Introducing the Citizen Seed Trial
Supported by Vancity Credit Union, the Citizen Seed Trial brings growers of all scales into the seed conversation. This is a seed trial that can be done in a small space, with a low time commitment and is a great entry point for beginner seed savers and backyard (or balcony) gardeners.
This year the Citizen Seed Trial is focusing on looseleaf lettuce – with 4 varieties to trial and track. Folks will be walked through planting, care, observations and data collection via emails and social media. Later in the season we’ll be sharing seed saving information so you can take your lettuce from seed-to-seed. This is a great way to learn more about seed growing, indulge your inner scientist and be a part of the growing BC seed community!
This project is a complement to the BC Seed Trials, a collaboration between FFCF and the University of British Columbia, that is working with farmers to identify the best performing varieties of important vegetable and seed crops.
What are Seed Trials?
Seed Trials or Variety Trials are a tool to help farmers make informed decisions about what varieties to grow. This is especially important when introducing new crops to their farms.
Seed Trials involve growing out multiple varieties of a single crop, side by side, in an effort to compare their characteristics and see which ones perform best in local conditions. Farmers can grow 10 to 15 varieties (or more!) in a single trial.
Observation is the key to trial success: Which variety has the most seedlings germinate? What performs best under that season’s conditions (hot and dry, cold and wet, snow!)? Which tastes the best?
How the Citizen Seed Trial works
We are promoting the program and distributing trial packages at select Seedy Saturday events across the province. We had a limited number of packages to mail directly to interested participants. We are out of seed packs now, but don’t despair you can still get one at these events:
- Richmond Seedy Saturday, March 4
- Nanaimo Seedy Sunday, March 5
- Salmon Friendly Gardens, Langley, March 11
- North Vancouver Seedy Saturday, March 18
- Kamloops Seedy Saturday, March 18
- Duncan Seedy Sunday, March 19
Once you receive your package at a Seedy event we will add you to the Citizen Seed Trial email instructions list. That way we can keep you updated on the trial process throughout the season.
If you don’t get a seed package, don’t despair! You can do your own trial with any 4 varieties of lettuce seed… easy-to-do at any Seedy Saturday event or your local garden store.
Sign up to the email list below and we’ll coach you through the trial and get you growing from seed-to-seed this season. Still not convinced? Read more here.
Sign up – join the seed evolution
We’ll supply the info, you supply the garden space and observation skills. Wow your friends with your deep lettuce knowledge and abundant supply. Added bonus: we’ll coach you through the process of growing your choice lettuce from seed-to-seed.
Now that you’ve signed up read about this year’s varieties (featuring 2 BC-grown selections) and find out all of the details here. And don’t forget to tell us how things are going on social media with the tag #CitizenSeed
P.S. If you picked up a package at a Seedy event and did not add your name to the mail list, please sign up above.