Friday, April 27, 2012

Cross-pollinating Peas: F1


There it is, our first crossed pea pod.  Sweet, green Oregon Giant snow pea crossed with the purple, Caruthers shell pea.  Now our first generation, or F1 as it is called, has been created from two separate parent pea plants.  This pea pod above has seeds with genes from the green pea and some genes from the purple pea parent.  Once this pod swells, we will remove the peas and seed them to see the next generation, F2.   By selecting for the pea characteristics we want from each generation by F4 or F5, we should have what we're looking for.

Follow the story of the Stone Barns Center purple pea project here:

Introduction to the purple pea project
Update 1
Update 2

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Purple Pea Flowers: Cross Pollinating With Purple Peas


It's getting dangerously close to the end of my second apprenticeship here at Stone Barns Center.  I have seen and worked on incredible projects from my first days with Matt as a green volunteer, still believing that carrots grew in the back of a supermarket, to the Captain handing me the keys to the greenhouse back in December.  Relationships with the space, the plants, myself and others. Exploring internally, emotionally pushing myself through false walls and expanding into a capacity I never realized I had both physically and mentally.  This journey has been one of unlearning and learning, hiding from demons and slaying them face to face.  I hold each one of these experiences close to my heart.  Experimenting with these beautiful pea varieties has definitely been one of the more all-encompassing learning experiences on the farm.  I propagated them, built the trellis, transplanted them and have watched them grow.  Over the last few weeks, they finally began to flower and that means it's time for us to cross pollinate the two purple varieties (Caruthers pea and Sugar Magnolia pea) with the green Oregon Giant snow pea. In this process, we select a host or female flower, which will remain attached to the plant we would like to produce a seed pod.  The male flower will be plucked off of another plant and used solely for its pollen.  Peas have what is known as a "perfect flower" which means it has...