Giant Leek Seeds Ripe After About a Year and a Half

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Over a year and a half ago, I planted Giant Bulgarian leek seeds from a line saved over a handful of plant generations.  Now the seeds from that latest generation of plants are ripe and we are in the final stretch to get them out to whomever wishes to plant them.  The project was to save seed, while also continuing to select for leeks with certain characteristics, as I always do.  A combination of length and girth, general uprightness and tidiness, and tightly clasping leaves are my basic criteria.  I selected about 12 leeks in the end. 

There is much more at stake in seed saving that just our own practical needs.  Yes, it's cheaper and it assures you can get the variety you want since any variety can be dropped by any seed company at any time.  Sure, it's also a good way to adapt varieties to your growing conditions over time.  But all that practical stuff aside, seed saving embraces a different mindset than buying seeds, and has become by default a political act.  Seed laws have become increasingly favorable to those entities with power and influence who have a vested interest in controlling and owning genes.  Meanwhile, fewer and fewer efforts are made in the commercial realm to serve home growers by creating new varieties suited to the home garden.  Well, we can serve ourselves.  Seed saving is the next level of involvement in our own food supply.  Someday I'll type up a sermon on the subject, but many gardeners are now at that level when it's time to move into basic seed saving.  The step after that is creating new varieties, which it is actually a great time to do now.

Saving seed from some plants, like leeks, is quite easy.  Other than elephant garlic, leeks should not inter-breed with any other onion family plants.  So, all you have to do is pick the best leeks and let them run to seed.  It takes time, but you'll have a pile of big pile of seeds from 6 or 8 leeks.  You may get some genetic bottlenecking saving only a few plants like that, but you can always introduce another line, or even another variety and let them cross to reinvigorate and add new genes to the mix.  Then you might be on your way to selecting out a new variety...  If I were to continue this project, that is exactly what I would do.  I probably won't though, so maybe someone else will.

When this seed is dry and processed I will make it available in the Webstore on My patrons over on Patreon get first chance, but I think there are plenty to go around.  I will probably sell them in small quantities to make them go further.  To me the point is to get them to more people.  The more people I get them to, the more chance someone will continue saving and selecting this great variety.

Here is the full playlist for this project

Posted on October 15, 2017 .