I have created many kinds of tomatoes, but potato breeding touches the deepest part of my soul and it is the most satisfying. Why would I refer to the soul? Definitions abound:
The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state
Why would a potato breeder combine material and immaterial entities? Plant breeding has been a calling for me, however, I have no congregation outside the readership of this blog. I do not expect people to understand me, hardly in the slightest, but to do what I do means a singular ambition, answerable to no one, but my activities still beg for an audience.
In my attempt to create new types of potatoes, I stumble upon crosses that I make that stir my imagination in many ways. When I dug my variety that I call NAVAMEY, I was impressed with the vine and the natural production of many potato berries that are likely selfed with an occasional out cross. The potato vine is a breeder’s dream, a round russet with yellow flesh with just the right size plant, maturity, and yield.
Looking at the cross extracted today between NAVAMEY and LUMPER, I was struck by the memory of the pedigree background coming full circle; namely the Irish connection. Since the weather here in the PNW is much like where my grandfather Joe Kaighin lived until he was 21 near the Irish Sea on the Isle of Man, I was hoping to get some more germplasm that would complement my endeavor of keeping his potato growing spirit alive.
The LUMPER did very well this year in one or more patches; good yields and good flavors. Since I am the only one doing breeding work with this two hundred year old potato variety, the progeny of my breeding work may some day be released to the public.
The LUMPER is uniquely suited to organic production and does well in a broad range of soil types. Breeding away from its Irish Famine history of Late Blight susceptibility, I hope I can re-acquaint people with better selections of this heritage potato!
I make painstaking trouble to record my breeding work. As follows is a breakdown of the pedigree.
F-1 of NAVAMEY X LUMPER
WASHINGTON 2008 TPS only
Pedigree: S 62-47-1 x MARIS PIPER
Great Brittain 1987
Exp. # L 2651/2088
NORTHERN IRELAND PLANT BREEDING STATION
Pedigree USDA B 6987-145 x USDA B 7805-1
Exp. # USDA B 9922-11
Pedigree BLACK HILLS GOLD X PLACER GOLD
CALIFORNIA 1995 (TATER MATER SEEDS)
Pedigree AMEY X GOLD PAN
California 1999 (TATER MATER SEEDS)
Pedigree NAVAN X GOLDEN AMEY
WASHINGTON 2006 (TATER MATER SEEDS)
Scotland to Munster (SW Ireland) 1810 or before
Tom Wagner aka Tater Mater