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 SecurityUBC Farm, and FarmFolk CityFolk. Through conducting vegetable variety trials on farms throughout the province we hope, with input from local farmers, to identify varieties which perform best in each region as well as those varieties which can be scaled up for bulk seed production.

The goal of the BC Seed Trials is to contribute to resilient agri-food systems in British Columbia through participatory research which engages farmers in producing knowledge relevant to seed systems development.

Over the next three years and beyond this project will conduct extensive participatory vegetable variety trials with BC farmers, using working farms as research sites. In 2017 the BC Seed Trials involves 24 farms throughout BC in this research.

UBC Farm is the primary research site where all the trials are planted out in triplicates and undergo extensive quantitative and qualitative evaluations. Dr. Alex Lyon is the lead researcher for the BC Seed Trials, drawing on her extensive experience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison working with the National Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative project. The crops at UBC are maintained by Mel Sylvestre, UBC Farm Seed Hub Coordinator
Join Alex and Mel, along with FarmFolk CityFolk Seed Security Program Manager Chris Thoreau, for an in-depth look at the BC Seed Trials. We will take a look at leeks in the field and do a quick evaluation – looking at the 33 varieties of OP leeks in the trials! Alex will talk about the trial designs, data collection, and ; Mel will talk about variety selection, crop management and. Chris will discuss photo documentation, farmer engagement and outreach for the Trials.

Tentative Program:

  • Set up (Chris, Shauna, Mel?)
    • Tents at BC Seed Trials site if needed for rainy day
    • Qualitative evaluation forms (optional – could just do verbal/discussion evaluations )
  • Meet at UBC Farm entrance
  • Quick intro to UBC Farm (Hannah?)
  • Be good to have someone present to direct late comers or set up A-board with directions and phone contact
  • Start tour of UBC Farm with focus on seed production (Hannah?)
    • If there is much to see, really! Visit seed processing greenhouse with 2017 seed crops on display?
      • Mel could talk seed processing here


  • Arrive at BC Seed Trials site
  • Chris: quick intro to BC Seed Trials and Alex
  • Alex talk on research, data collection, etc.
    • Alex, you could join late if that helps with Leo and just meet us at Seed Trials field?
  • Intro to Mel Sylvestre
  • Mel talk on crop management, variety selection, etc.
  • Intro to Chris Thoreau
  • Chris talk on farmer engagement, outreach, and photo documentation
  • Group walk through the leeks and qualitative evaluation
  • Wrap-up questions and prepare for KPU departure

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