Citizen Seed Trial

Registration for our 2024 Citizen Seed Trial is now open! Scroll down to register and learn about this years trial. Registration will be open until March 1st.

 

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 Google Forms and 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 2024

We’re excited to announce a refreshing change for our 2024 Citizen Seed Trial! This year, we’re introducing a couple of breeding projects alongside beginner-friendly early-season crops tailored for small spaces and schools. Join us in exploring the world of plant breeding and enjoy learning in your own garden, no matter the size of your space or level of experience!

Lettuce

Participants who join the lettuce trial will receive two lettuce varieties: a green variety and a red variety. These varieties were grown side by side at Fraser Common Farms last season to promote crossbreeding. The objective of this trial is to detect potential crossing, such as observing green traits in the red lettuce population or vice versa. If participants notice any crossing, we encourage them to save the seeds from visibly crossed plants and mail them back to us.

Cilantro

This trial follows the standard variety trial format, observing the Calypso and Santo cilantro varieties. Both of these varieties have shown promising characteristics in recent trials, demonstrating excellent productivity and resistance to bolting. However, they haven’t been directly compared until now. The goal of this trial is to pinpoint key differences between the Calypso and Santo cilantro varieties. Your involvement will contribute valuable insights to our understanding of these two cilantro varieties. Seed saving is optional for this trial.

Kale

Participate in our collective seed breeding initiative! Participants will receive Craig’s Psychedelic kale. The goal of this project will be to send us seeds of your most vibrant and psychedelic kale plants. Be aware, this is a plant breeding project, Craig’s psychedelic kale variety is still very diverse, and you may not get any psychedelic kale plants.

Register for the 2024 Citizen Seed Trial
Join our Citizen Seed Trial Facebook Group

Stay in the Loop

Find past emails and resources below from 2023.

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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A quick update on the Citizen Seed Trial

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