Seed to Food Update: Culls and Trials

Posted on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 under Stories Featured

Our Seed to Food program continues strong into 2021. Earlier in the season we donated a mixture of potatoes and in June, a second harvest that included two arugula varieties, as well as culls of our Tokyo Turnip and Ostergruss radish selection. Both donations were delivered to the Food Stash Foundation and totalled 30 kg of produce. The Food Stash Foundation aims to reduce the environmental impact of food waste and bridge the food insecurity gap within the community.

Many of the crops grown at our Research and Education Seed Farm are part of vegetable variety trials, such as our Citizen Seed Trials and the Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement project. The goal of these trials is to determine the best performing varieties of a given crop under certain growing conditions, rather than saving seed from them.

red carrots from a farm

In biennial root seed production, crops like turnips and radishes, need to be grown to a marketable size in the first year and the best roots are selected for replanting. This process leaves perfectly edible culls, most often similar to what is found at your local farmer’s market; perfect for donation. We went through and selected 150 of the best roots of both the Ostergruss radishes and Tokyo Turnips, then collected the rest to deliver to the Food Stash Foundation.

These crops are perfectly fine to eat and make up a large portion of the donated food from our Seed Farm. We are happy that, through our collaboration with the Food Stash Foundation, these farm-fresh crops are able to improve food security and health within our community.