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Old July 4, 2015   #37
FLRedHeart's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: FL 8b/9a
Posts: 259

Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
(If I find an Acme packet, I'm going to email you at Victory Seeds because I need either you, Carolyn, or Craig (or all of you) to help bring Acme back to life and grow it out. Deal?)

I can't speak for others but definitely N0 deal from me. Do you have any idea whatsoever of what some places will do to increase sales by mislabelling seed packs, on purpose? I do.
Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to briefly express your
opinion Mike.

About Carolyn's response to Steven about a discovering a seed pack of
Acme. I personally would take even a harder line if there were no clear
provenance. You mentioned the last offering was 1940, 75 years ago. It is
simply unrealistic that you'll be germinating such old seed. If you think
someone saved something as primitive as Acme by replanting, 75 years is not
a reasonable amount of time for the viability of a tomato seed. Furthermore,
you are assuming that the variety in 1940 is the same as it was in 1875 (see
Livingston's comments on varieties' running out). Even Brandywine was
considered a real coupe to rediscover after so much time (but less than the
time Acme has been absent).

However, if you find that package, it would be fun to subject it to the skeptics
toolbox and see what it is all about

It is sad no representative of Acme is available from a source that could
provide documentation and expectation of isolation during its propagation in
the intermittent years.

This is not so surprising as much as the luck of the draw, as I've said. Acme
was a very primitive tomato, but that's all it was. Livingston's original smooth
tomatoes were answers to farming needs, as Livingston was a leading
commercial seed supplier of his time. The tomato Stone, which survived in its
present form was chosen for whatever reason from the smooth tomatoes
Livingstone bred to be crossed and bred to get resistances that were
necessary and forthcoming in the 1910's. Acme simply wasn't chosen and
that's where it missed the boat.

Around the time when Acme was discontinued, Rutgers was released and the
trend was toward determinate tomatoes for the market niche previously
served by tomatoes like Acme, so it just slipped through the cracks and no
one in the USDA at that time saved it as far as we know. (and things weren't
so organized back then as today).

If you study the pedigrees you will see Rutgers traces itself back to Stone
of course through a few crosses. It is easy to imagine why Stone would have
been maintained for reference but as far as I know Acme was a sort of
dead-end in the proliferation of varieties, except for Perfection. Perhaps by
1940 it had run out anyway.

I have some other concerns, but they would be better expressed another time
as this post has gotten a bit long and I can't concentrate with the rockets
exploding around me here. Happy Fourth!
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