Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Journal February 25, 2015 - Florida Petite tomatoes as a cure for cabin fever

The Florida petite tomatoes are beginning to ripen, so as my granddaughter, Ava, wants to eat the first one, I am posting a photo before the fruit is history, as she is coming for dinner this evening.

All in all,  it has been an interesting project, however, due to the size of the plant and fruit I feel a LOT of plants would be required to make this variety worth planting in a garden.

That said, it did grow very well in a container under artificial lighting, so as a cure for cabin fever it would be an excellent choice.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Journal February 13, 2015 Sword olive embryo in vitro

Today I removed a sword olive embryo from the seed and placed it in protocol to see if that would hasten germination.  Prior to being extracted, the seed was in moist paper towel for about two weeks.

As a control, I have seeds in moist paper towel, and, one seed that has been in vitro in starting protocol for about two weeks.

Sword is another obscure variety I would really like to add to my collection.  

All of the olive seeds I grow are removed from the drupe prior to being germinated.  Many times upon opening the drupe, I will find that the seed has dessicated and is no longer viable.   By simply planting an olive seed in soil, there is a good chance that you could waste a year waiting for a seed that will never sprout.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Journal February 9, 2015 - Cerignola seedling

Above is a photo of a Cerignola olive embryo that was removed from the seed and placed in tissue culture protocol.   The protocol contains no hormones, only dilute nutrients and sugar.  As I had only three seeds to work with, and this is a rare variety, I am going all out to get one of these to grow.

Shortly after placing the embryo in protocol, I noticed the cotyledons beginning to split.  That had me baffled, as I had not damaged the embryo, or, have I seen this before.  As the radicle, or tap root, began to grow,  I noticed that there were two of them.  At this point I have no idea of what the plant is doing, however, as a precaution I have removed it from tissue culture, placed it in a horticube and planted it in media under a humidity dome.  It appears that two plants are developing from a single embryo.  If true, that would be weird, for sure.  The question is: would they be identical, or Siamese twins?

The Bella di Cerignola, better known simply as the Cerignola, is an olive cultivar from Italy. Cerignola olives are very large, mild in flavor, and may be served either green or cured black. The variety, which originates from the Southern Italian province of Puglia and is named for the town of Cerignola, is popular as table olives. 

This is another example of why I want this variety:

Imported from Apulia, Cerignolas are the largest olives in the world. They have a fruity, mild, clean taste, but their most impressive feature is their size and resulting meatiness. Biting into a Cerignola is almost like biting into a plum. Festive red in color, serve them as an appetizer with cocktails. Packaged beautifully in a keepsake Italian glass jar with mini-handles on either side.

The Florida Petite has so many tomatoes that I decided it would be prudent to give it some support.  This is a great variety for indoor cultivation, which makes me wonder why the seeds have all but disappeared.  Saving seed is definitely going to be on the agenda at the end of this project.