Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hip-Gnosis Seed Development Updates

Recently Kim and I have made an effort to organize our seed collections in such a way to make them easier to catalog, propagate, and characterize. I hadn't realized the diversity of our seed collection until just yesterday when we finished. As I sat looking at the finished seed room (actually a large closet) the scope of such genetics hit me square on! Imagine for a moment if you will, the number of generations of gardeners preserving unique varieties in our seed room, the number of years by each gardener spent selecting for new types, the number of generations of entrepid ancient seed developers it took to turn any of these crops wild ancestors into human food, and that is only taking into account the pure genetics we are keeping. Imagine for a moment if you will the amount of human history in one of our breeding experiments such as "Astronomy Domine" sweet corn. Literally tens of thousands of years of cumulative human endevor. Living in my closet! Breeding in my fields! It truly is amazing. Imagine the blood, sweet, and tears poured into these crops. Philosophical fertility if you will!

And it still amazes me the amount of diversity passing through our mailbox on a daily basis! There are three lifetimes worth of work to be done here!

In that spirit, Kim and I have decided to expand our business next fall into the realm of a small seed catalog. More like a seed list. We plan to pack this short list with various pure and genetic combinations that are rare, hard to find, or otherwise overlooked. In the meantime we have created a proto type of this catalog, mostly to give us an idea of what we should be bulking seeds from next season, I don't want to sound conceited, but I am already impressed! Hip-Gnosis Seed Development will offer a greatly expanded assortment next season. It was long past time for us to step up and fill in the gaps in the worlds seed selections, now we are determined to do so!


EJ said...

Your seed collection sounds very impressive. I hope you have a back storage or two. You wouldn't want a fire or other catastrophe to wipe it all out!

Bishops Homegrown said...

Hello EJ, we are working on a secondary collection and storage method right now, backing up as much as we can with small samples at a secondary site in the event of any a catastrophe, it is our responsibility to foster the safety of these unique varieties. Thanks for reading my friend!