About Garden Larder
My name is Rowan. I breed potatoes, and have been for over 7 years. Not a huge amount of time but I have always had an interest in vegetable breeding and I LOVE potatoes. After having released a few other vegetable varieties, both commercial and for home growing, from my breeding program (15 varieties of oca, 2 melons, 2 zucchini), I am falling back on spuds as my main interest for now.
Since I lost the lease to the farm that I have been growing potatoes on I am limited to a small area until I can find a little more space to spread out. No worries, I just have to grow smaller amounts for now.
I live in a small country town in Victoria which has poor, sandy soil but reasonable rainfall in winter and spring. It is a good growing area but getting hit hard with global warming and I have to adapt vegetable crops to cope with these changing conditions.
I have always had an interest in vegetable breeding and when I had more room I had breeding programs for melons, potatoes, oca and zucchini. With the lack of home growing potato varieties in Australia I decided to continue with them when I had to move into a smaller space.
My breeding aims
I have four main aims in my potato breeding program:
1, Introduce more interesting and better flavoured potatoes for home growers and market gardeners
2, Breed new fresh eating varieties that will cope better with longer, hotter, drier conditions
3, Encourage more people to grow their own food
4, To maintain a wide bank of potato germplasm (diploid and tetraploid) for future breeders