Vegetable soybean (Glycine max Merr L.) popularly known as Edamame, is a crop with rising popularity in the western world. Its rich nutritive value and health benefits have created increasing market demand among health conscious consumers. Though this crop is generally adapted to Asian countries, its cultivation is slowly expanding in Europe and North America. Edamame seeds and frozen pods imported from Asia, mainly from China, Taiwanand Japan, are available in market place and super stores. However, edamame grown in small area in different parts of USA and Canada are still not able to reach in frozen section of super stores. Atlantic North East and Pacific North West regions are suitable for edamame cultivation but there is no official record of promotional efforts for its cultivation in BC.
Richmond Food Security Society and The Sharing Farm Society supported the edamame study focused on adaptation testing and varietal development from 2009-2013. Two varieties (one yellow seeded labeled as Edamame and other as Black Jet) received from Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds Inc, were planted in 2009 to test the possibility of adaptation. Results encouraged to make seed increase planting in long rows in 2010 and close observation identified three individual promising plants under marginal fertility and reduced irrigation. They were harvested separately and labeled as Single Plant Selection Breeding Line 1, 2 and 3 (SPS-BL-1, SPS-BL-2 and SPS-BL-3). Two previous varieties plus three breeding lines and five additional varieties received from Anapolis Seeds Inc of Nova Scotia, were planted in 2011. Results were promising and a fully fledged adaptation study in 2012 and yield stability study in 2013 were conducted with the grant support of Organic Sector Development Program (OSDP) administered by Certified Organic Association of British Columbia (COABC).