Canberra Seed Savers has been part of growing and saving locally developed varieties of Dwarf Tomatoes this season. It's an exciting project with approximately 1 dozen volunteer CSS growers and around 20 varieties being grown. We are growing Australian Dwarf Tomatoes as developed and stewarded by Patrina Nuske-Small from the NSW arm of the Dwarf Tomato Project (a south-north hemisphere collaboration). Tomatoes are bred to be smaller and stockier in stature (a shortish determinate plant) with a large range of fruit from plum to oxheart, cherry and salad tomatoes. The goal is to create delicious tomatoes of all flavour and size variations on compact, easy-to-maintain dwarf tomato plants. Plants are ideal for pots and small spaces. They also have great names like Bundaberg Rum Ball, Kangaroo Paw Green and Banksia Queen!
As well as being amazing plants, the seeds (and the genetic mixes) are protected from corporate patenting (and restrictions on community seed saving and breeding) by the Open Source Seed Initiative Pledge (https://www.dwarftomatoproject.net/open-source/):
"You have the freedom to use these OSSI- Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives." More info about the Dwarf Tomato Project here: https://www.dwarftomatoproject.net/
The Open Source Seed Initiative is crucial to keep our commonwealth of seeds in community hands.
Canberra Seed Savers has gotten involved as one of the groups and individuals helping to grow, save, share and sell these unique Australian bred varieties so they can be part of our collective seed heritage into the future. We hope to have some seeds ready to sell and share at the end of Autumn and would love to share some with other groups. You can find out more about our part of the project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.