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Re: [pfaf] Seeking variations of alder for breeding alder as a grain crop.

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  • Ossi Kakko
    Greetings from fennoscandia, we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native. occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading blankets under the tree
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 5, 2009
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      Greetings from fennoscandia,

      we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.

      occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
      blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
      on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.

      suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
      when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
      be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
      in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.

      i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
      a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
      but will anyway have a look next season
      in case i see what you search for.

      ossi kakko





      > (This is a little changed from my earlier posting. "All things change"
      > - Buddha)
      >
      > 10 Cambridge Avenue
      > Forest Hall
      > Newcastle -upon - Tyne
      > NE12 8AR
      > michael@...
      > 0191 266 6435
      >
      >
      > I have embarked on a project to develop Alder (Alnus) as a grain crop.
      >
      > In my meaning of the word, a "grain" is a hard dry food-thing with
      > good keeping qualities, no matter what the exact botanical
      > description.
      >
      > If you look at some Alder trees and imagine that each cone was
      > replaced by an ear of wheat of the same size, you can see it would be
      > a good crop. Alders fix nitrogen, they do not need to be resown every
      > year, they do not cast a heavy shade, grass grows beneath them, and
      > animals could be pastured on the land. My original aim was to make
      > profitable use of the uplands of Britain, and Britain cannot feed
      > itself, but I see now that it could also be grown on lower land and
      > elsewhere in the world.
      >
      > So, I am looking for trees, cuttings or seeds, which have the traits I
      > want.
      >
      > I am undecided between Alnus incana and A. glutinosa. Alnus incana
      > grows higher and further north than A. glutinosa, and it is less
      > dependent on water than A. glutinosa, but A. glutinosa is more
      > plentiful. But the two species hybridise so I am interested in both.
      >
      > I foresee that the trees will be grown in rows to form a hedge. The
      > cones will be pulled off using a mechanical comb and threshed in
      > something like a combine harvester. The cones can easily be pulled off
      > many varieties.
      >
      > By timing harvesting correctly it will probably be possible to pull
      > off the cones without losing seeds and then break them open in the
      > harvester.
      >
      > That said, I want the finished breed to have cones which don't open on
      > the tree, are strong enough not break when pulled off the tree, but
      > are easy to break open in the harvester. Any steps toward that will be
      > welcome.
      >
      > Some alder trees carry no cones (!), others carry huge numbers of
      > catkins and very few cones: the opposite of what I want. Walking many
      > miles and looking at the alders as I passed I have found a few trees
      > which carry vast numbers of cones on special cone-only branches,
      > unlike "normal" alders where the cones are carried on the
      > leaf-carrying branches. I would attach photos if the list allowed it,
      > but I can send pictures off-list to anybody who asks.
      >
      > It is too early in the season to tell, but the seeds in these cones
      > will probably be the usual wretchedly small size. I want bigger.
      >
      > It was easy to walk past lots of trees and from many yards away see
      > how many cones they were carrying. I can see no such easy way of
      > searching for bigger seeds, and this is where I am asking for help.
      >
      > How can you search for bigger seeds?
      >
      > One possibility is that if a single seed is bigger, the regular
      > pattern of scales will be broken by a bigger seed inside. Is this a
      > workable search method?
      >
      > Another possibility is to sift the seeds after they have been got out
      > of the cones. How easy is it going to be do this by looking for
      > big-uns by spreading the seeds out on white paper? I have built a
      > seed-sifter which uses an air current from a computer cooling fan to
      > sort seeds by size/weight ratio. It shows promise. Have you got some
      > seeds which I could sort through? I can come and do it, I can bring
      > the sifter in my car.
      >
      > Are there any better ideas?
      >
      > To spread my net wide, I would be interested in any tree you know of
      > which has cones which are unusual in any way.
      >
      > I would be very grateful for any help with any part of this. I would
      > be grateful for cuttings (which preserve the gene combination which
      > gave rise to feature of interest) or seeds (especially if they are
      > big) or an invitation to see a tree of interest.
      >
      > The plan is to copy the "Open Source" ideas of Linux and similar
      > computer systems. All those who contribute material will be offered
      > the results of my work.
      >
      > Unfortunately I have to be away at the busiest time for this, 18 Sept
      > - 19 Oct, to attend the wedding of my nephew to a Nepali girl in
      > Kathmandu. It will be a Hindu ceremony, with "heroic eating and
      > drinking", followed by a walk in "the hills" - the Himalayas!
      >
      > Michael Bell
      >
      > --
      >
    • Michael Bell
      ossi Wonderful. Thank you for giving me something to answer those who say but can people eat it ? In Britain the cones start opening in October with a gap
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 13, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        ossi

        Wonderful. Thank you for giving me something to answer those who say
        "but can people eat it"?

        In Britain the cones start opening in October with a gap opening
        around the middle and those seeds fall out then, and gaps open towards
        the ends over the winter, so seed-fall is spread over the winter.
        Rather different to your alders.

        A glutinosa is native to Britain, A incana was brought here in the
        1780s and has become wild. A cordata is much planted in parks and
        along road sides, it is a very recent import and is probably not hardy
        on the uplands.

        I have looked "Ossi Kakko" on the web, and there is lot of interesting
        stuff, I don't read Finnish, though I have tried to learn a little,
        Google translates it for you.

        Best wishes

        Michael Bell



        In message <55946.84.248.237.202.1249538128.squirrel@...>
        "Ossi Kakko" <ossi@...> wrote:

        > Greetings from fennoscandia,

        > we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.

        > occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
        > blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
        > on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.

        > suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
        > when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
        > be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
        > in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.

        > i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
        > a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
        > but will anyway have a look next season
        > in case i see what you search for.

        > ossi kakko





        >> (This is a little changed from my earlier posting. "All things change"
        >> - Buddha)
        >>
        >> 10 Cambridge Avenue
        >> Forest Hall
        >> Newcastle -upon - Tyne
        >> NE12 8AR
        >> michael@...
        >> 0191 266 6435
        >>
        >>
        >> I have embarked on a project to develop Alder (Alnus) as a grain crop.
        >>
        >> In my meaning of the word, a "grain" is a hard dry food-thing with
        >> good keeping qualities, no matter what the exact botanical
        >> description.
        >>
        >> If you look at some Alder trees and imagine that each cone was
        >> replaced by an ear of wheat of the same size, you can see it would be
        >> a good crop. Alders fix nitrogen, they do not need to be resown every
        >> year, they do not cast a heavy shade, grass grows beneath them, and
        >> animals could be pastured on the land. My original aim was to make
        >> profitable use of the uplands of Britain, and Britain cannot feed
        >> itself, but I see now that it could also be grown on lower land and
        >> elsewhere in the world.
        >>
        >> So, I am looking for trees, cuttings or seeds, which have the traits I
        >> want.
        >>
        >> I am undecided between Alnus incana and A. glutinosa. Alnus incana
        >> grows higher and further north than A. glutinosa, and it is less
        >> dependent on water than A. glutinosa, but A. glutinosa is more
        >> plentiful. But the two species hybridise so I am interested in both.
        >>
        >> I foresee that the trees will be grown in rows to form a hedge. The
        >> cones will be pulled off using a mechanical comb and threshed in
        >> something like a combine harvester. The cones can easily be pulled off
        >> many varieties.
        >>
        >> By timing harvesting correctly it will probably be possible to pull
        >> off the cones without losing seeds and then break them open in the
        >> harvester.
        >>
        >> That said, I want the finished breed to have cones which don't open on
        >> the tree, are strong enough not break when pulled off the tree, but
        >> are easy to break open in the harvester. Any steps toward that will be
        >> welcome.
        >>
        >> Some alder trees carry no cones (!), others carry huge numbers of
        >> catkins and very few cones: the opposite of what I want. Walking many
        >> miles and looking at the alders as I passed I have found a few trees
        >> which carry vast numbers of cones on special cone-only branches,
        >> unlike "normal" alders where the cones are carried on the
        >> leaf-carrying branches. I would attach photos if the list allowed it,
        >> but I can send pictures off-list to anybody who asks.
        >>
        >> It is too early in the season to tell, but the seeds in these cones
        >> will probably be the usual wretchedly small size. I want bigger.
        >>
        >> It was easy to walk past lots of trees and from many yards away see
        >> how many cones they were carrying. I can see no such easy way of
        >> searching for bigger seeds, and this is where I am asking for help.
        >>
        >> How can you search for bigger seeds?
        >>
        >> One possibility is that if a single seed is bigger, the regular
        >> pattern of scales will be broken by a bigger seed inside. Is this a
        >> workable search method?
        >>
        >> Another possibility is to sift the seeds after they have been got out
        >> of the cones. How easy is it going to be do this by looking for
        >> big-uns by spreading the seeds out on white paper? I have built a
        >> seed-sifter which uses an air current from a computer cooling fan to
        >> sort seeds by size/weight ratio. It shows promise. Have you got some
        >> seeds which I could sort through? I can come and do it, I can bring
        >> the sifter in my car.
        >>
        >> Are there any better ideas?
        >>
        >> To spread my net wide, I would be interested in any tree you know of
        >> which has cones which are unusual in any way.
        >>
        >> I would be very grateful for any help with any part of this. I would
        >> be grateful for cuttings (which preserve the gene combination which
        >> gave rise to feature of interest) or seeds (especially if they are
        >> big) or an invitation to see a tree of interest.
        >>
        >> The plan is to copy the "Open Source" ideas of Linux and similar
        >> computer systems. All those who contribute material will be offered
        >> the results of my work.
        >>
        >> Unfortunately I have to be away at the busiest time for this, 18 Sept
        >> - 19 Oct, to attend the wedding of my nephew to a Nepali girl in
        >> Kathmandu. It will be a Hindu ceremony, with "heroic eating and
        >> drinking", followed by a walk in "the hills" - the Himalayas!
        >>
        >> Michael Bell
        >>
        >> --
        >>




        > ------------------------------------

        > Yahoo! Groups Links





        --
      • Michael Bell
        In message ... Dear Sara Here is my circular and progress report for Autumn 2011 Dear Melissa Now is the time of
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 29, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          In message <985951.71979.qm@...>
          Sara Elbrai <selbrai@...> wrote:


          > What an interesting post.

          > Thanks, Michael.

          > Sara

          Dear Sara

          Here is my circular and progress report for Autumn 2011

          Dear Melissa

          Now is the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness and I wonder if you
          could make people aware of this project, and if they happen upon an
          interesting variant I would be grateful to know of it. Or if you have
          a pressed specimen with less robust cones or different growth habit,
          then I could go to that place and see if I can find living specimens.

          I have a project to develop alder (Alnus glutinosa) as a grain crop.
          My reasons for this are:-

          Britain cannot feed itself because half its land is too high and cold
          for grain production. This is not because this land is infertile, the
          tree-line is much higher than the crop line. It is because the main
          grain crops originated in the Mediterranean and they are at the limit
          of their range in Britain. To make use of this land we need to take a
          plant which grows well in British upland conditions and breed it into
          a suitable grain crop. There are many possible plants, and some sedges
          show potential, but it would be a huge task to even evaluate them all.



          Instead I have seized on the idea of alder because:-

          * It is a tree; it can be more productive than a herb crop.
          * Birds and small animals eat alder seeds and I know from many reports
          and personal test that they are not harmful to man. Like other seed
          crops, wheat, rice, oats, the taste lies in the preparation.
          * It fixes nitrogen. Nitrate fertilisers are expensive and a big
          source of CO2 production.
          * It is a tree, once established it is insensitive to weather
          variations.
          * It is a tree, it does not need weeding and chemical weedkilling.
          * The harvesting waste, chiefly cones, but also twigs, may be a useful
          fuel, it comes in handy-sized pieces. The fallen leaves may also be
          used as a fuel, they are plentiful.
          * It is a tree, ground does not have to prepared for it every year
          nor seed sown. This saves on the CO2 output of ploughing with heavy
          machinery.
          * Over its commercial life (50 years?) a tree will store a lot of
          carbon.
          * Alnus glutinosa grows in Tunisia and Algeria, the latitude of China
          and Northern India. It could be useful there in holding back erosion
          on steep slopes.

          But alder needs to be improved to become a grain crop. In particular
          it needs bigger seeds. I spent the whole of last autumn going round
          alders on Tyneside (You can't do it in the rain, it is pleasant
          work.), pulling cones off trees, breaking them open by rolling and
          crushing them between two plates and sieving them. I found six trees
          with SIGNIFICANTLY bigger seeds. They obviously weren't the top end of
          a bell-curve, they were a STEP bigger. I germinated these bigger
          seeds, germination was poor, partly because of my inexperience with
          this species, but partly also because many bigger seeds are
          deformities or are stuffed with "cork". Nevertheless, some germinated
          and produced cotyledons which were noticeably bigger than standard,
          showing that they contained more food.

          I grafted these seedlings onto "adult" trees on places on the branches
          which should produce catkins and cones this year for fruiting next
          year, but my grafting technique was poor and none of them took. I have
          taken advice and I now know how to do better next year.

          (To hold such small stems together I found it best to use
          Hellermann sleeves, put over the stock end with a Hellermann
          tool. These are normally used in electronic wiring. I came
          to the belief that the usual grafting sealers contain
          fungicides and alcohol which actually kill such small green
          pieces. Vaseline seems to be the right stuff, we put it on
          baby's bottoms!)

          Grafting the products of hybridisation will shorten the breeding cycle
          from 7 years to 2 years.

          I went to the trees which had produced the bigger seeds, covered their
          cones with plastic bags to stop their neighbours from fertilising
          them, and fertilised them from the other big-seed producers. I will
          collect the results in the next few weeks.

          Bigger seeds are one thing I want, but also I look at the cones and
          think "They are too big. The tree wastes too much on them. I want less

          robust cones. Although rolling and crushing the cones is fairly
          efficient, I would like harvesting to be even easier." And so I would
          like less robust cones, something which can be seen just walking past.

          I would also like trees with different growth habits. This could make
          a big difference to harvesting methods. In this I have been lucky, I
          have already found :-

          * Varieties with all-cone branches, producing very many more cones.
          * Varieties with almost all cones and no or very few catkins.
          * A dwarf variety. What might be the harvesting use of this?
          * A variety which has grown to 2.7 metres in 3 years.

          It would be asking too much to ask people to break open cones and
          sieve the seeds to find the biggest, though I would be grateful and
          provide equipment and help to anybody who does want to do this.

          What I feel I can ask is for people who walk past trees to look at
          them with my needs in mind;-

          CONES - Do they look different to usual?

          GROWTH HABIT - Does this tree have a different shape and branch
          layout?

          You could tell me by phone - 0191 266 6435
          You could tell me by e-mail - michael@...
          You could write to me -
          20 Cambridge Avenue
          Forest Hall
          Newcastle upon Tyne
          NE12 8AR
          UK.

          We could meet at an agreed place and you could take me to the tree you
          have found and go to a pub after.

          You could send the Ordnance Grid reference.

          Thank you for reading all this!

          Michael Bell


          --







          --
        • Michael Bell
          In message ... Ossi What have you found? Here is my circular and progress report for Autumn 2011 Now is
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 29, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            In message <55946.84.248.237.202.1249538128.squirrel@...>
            "Ossi Kakko" <ossi@...> wrote:

            > Greetings from fennoscandia,

            > we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.

            > occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
            > blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
            > on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.

            > suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
            > when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
            > be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
            > in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.

            > i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
            > a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
            > but will anyway have a look next season
            > in case i see what you search for.

            > ossi kakko

            Ossi

            What have you found?

            Here is my circular and progress report for Autumn 2011


            Now is the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness and I wonder if you
            could make people aware of this project, and if they happen upon an
            interesting variant I would be grateful to know of it. Or if you have
            a pressed specimen with less robust cones or different growth habit,
            then I could go to that place and see if I can find living specimens.

            I have a project to develop alder (Alnus glutinosa) as a grain crop.
            My reasons for this are:-

            Britain cannot feed itself because half its land is too high and cold
            for grain production. This is not because this land is infertile, the
            tree-line is much higher than the crop line. It is because the main
            grain crops originated in the Mediterranean and they are at the limit
            of their range in Britain. To make use of this land we need to take a
            plant which grows well in British upland conditions and breed it into
            a suitable grain crop. There are many possible plants, and some sedges
            show potential, but it would be a huge task to even evaluate them all.




            Instead I have seized on the idea of alder because:-

            * It is a tree; it can be more productive than a herb crop.
            * Birds and small animals eat alder seeds and I know from many reports
            and personal test that they are not harmful to man. Like other seed
            crops, wheat, rice, oats, the taste lies in the preparation.
            * It fixes nitrogen. Nitrate fertilisers are expensive and a big
            source of CO2 production.
            * It is a tree, once established it is insensitive to weather
            variations.
            * It is a tree, it does not need weeding and chemical weedkilling.
            * The harvesting waste, chiefly cones, but also twigs, may be a useful
            fuel, it comes in handy-sized pieces. The fallen leaves may also be
            used as a fuel, they are plentiful.
            * It is a tree, ground does not have to prepared for it every year
            nor seed sown. This saves on the CO2 output of ploughing with heavy
            machinery.
            * Over its commercial life (50 years?) a tree will store a lot of
            carbon.
            * Alnus glutinosa grows in Tunisia and Algeria, the latitude of China
            and Northern India. It could be useful there in holding back erosion
            on steep slopes.

            But alder needs to be improved to become a grain crop. In particular
            it needs bigger seeds. I spent the whole of last autumn going round
            alders on Tyneside (You can't do it in the rain, it is pleasant
            work.), pulling cones off trees, breaking them open by rolling and
            crushing them between two plates and sieving them. I found six trees
            with SIGNIFICANTLY bigger seeds. They obviously weren't the top end of
            a bell-curve, they were a STEP bigger. I germinated these bigger
            seeds, germination was poor, partly because of my inexperience with
            this species, but partly also because many bigger seeds are
            deformities or are stuffed with "cork". Nevertheless, some germinated
            and produced cotyledons which were noticeably bigger than standard,
            showing that they contained more food.

            I grafted these seedlings onto "adult" trees on places on the branches
            which should produce catkins and cones this year for fruiting next
            year, but my grafting technique was poor and none of them took. I have
            taken advice and I now know how to do better next year.

            (To hold such small stems together I found it best to use
            Hellermann sleeves, put over the stock end with a Hellermann
            tool. These are normally used in electronic wiring. I came
            to the belief that the usual grafting sealers contain
            fungicides and alcohol which actually kill such small green
            pieces. Vaseline seems to be the right stuff, we put it on
            baby's bottoms!)

            Grafting the products of hybridisation will shorten the breeding cycle
            from 7 years to 2 years.

            I went to the trees which had produced the bigger seeds, covered their
            cones with plastic bags to stop their neighbours from fertilising
            them, and fertilised them from the other big-seed producers. I will
            collect the results in the next few weeks.

            Bigger seeds are one thing I want, but also I look at the cones and
            think "They are too big. The tree wastes too much on them. I want less


            robust cones. Although rolling and crushing the cones is fairly
            efficient, I would like harvesting to be even easier." And so I would
            like less robust cones, something which can be seen just walking past.

            I would also like trees with different growth habits. This could make
            a big difference to harvesting methods. In this I have been lucky, I
            have already found :-

            * Varieties with all-cone branches, producing very many more cones.
            * Varieties with almost all cones and no or very few catkins.
            * A dwarf variety. What might be the harvesting use of this?
            * A variety which has grown to 2.7 metres in 3 years.

            It would be asking too much to ask people to break open cones and
            sieve the seeds to find the biggest, though I would be grateful and
            provide equipment and help to anybody who does want to do this.

            What I feel I can ask is for people who walk past trees to look at
            them with my needs in mind;-

            CONES - Do they look different to usual?

            GROWTH HABIT - Does this tree have a different shape and branch
            layout?

            You could tell me by phone - 0191 266 6435
            You could tell me by e-mail - michael@...
            You could write to me -
            20 Cambridge Avenue
            Forest Hall
            Newcastle upon Tyne
            NE12 8AR
            UK.

            We could meet at an agreed place and you could take me to the tree you
            have found and go to a pub after.

            You could send the Ordnance Grid reference.

            Thank you for reading all this!

            Michael Bell


            --









            --



            --
          • inverse
            ... if I happen to pass by an interesting alder specimen with ripe cones I ll make sure to mail you the seeds I m in northern Italy and relatively close to the
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 29, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Michael Bell <michael@...> wrote:

              You could write to me -


               
              if I happen to pass by an interesting alder specimen with ripe cones I'll make sure to mail you the seeds

              I'm in northern Italy and relatively close to the Alps (15Km from the nearest mountains and 3Km from the nearest hills) 


              Bye,
              Inverse

               

            • Michael Bell
              Ossi Please do have a look-out for better yielding alders. I have found trees with significantly bigger seeds, I am now cross-breeding them and I I ll see what
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 2, 2014
              • 0 Attachment
                Ossi

                Please do have a look-out for better yielding alders. I have found
                trees with significantly bigger seeds, I am now cross-breeding them
                and I I'll see what results I have got in a month or so. Bigger seeds
                are my main objective at this stage, but I also want cones which are
                less strong, so I can get the seeds out!

                It took 50 years to develop sugar beet from a weed of no importance to
                the main crop we know today. 6 of those years have already passed for
                aldergrain.

                Michael Bell


                In message <55946.84.248.237.202.1249538128.squirrel@...>
                "Ossi Kakko" <ossi@...> wrote:

                > Greetings from fennoscandia,

                > we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.

                > occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
                > blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
                > on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.

                > suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
                > when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
                > be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
                > in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.

                > i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
                > a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
                > but will anyway have a look next season
                > in case i see what you search for.

                > ossi kakko





                >> (This is a little changed from my earlier posting. "All things change"
                >> - Buddha)
                >>
                >> 10 Cambridge Avenue
                >> Forest Hall
                >> Newcastle -upon - Tyne
                >> NE12 8AR
                >> michael@...
                >> 0191 266 6435
                >>
                >>
                >> I have embarked on a project to develop Alder (Alnus) as a grain crop.
                >>
                >> In my meaning of the word, a "grain" is a hard dry food-thing with
                >> good keeping qualities, no matter what the exact botanical
                >> description.
                >>
                >> If you look at some Alder trees and imagine that each cone was
                >> replaced by an ear of wheat of the same size, you can see it would be
                >> a good crop. Alders fix nitrogen, they do not need to be resown every
                >> year, they do not cast a heavy shade, grass grows beneath them, and
                >> animals could be pastured on the land. My original aim was to make
                >> profitable use of the uplands of Britain, and Britain cannot feed
                >> itself, but I see now that it could also be grown on lower land and
                >> elsewhere in the world.
                >>
                >> So, I am looking for trees, cuttings or seeds, which have the traits I
                >> want.
                >>
                >> I am undecided between Alnus incana and A. glutinosa. Alnus incana
                >> grows higher and further north than A. glutinosa, and it is less
                >> dependent on water than A. glutinosa, but A. glutinosa is more
                >> plentiful. But the two species hybridise so I am interested in both.
                >>
                >> I foresee that the trees will be grown in rows to form a hedge. The
                >> cones will be pulled off using a mechanical comb and threshed in
                >> something like a combine harvester. The cones can easily be pulled off
                >> many varieties.
                >>
                >> By timing harvesting correctly it will probably be possible to pull
                >> off the cones without losing seeds and then break them open in the
                >> harvester.
                >>
                >> That said, I want the finished breed to have cones which don't open on
                >> the tree, are strong enough not break when pulled off the tree, but
                >> are easy to break open in the harvester. Any steps toward that will be
                >> welcome.
                >>
                >> Some alder trees carry no cones (!), others carry huge numbers of
                >> catkins and very few cones: the opposite of what I want. Walking many
                >> miles and looking at the alders as I passed I have found a few trees
                >> which carry vast numbers of cones on special cone-only branches,
                >> unlike "normal" alders where the cones are carried on the
                >> leaf-carrying branches. I would attach photos if the list allowed it,
                >> but I can send pictures off-list to anybody who asks.
                >>
                >> It is too early in the season to tell, but the seeds in these cones
                >> will probably be the usual wretchedly small size. I want bigger.
                >>
                >> It was easy to walk past lots of trees and from many yards away see
                >> how many cones they were carrying. I can see no such easy way of
                >> searching for bigger seeds, and this is where I am asking for help.
                >>
                >> How can you search for bigger seeds?
                >>
                >> One possibility is that if a single seed is bigger, the regular
                >> pattern of scales will be broken by a bigger seed inside. Is this a
                >> workable search method?
                >>
                >> Another possibility is to sift the seeds after they have been got out
                >> of the cones. How easy is it going to be do this by looking for
                >> big-uns by spreading the seeds out on white paper? I have built a
                >> seed-sifter which uses an air current from a computer cooling fan to
                >> sort seeds by size/weight ratio. It shows promise. Have you got some
                >> seeds which I could sort through? I can come and do it, I can bring
                >> the sifter in my car.
                >>
                >> Are there any better ideas?
                >>
                >> To spread my net wide, I would be interested in any tree you know of
                >> which has cones which are unusual in any way.
                >>
                >> I would be very grateful for any help with any part of this. I would
                >> be grateful for cuttings (which preserve the gene combination which
                >> gave rise to feature of interest) or seeds (especially if they are
                >> big) or an invitation to see a tree of interest.
                >>
                >> The plan is to copy the "Open Source" ideas of Linux and similar
                >> computer systems. All those who contribute material will be offered
                >> the results of my work.
                >>
                >> Unfortunately I have to be away at the busiest time for this, 18 Sept
                >> - 19 Oct, to attend the wedding of my nephew to a Nepali girl in
                >> Kathmandu. It will be a Hindu ceremony, with "heroic eating and
                >> drinking", followed by a walk in "the hills" - the Himalayas!
                >>
                >> Michael Bell
                >>
                >> --
                >>




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              • Geir Flatabø
                How is the taste from the grains ??? Geir Flatabø 2014-10-03 7:12 GMT+02:00 Michael Bell michael@beaverbell.co.uk [pfaf]
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 3, 2014
                • 0 Attachment
                  How is the taste from the grains ???

                  Geir Flatabø

                  2014-10-03 7:12 GMT+02:00 Michael Bell michael@... [pfaf] <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>:
                  Ossi

                  Please do have a look-out for better yielding alders. I have found
                  trees with significantly bigger seeds, I am now cross-breeding them
                  and I I'll see what results I have got in a month or so. Bigger seeds
                  are my main objective at this stage, but I also want cones which are
                  less strong, so I can get the seeds out!

                  It took 50 years to develop sugar beet from a weed of no importance to
                  the main crop we know today. 6 of those years have already passed for
                  aldergrain.

                  Michael Bell


                  In message <55946.84.248.237.202.1249538128.squirrel@...>
                            "Ossi Kakko" <ossi@...> wrote:

                  > Greetings from fennoscandia,

                  > we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.

                  > occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
                  > blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
                  > on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.

                  > suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
                  > when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
                  > be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
                  > in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.

                  > i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
                  > a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
                  > but will anyway have a look next season
                  > in case i see what you search for.

                  > ossi kakko





                  >> (This is a little changed from my earlier posting. "All things change"
                  >> - Buddha)
                  >>
                  >>                                            10 Cambridge Avenue
                  >>                                            Forest Hall
                  >>                                            Newcastle -upon - Tyne
                  >>                                            NE12 8AR
                  >>                                            michael@...
                  >>                                            0191 266 6435
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> I have embarked on a project to develop Alder (Alnus) as a grain crop.
                  >>
                  >> In my meaning of the word, a "grain" is a hard dry food-thing with
                  >> good keeping qualities, no matter what the exact botanical
                  >> description.
                  >>
                  >> If you look at some Alder trees and imagine that each cone was
                  >> replaced by an ear of wheat of the same size, you can see it would be
                  >> a good crop. Alders fix nitrogen, they do not need to be resown every
                  >> year, they do not cast a heavy shade, grass grows beneath them, and
                  >> animals could be pastured on the land. My original aim was to make
                  >> profitable use of the uplands of Britain, and Britain cannot feed
                  >> itself, but I see now that it could also be grown on lower land and
                  >> elsewhere in the world.
                  >>
                  >> So, I am looking for trees, cuttings or seeds, which have the traits I
                  >> want.
                  >>
                  >> I am undecided between Alnus incana and A. glutinosa. Alnus incana
                  >> grows higher and further north than A. glutinosa, and it is less
                  >> dependent on water than A. glutinosa, but A. glutinosa is more
                  >> plentiful. But the two species hybridise so I am interested in both.
                  >>
                  >> I foresee that the trees will be grown in rows to form a hedge. The
                  >> cones will be pulled off using a mechanical comb and threshed in
                  >> something like a combine harvester. The cones can easily be pulled off
                  >> many varieties.
                  >>
                  >> By timing harvesting correctly it will probably be possible to pull
                  >> off the cones without losing seeds and then break them open in the
                  >> harvester.
                  >>
                  >> That said, I want the finished breed to have cones which don't open on
                  >> the tree, are strong enough not break when pulled off the tree, but
                  >> are easy to break open in the harvester. Any steps toward that will be
                  >> welcome.
                  >>
                  >> Some alder trees carry no cones (!), others carry huge numbers of
                  >> catkins and very few cones: the opposite of what I want. Walking many
                  >> miles and looking at the alders as I passed I have found a few trees
                  >> which carry vast numbers of cones on special cone-only branches,
                  >> unlike "normal" alders where the cones are carried on the
                  >> leaf-carrying branches. I would attach photos if the list allowed it,
                  >> but I can send pictures off-list to anybody who asks.
                  >>
                  >> It is too early in the season to tell, but the seeds in these cones
                  >> will probably be the usual wretchedly small size. I want bigger.
                  >>
                  >> It was easy to walk past lots of trees and from many yards away see
                  >> how many cones they were carrying. I can see no such easy way of
                  >> searching for bigger seeds, and this is where I am asking for help.
                  >>
                  >> How can you search for bigger seeds?
                  >>
                  >> One possibility is that if a single seed is bigger, the regular
                  >> pattern of scales will be broken by a bigger seed inside. Is this a
                  >> workable search method?
                  >>
                  >> Another possibility is to sift the seeds after they have been got out
                  >> of the cones. How easy is it going to be do this by looking for
                  >> big-uns by spreading the seeds out on white paper? I have built a
                  >> seed-sifter which uses an air current from a computer cooling fan to
                  >> sort seeds by size/weight ratio. It shows promise. Have you got some
                  >> seeds which I could sort through? I can come and do it, I can bring
                  >> the sifter in my car.
                  >>
                  >> Are there any better ideas?
                  >>
                  >> To spread my net wide, I would be interested in any tree you know of
                  >> which has cones which are unusual in any way.
                  >>
                  >> I would be very grateful for any help with any part of this. I would
                  >> be grateful for cuttings (which preserve the gene combination which
                  >> gave rise to feature of interest) or seeds (especially if they are
                  >> big) or an invitation to see a tree of interest.
                  >>
                  >> The plan is to copy the "Open Source" ideas of Linux and similar
                  >> computer systems. All those who contribute material will be offered
                  >> the results of my work.
                  >>
                  >> Unfortunately I have to be away at the busiest time for this, 18 Sept
                  >> - 19 Oct, to attend the wedding of my nephew to a Nepali girl in
                  >> Kathmandu. It will be a Hindu ceremony, with "heroic eating and
                  >> drinking", followed by a walk in "the hills" - the Himalayas!
                  >>
                  >> Michael Bell
                  >>
                  >> --
                  >>




                  > ------------------------------------

                  > Yahoo! Groups Links





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                  ------------------------------------
                  Posted by: Michael Bell <michael@...>
                  ------------------------------------


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                • Michael Bell
                  The seeds don t taste of anything, and that s to be expected because the seeds are spread by wind and water and don t have to taste of anything to make
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 3, 2014
                  • 0 Attachment
                    The seeds don't taste of anything, and that's to be expected because
                    the seeds are spread by wind and water and don't have to taste of
                    anything to make themselves attractive to birds or animals to spread
                    them around.

                    Most grain crops, wheat, rice, maize, etc have been developed from
                    wild ancestors whose seeds were likewise spread by wind and water, not
                    by animals or birds, and they also taste of nothing in particular,
                    taste is created by the cooking or brewing process.


                    Michael Bell

                    In message <CAMPY7b3F7T5vgi8CczCMrePSu8qCmG+pwVLXm7HARDqw17hbkg@mail.g
                    mail.com>
                    "Geir Flatabø geirf@... [pfaf]" <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
                    wrote:

                    > How is the taste from the grains ???

                    > Geir Flatabø

                    > 2014-10-03 7:12 GMT+02:00 Michael Bell michael@... [pfaf] <
                    > pfaf@yahoogroups.com>:

                    >> Ossi
                    >>
                    >> Please do have a look-out for better yielding alders. I have found
                    >> trees with significantly bigger seeds, I am now cross-breeding them
                    >> and I I'll see what results I have got in a month or so. Bigger seeds
                    >> are my main objective at this stage, but I also want cones which are
                    >> less strong, so I can get the seeds out!
                    >>
                    >> It took 50 years to develop sugar beet from a weed of no importance to
                    >> the main crop we know today. 6 of those years have already passed for
                    >> aldergrain.
                    >>
                    >> Michael Bell
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> In message <55946.84.248.237.202.1249538128.squirrel@...>
                    >> "Ossi Kakko" <ossi@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >>> Greetings from fennoscandia,
                    >>
                    >>> we have both a. incana and a. glutinosa as native.
                    >>
                    >>> occasionally i gather alnus seeds to eat by spreading
                    >>> blankets under the tree (on snow) and by rocking the trunk
                    >>> on a day which is not too windy, so the loss of seeds is minimal.
                    >>
                    >>> suitable timing here comes usually in february-march,
                    >>> when the seeds drop naturally as cones open up. then seeds can
                    >>> be ground with stones with or without roasting, in soups or
                    >>> in bread or as a spread.... anyway one can prefer.
                    >>
                    >>> i would say there's already quite sufficient yield from
                    >>> a single tree, so breeding sounds pretty weird,
                    >>> but will anyway have a look next season
                    >>> in case i see what you search for.
                    >>
                    >>> ossi kakko
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>>> (This is a little changed from my earlier posting. "All things change"
                    >>>> - Buddha)
                    >>>>
                    >>>> 10 Cambridge Avenue
                    >>>> Forest Hall
                    >>>> Newcastle -upon - Tyne
                    >>>> NE12 8AR
                    >>>> michael@...
                    >>>> 0191 266 6435
                    >>>>
                    >>>>
                    >>>> I have embarked on a project to develop Alder (Alnus) as a grain crop.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> In my meaning of the word, a "grain" is a hard dry food-thing with
                    >>>> good keeping qualities, no matter what the exact botanical
                    >>>> description.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> If you look at some Alder trees and imagine that each cone was
                    >>>> replaced by an ear of wheat of the same size, you can see it would be
                    >>>> a good crop. Alders fix nitrogen, they do not need to be resown every
                    >>>> year, they do not cast a heavy shade, grass grows beneath them, and
                    >>>> animals could be pastured on the land. My original aim was to make
                    >>>> profitable use of the uplands of Britain, and Britain cannot feed
                    >>>> itself, but I see now that it could also be grown on lower land and
                    >>>> elsewhere in the world.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> So, I am looking for trees, cuttings or seeds, which have the traits I
                    >>>> want.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> I am undecided between Alnus incana and A. glutinosa. Alnus incana
                    >>>> grows higher and further north than A. glutinosa, and it is less
                    >>>> dependent on water than A. glutinosa, but A. glutinosa is more
                    >>>> plentiful. But the two species hybridise so I am interested in both.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> I foresee that the trees will be grown in rows to form a hedge. The
                    >>>> cones will be pulled off using a mechanical comb and threshed in
                    >>>> something like a combine harvester. The cones can easily be pulled off
                    >>>> many varieties.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> By timing harvesting correctly it will probably be possible to pull
                    >>>> off the cones without losing seeds and then break them open in the
                    >>>> harvester.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> That said, I want the finished breed to have cones which don't open on
                    >>>> the tree, are strong enough not break when pulled off the tree, but
                    >>>> are easy to break open in the harvester. Any steps toward that will be
                    >>>> welcome.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Some alder trees carry no cones (!), others carry huge numbers of
                    >>>> catkins and very few cones: the opposite of what I want. Walking many
                    >>>> miles and looking at the alders as I passed I have found a few trees
                    >>>> which carry vast numbers of cones on special cone-only branches,
                    >>>> unlike "normal" alders where the cones are carried on the
                    >>>> leaf-carrying branches. I would attach photos if the list allowed it,
                    >>>> but I can send pictures off-list to anybody who asks.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> It is too early in the season to tell, but the seeds in these cones
                    >>>> will probably be the usual wretchedly small size. I want bigger.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> It was easy to walk past lots of trees and from many yards away see
                    >>>> how many cones they were carrying. I can see no such easy way of
                    >>>> searching for bigger seeds, and this is where I am asking for help.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> How can you search for bigger seeds?
                    >>>>
                    >>>> One possibility is that if a single seed is bigger, the regular
                    >>>> pattern of scales will be broken by a bigger seed inside. Is this a
                    >>>> workable search method?
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Another possibility is to sift the seeds after they have been got out
                    >>>> of the cones. How easy is it going to be do this by looking for
                    >>>> big-uns by spreading the seeds out on white paper? I have built a
                    >>>> seed-sifter which uses an air current from a computer cooling fan to
                    >>>> sort seeds by size/weight ratio. It shows promise. Have you got some
                    >>>> seeds which I could sort through? I can come and do it, I can bring
                    >>>> the sifter in my car.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Are there any better ideas?
                    >>>>
                    >>>> To spread my net wide, I would be interested in any tree you know of
                    >>>> which has cones which are unusual in any way.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> I would be very grateful for any help with any part of this. I would
                    >>>> be grateful for cuttings (which preserve the gene combination which
                    >>>> gave rise to feature of interest) or seeds (especially if they are
                    >>>> big) or an invitation to see a tree of interest.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> The plan is to copy the "Open Source" ideas of Linux and similar
                    >>>> computer systems. All those who contribute material will be offered
                    >>>> the results of my work.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Unfortunately I have to be away at the busiest time for this, 18 Sept
                    >>>> - 19 Oct, to attend the wedding of my nephew to a Nepali girl in
                    >>>> Kathmandu. It will be a Hindu ceremony, with "heroic eating and
                    >>>> drinking", followed by a walk in "the hills" - the Himalayas!
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Michael Bell
                    >>>>
                    >>>> --
                    >>>>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>> ------------------------------------
                    >>
                    >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> --
                    >>
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                    >> This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus
                    >> protection is active.
                    >> http://www.avast.com
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ------------------------------------
                    >> Posted by: Michael Bell <michael@...>
                    >> ------------------------------------
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ------------------------------------
                    >>
                    >> Yahoo Groups Links
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>


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