Hoping for Biological Literacy...

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Joseph Lofthouse
Joseph Lofthouse's picture
Hoping for Biological Literacy...

<br>I hope that the recent changes to the taxonomy on the site can be corrected to be botanically correct... As an example, garbanzo beans were recently moved to the subcategory of "beans" and listed with "Phaseolus vulgaris". Garbanzo beans are not only a different species than common beans they are a different genera: Cicer arietinum. Also runner beans are listed with common beans even though they are also a different species. Oops!&nbsp; Tepary beans were also&nbsp; moved into a sub-category with common bush beans when they are a separate species and are definitely not bush beans. <br><br>Also Swiss Chard is listed in a separate category from Beets even though they are the same species and freely inter-cross with each other. I think that things that are the same species should be listed in the same category, and that things that are different species and different genera should not be lumped together. <br><br>If it was a database administrator that made those changes perhaps it would be better if you focused on making a functional site and leave the botany to the farmers.<br><br>

If the goal of the grassroots seed network is democratic process, then I think that should be embedded into the whole organization and it's infrastructure: especially the website. That would allow for things like members/subscribers changing the taxonomy willy-nilly on a whim. As an example of this type of web-site organization visit any wikipedia site and change the content of the page. Perhaps contribute a new article. Watch the editing process for months. Participate. The premise of Wikipedia is that anyone can change any content on the site at any time without even logging in. To accomplish that and not be overrun by vandalism and/or spam and/or self-serving users, anyone may act as a moderator to undo illicit changes.

Another democratically constructed gardening web site is http://myfolia.com The structure of the site is fixed, but the content is entirely member driven, and any user can change "general information" about a variety and specific information about their own varieties. The site has lots of volunteer moderators with permissions to change/delete most anything on the site.

botanically correct categories

Hi Joseph, you're absolutely correct about that. I believe the problem was the result of enabling any lister to create their own category, even though we Steerers had decided that for now at least we should slavishly copy SSE's categories with some minor simplifications and clarifications. That's why you see "Trees" and "Brassicas" even though those various species are also spelled out elsewhere. Amber is in the process of correcting that. Personally, i disagree with one specific example you mentioned: beets and chard; i feel we should continue to copy SSE and the seed industry on that one, while clarifying the distinction between turnips/rutabagas, true kales vs. mustard-kales, etc. However  that's JUST my personal opinion; that's why we're the kind of group we are: as a member (and quite possibly a Board member), you can and should promote your ideas and they may well prevail, regardless of what i think and vice versa. I'm thrilled that you're posting, and looking forward to others weighing in on this and any/every other topic. A few have said they had problems accessing this Forum; i hope that has been corrected and folks will try again.

12540dumont's picture
I'm for Latin!

I not only want the beans listed properly by their latin names....I want photos!