Yesterday was a beautiful day to put seeds in the ground at Adaptive Seeds’ farm! The freshly tilled soil was warmed from the sun, and rain was brewing in the western horizon. This marks the first big field trial of the season. Funded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation, I am exploring the microbial ecology of seeds, in this case, seeds from Cascade Ruby-Gold flint corn that was saved by Adaptive Seeds. To explore the importance of seedborne microbes, I am disinfecting some seeds, and inoculating others with beneficial microbes. Some research questions from this project are:
-If you disinfect the seeds, are you leaving the seedlings more vulnerable to colonization by microbes in the environment? (for better or for worse)
-Does the bacterial inoculation of seeds protect plants from fungal diseases?