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Old June 9, 2017   #1
kurt
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Default Good news from Floridian ancestors.

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do...t-back/2326737



Good to know there are still some "finds"out there.
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Old June 11, 2017   #2
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Thanks for posting this. What a great story!
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Old June 12, 2017   #3
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I want one.
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Old June 24, 2017   #4
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I contacted the chef and Laura (Reiley) re. the article which needs correction. I have a nursery catalog in my collection that listed Florida Favorite as late as 1948 (attached to this message) so the watermelon hasn't been lost for over 100 years. I don't have evidence for post-1948.

In addition, it is an impossible task to reverse-breed an open-pollinated variety even if you start with the same F1 line (Bradford X Georgia Rattlesnake).

The watermelon that the farmer-breeder has been working on is not even stable, yet. This is a great effort of breeding a new watermelon but the fruits are definitely not of Florida Favorite.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FF1TSP.jpg (160.8 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg FF2TSP.jpg (209.2 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg FF3TSP.jpg (184.2 KB, 75 views)
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Old June 24, 2017   #5
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Default Great forensic rechearch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chancethegardener View Post
I contacted the chef and Laura (Reiley) re. the article which needs correction. I have a nursery catalog in my collection that listed Florida Favorite as late as 1948 (attached to this message) so the watermelon hasn't been lost for over 100 years. I don't have evidence for post-1948.

In addition, it is an impossible task to reverse-breed an open-pollinated variety even if you start with the same F1 line (Bradford X Georgia Rattlesnake).



The watermelon that the farmer-breeder has been working on is not even stable, yet. This is a great effort of breeding a new watermelon but the fruits are definitely not of Florida Favorite.
Maybe these guys are not privy to this info "yet".Good to know,thank,ps still growing some stuff from your first seed offerings.
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Old June 27, 2017   #6
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Awesome! I believe that I sent you some pepper varieties. Thanks for letting me know.

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Maybe these guys are not privy to this info "yet".Good to know,thank,ps still growing some stuff from your first seed offerings.
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Old June 27, 2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chancethegardener View Post
In addition, it is an impossible task to reverse-breed an open-pollinated variety even if you start with the same F1 line (Bradford X Georgia Rattlesnake).

The watermelon that the farmer-breeder has been working on is not even stable, yet. This is a great effort of breeding a new watermelon but the fruits are definitely not of Florida Favorite.
IF...and this is a big if...the variety in question IS an F1 (a real first generation cross and has not been worked to the point of being open-pollinated), then it is possible to recreate by finding/remaking the cross. So they could be assuming (most likely incorrectly) that Florida Favorite was an F1 hybrid!

Also for some things, you can get pretty darn close...close enough that only 'purists' and breeders would really care.
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Old June 27, 2017   #8
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Default Arugala

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Awesome! I believe that I sent you some pepper varieties. Thanks for letting me know.
They are in Homestead,I let go wild,flowers attract the beneficials,good eye watering pepperish rockets.Will put some hives next to.From your Andalusian starts.
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Old June 27, 2017   #9
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Florida Favorite is an open-pollinated variety that was bred in 1911 (parents being Bradford and Georgia Rattlesnake), and it was in circulation at least until 1948. The breeder doesn't assume that Florida Favorite was F1 because he is trying to stabilize the watermelon he crossed.

I am not even sure if there was one strain of Florida Favorite or not. In the scan above, seeds are described to be white whereas in one seed package it was illustrated white and in another one, black. There may even be two strains (or the black seeded illustration may be a mistake).

Breeder's new melon will probably get really close to the original variety and they will probably look identical but what he will have in the end will still be a different variety and for the sake of leaving accurate historical information for future generations, it should be re-named.

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IF...and this is a big if...the variety in question IS an F1 (a real first generation cross and has not been worked to the point of being open-pollinated), then it is possible to recreate by finding/remaking the cross. So they could be assuming (most likely incorrectly) that Florida Favorite was an F1 hybrid!

Also for some things, you can get pretty darn close...close enough that only 'purists' and breeders would really care.
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Old June 27, 2017   #10
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Just because it was 'old' doesn't mean it couldn't have been sold as an F1 hybrid. It's not like the breeders didn't know how to do that before the 1950s...it's just that it wasn't a very common or popular way of doing things. Read Liivingston's works to see how sophisticated/not they really were back then. It's pretty amazing...what they were doing 'seat of their pants', what they actually knew (and got right) and what was just a WAG.

As to the more than one Florida Favorite...it could be that it wasn't exactly stabilized when released. A number of the older releases were not bred for more than 3 or 4 generations, with maybe only one back cross. In other words, not quite up to 'modern' standards.
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Old June 27, 2017   #11
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This is what David Shields wrote to me few weeks ago about Florida Favorite: "It was crossed by G. W. Girardeau with the Georgia Rattlesnake melon [“Florida Favorite Watermelon,” Southern Cultivator (March 1889), 127.]"

I don't know why I said 1911 above. The recent article claims that the melon got lost around WWI. I believe that I saw the variety in an old catalog as early as 1911 couple weeks ago, probably one of St Louis Seed Co's. It was also offered by Reuter Seed Co in 1936.

Stabilized or not stabilized, even if it was bred for only 3-4 generations, it is still not identical to the current melon, either, although the current breeder starts with the same F1 generation. What was bred back then hasn't been brought back now. What we have right now is a different melon and actually this is a great thing, especially if the variety is stabilized as a good growing alternative here in Florida (i.e. good flavor, big yields etc). I just don't find it right to advertise for something that actually didn't happen. In the very least, the article is inaccurate.
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Old June 27, 2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chancethegardener View Post
What we have right now is a different melon and actually this is a great thing, especially if the variety is stabilized as a good growing alternative here in Florida (i.e. good flavor, big yields etc). I just don't find it right to advertise for something that actually didn't happen. In the very least, the article is inaccurate.

Close but not the same...a sibling to FF, at best.

And, yeah, it should be promoted as something close, not the same.

It wouldn't surprise me though, that somewhere, FF still exists and is being grown, just as Grandpa's Best or something like that, because it's been grown by one family and saved all this time, but nobody knew what it was.
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Old June 28, 2017   #13
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I agree. I don't have evidence post-1948 but it was probably in circulation after that year, and it may come back like Bradford (also known as Alabama Sweet-I think you are talking about this one) did.

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Close but not the same...a sibling to FF, at best.

And, yeah, it should be promoted as something close, not the same.

It wouldn't surprise me though, that somewhere, FF still exists and is being grown, just as Grandpa's Best or something like that, because it's been grown by one family and saved all this time, but nobody knew what it was.
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Old June 28, 2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chancethegardener View Post
and it may come back like Bradford (also known as Alabama Sweet-I think you are talking about this one) did.
Yeah, I couldn't remember the name when I was typing up the reply.

It's also very common among fruit trees to find 'lost' varieties under 'family'/local names.

Also, I've found one or two 'probables' for 'lost' tomatoes in the various European seedbanks...
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Old June 28, 2017   #15
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So does the " Fodder and Shine" restaurant live up to the hype? Is it an authentic cracker taste? They use for example authentic cracker cattle? Spanish black forage fed pigs? etc etc etc? The watermelon rehybridization is cool and all but watermelon is just dessert. What about the rest? Anyone been there?
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