All posts by Chris Thoreau

2nd Year of Curly Kale Growth – Data Collection

2nd Year of Curly Kale Growth – Data Collection

We saw a particularly cold winter here in Vancouver and it killed most of the lacinato varieties of kale. The curly kale was quite damaged as well, but is making a fierce come back! The leaves still taste great too. In the second year of curly kale growth we will be

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2017 Leek Variety Trial Update!

The leek seedlings are looking great! They were seeded in the beginning of March and are ready to be transplanted into the field on Tuesday May 16th! We have 31 varieties of leeks being transplanted, unfortunately one variety had zero germination, but it happens and its a good thing we

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2017 Golden Beet Trial Seeded

2017 Golden Beet Trial Seeded

Tuesday May 9th was a beautiful day in Vancouver to breath some fresh farm air and seed 3 replicates of 8 golden beet varieties! We carefully measured out the plots, placed the correct stakes in as per the map we created. We randomized the order of the varieties between plots and

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Using Better Quality Stakes for the 2017 BC Seed Trials

Using Better Quality Stakes for the 2017 BC Seed Trials

At the farm sites where we trial the vegetable crop varieties, each plot must have a stake to indicate which variety is growing there. We use codes for ease of data collection and to avoid bias towards one variety or another. In the past we have used wooden stakes, which

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The Fly Generator

One of the goals of the 2017 Carrot Seed Project is to breed out own flies instead of buying pupae. Here is a short video showing the creation of my fly generator!   Here is the test run I made last year to get me started:  

Preparing and Planting Carrot Stecklings for Seed Production

Preparing and Planting Carrot Stecklings for Seed Production

Last week we got our isolation tent setup and our carrot stecklings planted at UBC Farm. This is a multi-step process which we documented much of. This is the first year doing the carrot seed project at UBC Farm. The carrot stecklings we are planting are Nash’s Nantes – bred

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Certificate in Organic Vegetable Seed Production with Canadian Organic Growers

Certificate in Organic Vegetable Seed Production with Canadian Organic Growers

Introducing the 22-week online Certification Course in Organic Vegetable Seed Production through the Canadian Organic Growers! This flexible online course is delivered with online readings and webinars while studying The Organic Seed Grower book by John Navazio and Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe. The experienced course instructors are Patrick

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Carrot Seed Project – Breeding Flies

Carrot Seed Project – Breeding Flies

One of my favourite projects is our carrot seed project. This project involves growing carrots to seed in an isolation tent to prevent cross-pollination with a common weed – Queen Anne’s lace. I have blogged frequently about this project in the past. Carrots require insects for cross pollination and these

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Richmond Seedy Saturday and 100 Year-Old Seeds!

This weekend I (Chris) attended the Richmond Seedy Saturday with our BC Seed Trials display and to promote our new Citizen Seed Trial. Although a much smaller event than the Victoria Seedy Saturday I attended a few weeks ago, the Richmond attendees were very enthusiastic and we gave out all

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Seeds, Politics, Ducks and Fungi – Farmer Submission

Seeds, Politics, Ducks and Fungi – Farmer Submission

NorthEast Farming Association Winter Conference 2017 Saratoga Springs, NY January 19-21 By Jolene Swain I am incredible grateful to have received funding from the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security to attend the NOFA-NY Winter Conference. It was a very long trip from Northern British Columbia, but worth every

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Final Seed Mentee Blog – Sahar Zandieh

The snow is finally melting and the cover crop sown so many months back is visible again; the pea, oat, vetch, and triticale shoots are still flattened from the weight of the snow, but eager to stand tall again soon, I’m sure. Thinking back on the past growing season, I’m

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It’s Seedy Saturday Season!

The first BC Seedy Saturday of 2017 is here! Here is a list of more to come!

Final Seed Mentee Blog – Arzeena Hamir

The year 2016 was our fifth season on our farm and the climate threw many curveballs at us. Expecting a hot, dry summer like 2015, I moved roma tomato and jalapeno pepper production outdoors only to find that the cool temperatures did little to help with either fruit or seed

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Final Seed Mentee Blog – Kaleigh Barton

Today I am in Lillouet visiting friends. It is nice to be on vacation, though it seems we are always farming in our minds. This week we are ordering the seeds we need for early in the season, and spending more time planning for Salt Spring’s Seedy Saturday event.  Before

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Final Seed Mentee Blog – Michael Silver

Wow 11 more days and the light begins to return.  After one of the wettest and frost-free falls we now have frozen ground and a nice layer of snow. In my last post I explained that is was very challenging for me to venture into a larger and exploratory seed

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Seed Mentee Blog #2 – Sahar Zandieh

A few weeks ago, when the sun was shining more reliably, I was able to join the inspiring Mojave Kaplan, Mel Sylvestre and Alex Lyon for a Beet Field Day at the UBC Farm. We walked through the field, harvested, selected, and prepared beets for winter storage. Many cultivars of

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Processing Golden Beet Seed at Local Harvest

Well, it has taken a while to get this post up, but here it is! We have posted many stories of the golden beet seed crop at Local Harvest – from selection and planting; to growing and observing; to harvesting and drying; and then comes the time for processing –

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Carrot Seed Cleaning at Sharing Farm

Carrot Seed Cleaning at Sharing Farm

As we near the end of the growing season we approach the beginning of the seed cleaning season! The Richmond Sharing Farm, and head farmer Kristjan Johannson participated in the carrot seed project this year. This project is exploring carrot seed production in isolation tents to present pollination with the

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