[Editor: I sometimes wonder if someone opening a packet containing just a few very large seeds may question whether anything worthwhile can come from such a small accession. This is a good example of how quickly seeds can multiply.]
“Of the 8 seeds that were sent 4 were planted in a place where sunlight was restricted to about 4 hours a day. These gave very few pods. The 4 others got more sunlight and we got a harvest of 185 seeds so far. We have planted 160 of these seeds at our demonstration site and they are growing vigorously. With this second harvest we hope to promote the use of jack beans among the farmers who have infertile plots of land.”
[Editor: Assuming his second planting yields at least as well (46 seeds per plant), I calculate that he could have 8,510 seeds in a few months and over 390,000 the next year. So never underestimate what can happen from a small packet of seed.
It might be wise for someone in the midst of a big grow-out of a new crop that is very promising to get more seed from ECHO, or better yet, another source. This variety of seed sources will provide more genetic diversity in what is ultimately released to the farmers. That diversity will, in turn, increase the chance that at least a portion of the plants might have resistance should a new insect or disease appear.]
Crist, D. 1999. Performance of Jack Bean Seed that ECHO Sent Us.. ECHO Development Notes no. 63