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Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables & Flowers [Anglais] [Broché]

Joseph Tychonievich

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Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener All the aspiring amateur plant breeder needs to know on how to create their own unique hybrid vegetables and ornamentals. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good not great 14 avril 2013
Par Oxenmantim - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Synopsis- A nice brief overview of plant breeding. It explains plant breeding and genetics in an accessible, non-technical way. The problem being that the author tries so hard to avoid using scientific terms and technical jargon that it lessens the books value as a reference.

I recently learned of this book and since I still had some birthday gift-cards burning holes in my wallet, I had to find out what it had to offer. I particularly wanted to compare it with Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's & Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding & Seed Saving by Carol Deppe, a book that changed my life. I think the comparison of the two books is very relevant since they largely cover the same topic, how anyone can breed plants for their own use and enjoyment in their own backyards. I've owned "Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener" for two days and have just finished it. After reading it, I have to say that this is a good book, but Deppe's book is by comparison a GREAT book. Both books have their strengths and both are absolutely worth reading, but this is the lesser, lighter of the two.

What I suspect Mr. Tychonievich was trying to do with this book was make plant breeding accessible to any gardener without intimidating them with high-falutin' language. He does this by trying to simplify plant breeding and genetics into common language and using a many analogies rather than resorting to scientific or genetic jargon. This is a valid approach, and he makes the point several times that you can be a plant breeder without knowing anything about genetics. History is on his side, every major crop species ever domesticated was done so by people that almost certainly couldn't read.

The problem with his approach is that he has to bend over backwards many times to avoid using any "technical language" that might frighten readers away. This is most apparent in chapter 4 "Genetics Made Easy; and Why it Matters". He starts out comparing genes to cookie recipes, which is a fine analogy. Then he jumps quickly to a brief mention of Gregor Mendel and his classic pea heredity experiments, then back to the cookies. Then we get another analogy about the children a Japanese person and a Swede might create, then Border Collies, then back to the cookies again. All those clever analogies and he still can't explain basic genetic principles without resorting to a few genetics words like heterozygous and homozygous. Some important scientific terms are very useful in explaining genetics because the words have precise meanings that analogies can only dance around. I feel this would be a better book if Mr. Tychonievich would USE more of the correct scientific jargon, define it clearly, and then apply those terms to clarify his points. Mr. Tychonievich has a degree in plant breeding and genetics, he KNOWS this stuff. It is clear that omitting the technical language was a deliberate choice, in my opinion he went to far and weakened the book's usefulness.

This book would be a great library book in the gardening section. An avid gardener might read it and become intrigued to begin some small plant breeding efforts. Once they get hooked on breeding their own plants however, this book is going to fail them because it lacks sufficient specific information to make it worth returning too. By comparison I refer back to Deppe's book constantly for a variety of information.

That isn't to say that this book doesn't have its strong points in comparison to Deppe's. One of them is it's broader scope. Mr. Tychonievich doesn't limit himself to food crops the way Ms. Deppe does. There is a strong emphasis on ornamental plants, particularly flowers, which is totally lacking in Ms. Deppe's work. In chapter 7 where he gives specific examples of plant breeding with different plants, he covers far more ornamentals than food species. A gardener who is mainly interested in flowers and ornamental plants may find this very compelling.

I hope that after reading this review I have not given anyone the impression that I dislike this book. I think it is a good book, but that it could be much better. I also feel that Mr. Tychonievich is a great writer and clearly loves plants and plant breeding. I encourage him to keep writing, and when the time comes to revise this book, to do so with more boldness. Anyone who loves plants enough to want to breed them and make them better will not be afraid of a few big words. Expand this book, complete with more concrete details and examples. Tell us about the results of the many and various breeding projects that have only been mentioned in passing in this version.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not a dry reference text 8 mai 2013
Par R. Price - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
No, you won't find a lot of scientific jargon in this book. What you will find is a very readable, enjoyable & tremendously inspiring book. Power to the Gardeners! Highly recommended.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good Introduction 5 septembre 2013
Par A. C. Jokela - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read and gave a good low-jargon introduction to backyard-breeding of plants. Tychonievich's enthusiasm was apparent, but there was the perception that he was trying extremely hard not to drown the read with scientific terms. The book gives a broad spectrum treatment to the topic and leaves the reader wanting a more in depth look at the topic.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 INSPIRING! 21 juillet 2013
Par Mary L. Harrington - Publié sur
If you don't even have a garden, you should still read this book; the insights into what big money breeds for is an eye opener (hint: it's not for flavor or nutrient content). Where I live, houses used to be built with large yards and chicken coops; people used to grow their own kitchen gardens and raise chickens for eggs and meat (rabbits too). Now we all, just like sheep, buy whatever agribusiness decides is most profitable for them to sell to us. This little book puts plant breeding in simple terms of grow some plants together, cull out the ones you don't want to continue and let the best reproduce and/or take some pollen from here and apply it over there and grow out the seeds and select the ones you like & repeat. Much like Tony Kienitz's (The Year I Ate My Yard), it doesn't take a lot to make a difference and make an improvement - just buy some generic seeds, put them in the ground and water. What you get will be way better for you than grocery store bought. And you make a connection with your environment that is soul satisfying. Often, you have enough to gift people with something they can definitely use: food.
As I said, even if you don't have a garden nor have room for one (mine is maybe 900 sq ft at best and I still have room to breed, the book tells you how if you don't have fields available to you), you will at least see how easy it would be for agribusiness to produce a variety of flavorful fruit & vegetables if consumers demanded it - if you don't know, you won't demand. Now you know.
Note: for the record, Kim Rupert is a Southern GENTLEMAN, not a "she" as stated in the book and has bred some really fine new cultivars that merit planting in more gardens and landscapes.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Recommended for the home gardener 25 mars 2014
Par S. Bublitz - Publié sur
I found this book very helpful. I'm interested in plant breeding, and I'm just starting to read on it. This was the best book to start with. The writing style is easy to read, and the information is clearly presented. I'd recommend this for anyone who isn't already at a 201 level with plant genetics.
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