Category : General Seed Topics

Preparing the Carrot Tent for the 2018 crop

Preparing the Carrot Tent for the 2018 crop

This year we have taken a bit of a different approach with setting up the isolation tent for the Carrot Seed Project by erecting the tent as late as possible before flowering. This is done in the hope that the carrot stalks will be strengthened by having more wind exposure

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Seed Diversity and the Community Seed Network

Seed Diversity and the Community Seed Network

At the end of May we celebrated the UN International Day for Biological Diversity! This day also marked the grand launch of the Community Seed Network which is an initiative of The Seed Savers Exchange, USC Canada and others that came together to create an online platform for resources and information on

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Mobile Seed Cleaning Research

Mobile Seed Cleaning Research

After seeing a great mobile seed cleaning trailer at the Organic Seed Growers Conference in 2016 I thought it would be great to have a similar set up in BC. Such a unit would be great to help growers scale up and process their seeds more efficiently. It would also

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Looking for Signs of Queen Anne’s Lace

Looking for Signs of Queen Anne’s Lace

For the 2017 carrot research project we planted two crops at UBC Farm – one plot inside the mesh enclosure and a “control” plot on the outside of the enclosure. There is not much of a presence of Queen Anne’s lace at UBC Farm and during the time of carrot

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Counting Seeds

Today I (Chris) did our last bit of seed packing for the BC Seed Trials at the KPU Seed Lab. It has been great to be able to use the seed counter at the lab this year to get more exact seed counts and speed up the packing process. For

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Carrot Steckling Planting

Carrot Steckling Planting

Yesterday I got my first set carrot stecklings planted at UBC Farm. I will plant two varieties there this year, side by side, one inside an enclosure and one outside. This is a great way to use enclosures to expand seed production capabilities. I will have to do some Queen

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Harvesting Carrot Seed

Harvesting Carrot Seed

As we harvest carrots from the BC Seed Trials we are still processing carrot seed from UBC Farm and the Sharing Farm. Although harvested over a month ago, the seed still needs to be processed to ready it for sale and planting. The seed dried down in the seed greenhouse

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BC Seed Gathering – BC Seed Trials Tour at UBC Farm

BC Seed Gathering – BC Seed Trials Tour at UBC Farm

We are happy to open the 2017 BC Seed Gathering with a visit to UBC Farm to learn more about the BC Seed Trials. The BC Seed Trials project, now completing its second year, is a collaboration between the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, UBC Farm, and FarmFolk CityFolk. Through conducting vegetable

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Gleaning from the Variety Showcase

9 October 2017 Chris Thoreau One of my favourite trips of the past couple years has been my venture down to Portland to the Culinary Breeding Network’s Variety Showcase. Last week (sometimes it takes a while to get to these blog posts) I made it down for my second visit

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Carrot Seed Harvest Started

Carrot Seed Harvest Started

It has been a great season for carrot seed production so far and I was happy to start harvesting seed this week. Carrot seed matures over a period of time so I will watch for dry, mature umbels several times a week and harvest them as they are ready. This

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2017 BC Seed Gathering – Registration is Now Open

2017 BC Seed Gathering – Registration is Now Open

BC Seed Gathering Friday Nov. 3rd & Saturday Nov. 4th 2017 Join us for the 2 day seed gathering this November to connect, network, learn, engage and take a step forward in building a local resilient seed system. The BC Seed Gathering is the place for folks working across the seed spectrum

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The Flies are Taking Over!

The Flies are Taking Over!

It was a real treat to check in on the carrots today, kind of. There so many flies in the enclosure it was overwhelming. So, of course, I took a video! Today also gave me the chance to tie up the carrots as they are getting more and more top

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Carrot Seed Update and Fly Breeding Schedule

Carrot Seed Update and Fly Breeding Schedule

To plan for having an adequate number of fly pollinators at all times during the carrot flowering period you can map out the lifecycle of the fly to create a schedule and breeding plan. This could look something like the following based on a typical fly lifecycle: Fly Breeding Schedule.

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Kale Breeding Workshop a Success!

Kale Breeding Workshop a Success!

Today we were happy to host Laurie McKenzie of the Organic Seed Alliance for our Kale Breeding Workshop in Duncan on Vancouver Island. We had a group of 18 eager and budding plant breeders ready to absorb all Laurie had to offer. This workshop was focused on kale as it

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Seed Production in Italy

I (Chris Thoreau) am lucky enough to be in Italy at the moment, with a group of folks from Vancity Credit Union, to learn about the role of cooperatives in the Italian economy. We are primarily in the Emilia-Romagna region where Co-ops make up over 1/4 of the region’s economy

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Seed Mentee Blog #1 – Meg Curtis

My mentor is Sal Dominelli of Sweet Rock Farm on Gabriola Island (@sweetrockfarm on Instagram & sweetrockfarmseeds.com). Sal has been growing seed on Gabriola for fifteen years and selling commercially for the last six. Sweet Rock Farm is a 5-acre farm on Gabriola that has a good supply of water to source from during our

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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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