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The last great plant explorer

I am Scott Malpass and I am a plant explorer. You’re probably wondering what is a plant explorer. Plant explorer is broad term meaning someone who finds rare plants or seeds. One of my favorite things to find are heritage and very unique squashes, gourds, and pumpkins of unique color and flavor. I have traveled all over the Mid-Atlantic area trying to find landrace and heirloom seeds. When I first started off, I only found a couple, now I have over 100 different varieties. One of the coolest squashes we have are the pre-zucchini’s which are very long and bumpy squashes, are these what zucchini were before man really started cultivating them? I find more than just squashes I have found many types of rare apples to heritage melons.

Many people wonder why would someone explore plants or seeds and that answer is simple. There is more diversity than your simple bush beans. There are hundreds of varieties, some are extremely tolerant to cold or heat and I have even sampled a bean variety that taste like mushroom when cooked. I have personally gone into swamps and marshes to find squash simply growing there without rhyme or reason but imagine using these wild squashes then crossing them with other squashes to help build tolerance to pest or diseases. There are also different vegetables, herbs, and flowers that people don’t know that are out there.

One of my goals in the near future is to explore not just Mid-Atlantic area but eventually explore other states like Arizona. The Plants that can grows there are heat and drought tolerant. There are also wild vegetables that I am hoping to find such as tepary beans to wild potatoes. I also want to explore other areas such as Japan or Europe where I know there is much seed diversity. Japan has high diversity in melon varieties and very unique morning glories which could be grown in here.

I also run small a farm called Scottland where I keep all these rare squashes. Scottland is more than just a simple farm. It is like a museum or art gallery there is such a diversity in seeds and the plants we grow, it’s like looking at a painting or walking through museum and looking at the antiques. There is also a big culinary aspect of some things we grow such as a squash variety we have taste like melon when eaten raw. I hope this show you the importance of not just seed saving but trying to preserve the diversity that is out there and what people are missing.

Written by Scott Malpass you can reach me for more info

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