Frogsleap Farm

Frogsleap Farm

Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Zebra, Bad Zebra

What prompted this post was my finding of a pair of zebra mussel encrusted sunglasses on the beach of our local lake last week.  Zebra mussels are a recently introduced invasive species that, despite best efforts, are proliferating in many local Minnesota lakes.   They are hyper competitive and in a short period of time have become a dominant species in the lake.  Bad Zebra. 

Bad Zebra 
For tomato lovers the tomato variety Green Zebra is something many of us now take for granted.  It was developed by Tom Wagner over 30 years ago and released in 1983.  It sometimes called an heirloom, and Tom is often not given credit for the breeding.  He combined the green stripe gene (gs) and an interesting tasting green when ripe (GWR) background through a series of crosses over many years of breeding.  Green Zebra was a founder source for Brad Gates and other breeders that have combined stripes and great taste as a way to introduce novel looking and tasty tomatoes.  On Tom’s New World Seeds website you can now buy seed of his reselected Green Zebra - we planted it this year.  Good Zebra.

Here are a few newer lines tracing in part to Green Zebra; Michael Pollan, a great striped GWR GZ derivative from Brad Gates; our MP x Cowlicks F1 (photo by Blane Horton); and three F2 segregants from that same cross. 

Michael Pollan
MP x Cowlicks Brandywine F1
F2 segregants MP x Cowlicks