Joseph Lofthouse

author & steward
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since Dec 16, 2014
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Biography

Joseph Lofthouse grew up on the farm and in the community that was settled by his ggg-grandmother and her son. He still farms there. Growing conditions are high-altitude brilliantly-sunlit desert mountain valley in Northern Utah with irrigation, clayish-silty high-pH soil, super low humidity, short-season, and intense radiant cooling at night. Joseph learned traditional agricultural and seed saving techniques from his grandfather and father. Joseph is a sustenance market farmer and landrace seed-developer. He grows seed for about 95 species. Joseph is enamored with landrace growing and is working to convert every species that he grows into adaptivar landraces. He writes the Landrace Gardening Blog for Mother Earth News.
Farming Philosophy
Promiscuous Pollination and ongoing segregation are encouraged in all varieties. Joseph's style of landrace gardening can best be summed up as throwing a bunch of varieties into a field, allowing them to promiscuously cross pollinate, and then through a combination of survival-of-the-fittest and farmer-directed selection saving seeds year after year to arrive at a locally-adapted genetically-diverse population that thrives because it is closely tied to the land, the weather, the pests, the farmer's habits and tastes, and community desires.
Joseph lives under a vow of poverty and grows using subsistence level conditions without using cides or fertilizers. He prefers to select for genetics that can thrive under existing conditions. He figures that it is easier to change the genetics of a population of plants than it is to modify the soil, weather, bugs, etc. For example, because Joseph's weeding is marginal, plants have to germinate quickly, and burst out of the soil with robust growth in order to compete with the weeds.
Biodiversity
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Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Recent posts by Joseph Lofthouse

20% of my bottles are wide-mouthed. The rest are regular-mouthed.

Wide-mouthed lids and rings cost about double what regular-mouthed cost. Regular-mouthed bottles are less expensive, and more readily available as new and used jars.

2 days ago
My promiscuous tomato seeds did get to Europe, some years ago before fear-of-the-other got so strong.

Some varieties of cheesmanae and pimpinelifolium have open flowers, as do some domestic varieties, especially among the cherry tomatoes and beefsteaks.
1 week ago

Kurt Viaene wrote:Are the Humboldtii and Waimea tomatoes "wild" as these two are S. Lycopersicum ?



I don't know their history. I suspect that they are inbred varieties that carry a wild name.

I suspect that the cheesmanae and pimpinelifolium are also inbred varieties, because the species tend heavily towards inbreeding, and people have inadvertently selected for closed flowers that promote inbreeding and loss of diversity. Nevertheless, they might provide useful traits not commonly found in domesticated tomatoes.

Flowers that facilitate out-crossing are my highest priority trait in tomatoes. I didn't find enough of that in the red-fruited tomatoes, which is why I imported genetics from the green-fruited wild species.
1 week ago
Mostly I observe people keeping production records in pounds. Except for sweet corn, which usually gets listed by dozen.

2 weeks ago
As a lumper, it's impossible to me to distinguish between dirt and soil. The dictionary doesn't help.

Miriam-Webster wrote:
soil
: the upper layer of earth that may be dug or plowed and in which plants grow

dirt
: loose or packed soil or sand

2 weeks ago
I have pretty much adopted the strategy that I freeze received seeds before adding them to my stash or food storage.
2 weeks ago
The sunflower heads in the trees supposedly feed the birds, but they didn't use them.

I don't care at all about shading. During summer, the sun shines from all directions.

I use sprinkle irrigation, therefore stones don't matter. I expect to remove them to make planting and weeding easier.
2 weeks ago