Date of Birth: 1826
Place of birth: St. Petersburg
Foundations Horticultural AFFAIRS Yefim comprehended the shores of Lake Nero, a glorious peal of bells of Rostov.
From the lake, then still clean, the surrounding farmers mined surprisingly fertile sediments - sapropel. Since the place is waterlogged, the beds made it off the ground, with wooden boards - so the land is better warmed. Seedlings expelled early, drawers carried with her a short time in the cold, then to no tomato or cucumber is not "afraid" of spring frosts ...
Yields its carried in Yaroslavl, but mostly in Moscow, where he competed with highly experienced Klin, Yahromskogo Bronnitsky and craftsmen. It was then that Grachev and began to dominate. A knock together a little capital, he moved to St. Petersburg, where he soon became a league "Pervaki" and even threatened on a foreign trip.
Bearded man with smooth brown hair parted in the middle, purple with rage, Efim Grachev shumstvoval:
- Look, hats in front of them is broken, and they? Lie that the goods had not arrived at the exhibition. Well, wait! Two days are already boxes, luggage dry. And the place on the margins given. Nothing morning noses.
On it they looked, but did not understand Russian. And the week before the opening something conjured in his cubbyhole with cotton wool and loose burlap, for some reason, sprinkled with water. Then exhibit crowd gasped - Russian guest appeared at the opening in the bizarre beautiful green coat. Live, from sprouted barley ... And the goods: cabbage, melons, cucumbers are, what is not seen.
Curiously curiosity, but you wonder how our first breeder who has lived only 51 year (1826-1877), managed to bring so many new varieties of vegetables and potatoes, that many of them have not yet been surpassed. One listing them barely fit in the seven-page typewritten.
At the largest international exhibitions of that time Grachev was awarded 11 gold, 41 silver and 11 bronze medals. Members of his family for the demonstration Grachevsky vegetables still got over a hundred different awards. OGracheve wrote that because of his "large, medium and small" medals can create a "Muntz-cabinet" ( "Muntz-cabinet" - a collection of coins and medals).
In catalogs, articles and reports Grachev certainly informed, who, where and when the first began to cultivate vegetables that he checked and given its characteristics, talked about farming practices produce a good crop. Creator, step by step to rise to the heights of excellence, he did not keep a secret, generously shared all of what has been achieved, in a hurry to remove more harvest from the garden to release it and immerse oneself in a new experience.
He does not look like a rapidly growing rich tycoons, all the forces trying to break out of the "vendors". Still, he volunteered to become a free housekeeper Petersburg orphanage, fussing about the peasant school puts on a cheap tavern Narva highway. And the funny thing: "Andreitch some potatoes chegoj powder ..."
Over the years in your garden Yefim Andreevich felt cramped, had to rent another site for the Moscow Gate. At a time when due to the high rents, many exiled potatoes with urban gardens, the magazine "Agriculture and forestry" wrote about a new base Grachev:
"It makes the experience over two hundred varieties of potatoes. This experimental culture can not deliver commercial benefits, but significantly increasing the costs of all non-productive".
Grachev knew that potato - the second bread hungry Russian peasant. But her that no year is not enough until the next harvest. The widespread distribution of such terrible potato diseases such as late blight, simply referred to rot among the people, and then caused the famine. Grachev painfully searching for a remedy for this disaster. Gradually he came to the conclusion that for varieties not rot is ill, it is necessary to obtain the raw material is not of tubers and seeds of:
"In the first year, some things give potatoes a life-size chtobyvaet rare; the greater part of the potatoes are the size of an ordinary nut When potato breeding this way, there are many new species, although there is little useful,. But other than its good when persistent work can get varieties qualities. "
HOWEVER EFIM ANDREEVICH kept his business only to the selection of seedlings grown from seeds by self-pollination. With extensive material from the different countries of Europe and America, including primitive forms and wild relatives of cultivated potato, Grachev and began to "puff" them, displaying varieties through artificial cross-pollination followed by selection and thorough education of hybrids.
Outstanding scientists AV Councils and AM Butlerov proposed the establishment of a gold medal Grachev memory and to award her "for special merits to improve the Russian market gardening." In recognition of the huge contribution to world horticulture talented Russian peasant nugget was elected an honorary member of the National Academy of Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce in Paris.
Vegetables, which are annually demonstrated this nugget of exhibitions of St. Petersburg and Moscow, were so varied and great in quality that the other participants are not even going to compete with him. The exhibition in 1866 was attended by the most eminent masters, among them were the chief gardener, gardening teacher Petrovskaya Agricultural and Forestry Academy RI Schroeder and owner pomological nursery and garden for the acclimatization Dr. EL Regel. But here exhibits Grachev stood out not only in size, excellent taste - it is a new form of plants.
Absolute superiority Grachevsky potato revealed at the international exhibition of horticulture and horticulture (fruit and vegetable garden, 1869) in St. Petersburg, where the craftsman introduced 80 varieties. There were shown and the best specimens cultivated in Europe and America. Exhibited their inspector general fruit and vegetable production in Prussia, the director of the royal gardens and gardens in Potsdam IB Julia. However, the jury, chaired by the same Julia Grachev awarded first prize.
His vegetables were exhibited in 1873 - in Vienna, in 1875 - in Cologne, in 1876 - in Philadelphia and Brussels, in 1877-meters - in Paris. In Vienna, he wrote: "Entering the Russian horticultural department, we meet here only one exponent of this great state, it is the gardener Grachev from St. Petersburg It would be desirable that every country has at least only one exhibitor, but such as Grachev exhibited them.. vegetables surpass all that has hitherto been videno in Vienna on this branch of the economy where we see white and cauliflower to a foot (30.5 cm) in diameter;. white and blue headed cabbage to 1-1 / 2 feet in diameter, radish, potato, yellow and white turnips, beets, cucumbers and so on. All of this has a size greater than three times the vegetables are known in our markets. But the pearl of the exhibition are the heads of cabbage, with a diameter of up to 2 feet (71 cm). this head is sufficient for the production of a barrel of salted cabbage. "
The question arises: how to assess it all with a contemporary point? What showed Grachev exhibitions - "monstrous" (monstrous) exhibits, expertly kicked abundant fertilizer to impress the audience? Or were the new plant forms derived by mating, hardening, rejection and acclimatization. His varieties of corn, watermelons and melons, accustomed to the north, and we drove out into warm Europe that there is zoned primarily ...
Today it is hard to believe. It is easier to agree with the conventional wisdom the idea that our destiny to get the best from the outside. But all that is told to be. It was - 130 years, dozens of wars and a dozen revolutions ago. Much has disappeared. But not all - ever. And someone`s garden of ripening strawberries the size of a plum and tomato the size of a small watermelon ...