Chris Homanics lately dropped me a note under my post from long ago, Daubenton’s kale in the US, that his landrace/grex of perennial kale is now available for sale through the Experimental Farm Network. I’m sure your eyes skipped this intro straight for the picture below. It’s one of the many colors that may show up.
For those who aren’t familiar with the “landrace” breeder terminology, it’s a species, or variety adapted to local conditions. In this case, the landrace is also a “grex,” which comes from the latin for flock, like a flock of sheep, and usually refers to a mix of hybrid genetics.
In this case, a bunch of kale plants (and other near-related plants) have been mixed together through natural pollination. The results are a bunch of kale-ish plants with many, many varying attributes. From here, you can grow and select the specimen that best suit your particular interests.
Sharing this seed back into the network is encouraged. This spreads around the diversity to others, like you, who might want the particular attributes you have selected, or to get rid of some notable attribute you don’t like, but others would love.
After many years of selection by Chris, the vast majority of these are perennial. Yes, perennial.
What’s more, a major portion of the genetics for this mix are from variety ramosa kale, which are the daubenton type. From past discussion with those who have bred this plant, the ramosa attribute of many sideshoots, which makes daubenton’s so bushy, is recessive. So I am curious how much of the mix will express this attribute.
If you would like to participate in the seed sharing network I mentioned, check out the program here.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait before getting your packet. I’ve already got mine.