Address: Irish Seed Savers Association, Capparoe, Scarriff, Co. Clare, Ireland   Phone: +353 61 921866   Email:

Most Recent ISSA News

Member Trials – Jo Newton

Last year we had a good response to members getting involved with helping to grow out the stamme onion and to trial and assess a few of our Latvian collection of tomatoes.

All in all about thirty of you were involved however so far we have only had seven people return seeds, information or onions.  Please get in touch if you were involved even if you have nothing to give, it would be helpful to at least know this!The onions have performed very well for nearly everyone involved and we have discovered at least two different types.  We are now going to distinguish between a red and a golden stamme onion from next year on .  We will be planting out all the members returned bulbs for seed, Season 2011 alongside our own selection from Capparoe.The tomatoes were hugely varied and we also got to see some of the fruit.  Helen Egan brought us the incredible big yellow fruited ‘paprik’, which did indeed look very like a smallish pepper and had a lot of people fooled on the open days!We’ve also got another of the very sweet delicious yellow tear drop types – gelbe datelwein that we hope to grow out in the near future to bulk up seed for the list.All in all interesting for us to get the range, comments and observations from different people.  Many, many thanks to everyone involved.So to 2011 Members TrialsTom Wagner an American tomato and potato breeder gave us several accessions of tomatoes from his breeding stock last year.  This year in the tunnels at Capparoe we have grown them out to see what hidden treasure we had.RED/PINK HYBRID TOMATOESWhen one grows out a hybrid variety you never know how the 2nd generation will turn out though hybrids will contain some good qualities from the parents they have been bred out of.  Thus we had a selection growing that fell distinctly into two types, one pink colour fruit and red colour fruit.  All the plants were quite small, and all the fruit were of medium size, round and both with a lovely sweet complex flavour.For the trial you can choose either the red or pink fruits, we will give ten seeds and a form to give us a report back – on the colour, type, growth and taste of next generation.  If any are exceptionally good we would like ten seeds back from the fruit of that particular plant.GREEN ZEBRA X BLUE TOMATO TRIALSWe had six tomato plants growing from Tom’s green zebra x blue.  His aim is to achieve more dark purply colouring in the green zebra striped tomato as this blue/purple colouring contains high levels of anthocynins, an important part of our diet sadly lacking in today’s food.  Very good for short-term memory loss and eyesight.The six plants were quite different one from another in terms of fruit colouration.  We will give you six seeds of any one of the accessions of your choice:Yellow fruit with purple/brown colouring at top.Taste – lovely, creamy, syrupy sweet.Orange/gold striped fruit with some purple/brown colouring at top.Taste:  Mild, fleshy slightly acidic almost savoury (some like it, some did not).Orange/gold striped fruit with a tinge of green in the stripping.Taste:  Sorry no notes on taste you’ll have to go on appearance as yet for this one!Red/orange fruit with dark green/brown stripping.Taste:  Juicy, nice balanced flavour of acid/sweetness.Orange fruit both mottled and stripped with purple/brown green.Taste:  Good flavour.Dark red fruits with very intense purple colouring mainly at the top.Taste:  Intense flavour.Your six tomato plants could all indeed be a little different one from another, so we would like a report back on the differences if any.  If they are very different please send us back ten seeds from a fruit from each plant.If they are similar we would only need ten seeds from the healthiest plant.If you would like to take part and try these tomatoes please let us know by letter, email or with your seed order form, stating either:Tom’s hybrid – Pink or red.Tom’s mystery six – a, b, c, d, e, f.


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