school students. (Check out some of his offerings at Peace Seeds.) He said peas are a total pain to work with because they are self-fertile and you have to work with those small flower bits to cross. Here's a little education video about peas and genetics from TedEd. 

Peas and justice,

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 8:40 AM ghgiaoer <grimcat23@...> wrote:
Legume seeds!

My question is about how to make sure that I am correctly preserving the variety. 

I understand that I need to isolate fava but as far as other members of the legume family I am seeing mixed things. One site said that they are all self fertile and so they always save true but Mendel seems to have found otherwise at least for peas? 

Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing, 

fava Vicia faba
peas  Pisum sativum and P s var
beans phaseolus vulgaris 
field/crowder peas Vigna unguiculata
chickpea Cicer arietinum
winged bean Psophocarpus tetragonolobus
soybean glycine max
asparagus bean Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis
hyacinth bean etc Phaseolus coccineus

What has me concerned is that they don't keep fertile for very many years, so the schedule is looking tight. I'm trying to steward more than 2 varieties of each type, so that is why I am trying to dig into the details.  Maybe I might be able to do 6 varieties of at least peas, field peas, and beans if I did an early and a late each year and isolated them from each other using time as the isolator. 

year 1 spring  type a fall type b
year 2 spring type c fall type d
year 3 spring type e fall type f total of 6 types

Those of you who are stewarding multiple legumes, how do you arrange your rotations? 


Rebecca Newburn
Pronouns: she/her/ella                  
Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library
Planting seeds for the just and sustainable future.

I acknowledge that my home sits within the 'Huichin' land today that is the unceded traditional ancestral homelands of the Huichin, an Ohlone people.

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