Citizen Seed Trial

Our Citizen Seed Trial (CST) is a public, science program that engages gardeners and passionate growers in the process of seed saving and breeding. Every spring since 2016, we carefully select, prepare, and deliver hundreds of packages containing varieties of vegetable seeds to people across BC.

Each year we choose different varieties to trial based on particular characteristics that our team has identified as being valuable for BC growers while ensuring varieties are suitable and engaging for home gardeners.

CST participants can request certain breeds during the sign-up process and are encouraged to provide feedback that can be analyzed by our team for continued research and development.

We collect data through SeedLinked. Seedlinked is an online platform that allows our team to track and analyze data from CST participants. Home gardeners and growers enter information about their seeds’ performance with guidance from us. The data is gathered and shared back with all participants and the wider plant breeding community through Seedlinked.

Whether it is on a balcony or in the garden, CST provides the public with an opportunity to not only engage with seed breeders but if they chose, to actively save and participate in local seed development. We offer detailed growing guidance, seed resources, and trial updates through our CST Facebook Group and regular newsletters, to encourage home gardeners in the quest to grow their plants. As a citizen science program, we expect real results from real people. We hope participants cultivate their passion for home gardening and help grow BC’s seed development community.

Tomatoes growing in a greenhouse.

Citizen Seed Trial 2023

Our 2023 trial will be looking at early season crops including radish, peas, and salad turnip. The goals of this year’s trial will be to have a delicious early season harvest, compare two or more varieties, and to try your hand at seed saving. Registration for the 2023 trial is now closed.


We will be looking at a wide selection of radish. This years trial will compare a basic red radish from BC Eco Seed Co-op called Raxe, a round Purple Plum radish from Hawthorne, and a cylindrical radish from our Research and Education Farm called Ostergruss.


This year we will trial three different varieties of snap peas all from BC Eco Seed Co-op. We will be looking at Cascadia SnapBanana Nano, and Amish Snap Pea.

Salad turnips

We will be comparing the hybrid variety Hakurei to two open pollinated varieties one called Snow in Tokyo and the other White Egg. These are not your average turnips, they have delicious greens, and the white spherical roots are great fresh in a salad or cooked.

Join our Citizen Seed Trial Facebook Group

Stay in the Loop

Find past emails and resources below

Print out these sheets to evaluate your crops on paper.

Printable Data Sheets pdf

Find information on setting up a variety trial, instructions for starting each crop, and see a picture of a seed packers.

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Find instructions on growing the crops, and getting your classroom involved with the Citizen Seed Trial.

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Find information on setting up the Citizen Seed Trial. Join us in our first “Meet and Greet”.

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Watch our Citizen Seed Trial Meet & Greet on Youtube.

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A reminder to evaluate your crops on SeedLinked, be sure to add your sowing date, transplant date, germination, and vigour evaluations. Find rubrics for the Citizen Seed Trial. Learn about the upcoming webinar on “Tender, Tasty Turnips: Growing Japanese turnips on the West Coast”.

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Learn about the upcoming webinar on “Tender, Tasty Turnips: Growing Japanese turnips on the West Coast” presented by Heather from Umi Nami Farms.

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In this email find various recipes and tips and tricks for growing Japanese turnips shared by Heather from Umi Nami Farms. Also, check out the recording of Tender, Tasty Turnips: Growing Japanese Turnips on the West Coast on Youtube, here.

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Learn about the upcoming webinar on “Cultivating Curioustiy & Cultures of Care: Breeding Turnips and Beyond” present by Petra from Fruition Seeds.

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