Landrace seeds are adaptive seeds. They can adapt to local growing conditions because of their diverse genetics. Adaptive seeds can help avoid famine by adapting to resist new pests and diseases. In this article we will use the phrase landrace seeds but know that we mean adaptive seeds also. Adaptive Seeds or Landrace Seeds
Landrace seeds are developed by growing several different varieties of a crop together so that the plants can cross pollinate. The goal is to have as many crosses as possible. You then let the plants grow and, at harvest time, you save the seeds from the best plants. One must be careful to collect seeds from several plants because you do not want to end up with the genetics of just one plant; you want the genetics of several plants to grow again in the coming years.
In a good landrace garden you plant the landrace seeds you collected from the last few years. Every growing year is different, and the plants that did the best last year might not do the best this year. Hopefully, by planting the landrace seeds that were collected from more than one year in your location, you will develop a landrace of seeds that will do well every year in your location. Landrace Gardening
The primary goal for landrace seeds is to have seeds that do the best under the growing conditions in your area. A secondary goal for your landrace seeds is to have as much genetic diversity as possible so that they can adapt to changing conditions. Another advantage of landrace seeds is that the diverse genetics leads to a variety of nutritional content in the crop you grow and, as they say, "Variety is the spice of life."
As you can see, I am very excited about landrace seeds. The only problem with them that I can think of is that I did not learn about them 20 years ago when I first moved to Northern Minnesota. If I had, I might be able to grow a decent crop of tomatoes by now. But then I would have to find a new way to predict the first frost. (I can always tell that it is going to freeze within the next two weeks when I get my first red tomato in the garden.) Garden Seeds