Producing Carrot Seed in Isolation Structures

Project Lead: Chris Thoreau, FarmFolk CityFolk; Masters Student, Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Impact: Carrots are one of the more complex seed crops to produce. First, the crop is a biennial that requires two years to grow out and specific overwintering storage requirements. Secondly, domesticated carrot will readily cross with Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota var. carota), a progressively common weed in British Columbia. Complete isolation between the wild and domesticated varieties is necessary to produce true-to-type seed. Isolation structures also allows farmers to produce different varieties of carrot seed in close proximity.

The long-term objectives of this project are to:

1) Increase the viability of growing organic and ecologically-grown carrot seed in high-tunnel isolation structures. This approach is meant to eliminate cross-pollination with Queen Anne’s Lace.

2) In addition to addressing the reality of cross-pollination with Queen Anne’s Lace in British Columbia, the outcomes generated by this research will also point to best practices in increasing the yield of regionally-adapted seed through the potential of growing out multiple carrot varieties without cross pollinating.

This research complements the work of the BC Eco Seed Co-op, the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, and the UBC Farm Seed Hub to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of ecologically-grown vegetable seed in Canada.
More Project Information on the BC Seed Trials Website.

Partners: Dr. Martin, Entz, University of Manitoba; Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, Jen Cody and Craig Evans, Growing Opportunities Farm Community Co-op, Nanaimo, BC; Kristjan Johansson, Sharing Farm, Richmond, BC.