BRANDON — The topic of Tuesday’s monthly Farmer’s Breakfast was all about apple genetics and hybridization, with a presentation by Mitch Lynd from Lynd’s Fruit Farm.
Lynd began his talk by explaining his background, sharing that his family has been growing apples as far back as the 1600s in France. Even after one of his ancestors immigrated to the United States, they continued the apple business. The current orchard his family owns on Morse Road was purchased in 1919 by his grandparents.
Lynd, who has a degree in Agricultural Economics from The Ohio State University, explained that he began thinking about apple breeding 20 years ago when it became apparent to him that apple growers like himself wouldn’t have access to new apples developed by the four main breeding programs — belonging to Rutgers University, Cornell University, Washington State University and the University of Minnesota. After funding to the universities for food programs like breeding was cut, the new apples were no longer released to the public, and instead sold to the highest bidder.