Fruit plantings have been far too scarce lately at Fruits & Votes. A very useful article on a website I did not previously know, CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), offers as good occasion as any to break the fruit drought.
It describes the process of selective breeding of fruit varieties, of which Luther Burbank was a pioneer and Floyd Zaiger is one of the current masters:
Controlled breeding takes many years of meticulous work, and there is no guarantee that the biological cross will yield the desired fruit. “It’s such a shotgun approach,” says Tarry. “Zaiger plants 50,000 to 60,000 of these crosses a year. We might wind up with six varieties that actually have characteristics that the fruit industry might find appealing. It’s a terrible labor of love to go through all that effort.”
And, as the article’s title says, it gets to the bottom of the peacotum. This is a multiple inter-specific hybrid that I have not yet had a chance myself to taste thus far. But I hope to plant one or more along with several of my established favorites, pluots and apriums, in the coming season. After all, I like hybrids.