Not Your Average Joe
You may have heard Joseph Tychonievich (right) on PRI’s The Splendid Table radio show devoted to food and cooking. Recently, host Lynne Rosetto Casper admitted being jealous that someone named a tomato after author/food activist Michael Pollan. Joseph got in touch with the public radio show and offered to have Lynne pick a new tomato to be named for her.
I met Joseph about a decade ago when he was a teenager working on hybridizing roses. He now lives in Lansing, Michigan, and is in his last year at Michigan State studying for his PHD in Horticulture/Plant Breeding and Genetics – a five-year program he enrolled in after graduating from Ohio State.
Joseph just can’t resist hybridizing plants. You’ll hear on this show how he uses pieces of crochet yarn to mark the parents that contribute pollen, or become the mothers of the next generations (left). He sent Lynne 22 new tomato varieties to sample (examples, right). She chose number 12. As Joseph says, “In four years, it may be on the market.”
His blog features a wide range of topics from soil to hummingbird-attracting flowers. Joseph was inspired by a question from Annie Hayes of Annie’s Annuals, and her suggestion that he take queries from readers. He has invited them to ask, and he will answer from time to time.
He is currently working on producing hardy Agapanthus starting with a few varieties he obtained from nearby Arrowhead Alpines nursery.
Joseph is someone to watch in the future – and listen to – right now!
Click on the small black arrow at the left on the bar below to start listening, or click on the MP3 link to download the show into Windows Media Player or iTunes: