Farmer Field Science Day: Carrot Breeding

Carrot Breeding for Resilience in Organic and Ecological Systems –A Farmer Field Day at UBC Farm

Calling all BC carrot growers: Shape the future for creating a new BC carrot variety, see the latest carrot trials at UBC Farm, evaluate your future crop choices, and advise us on our direction with future plant breeding projects!

Tuesday, October 16 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | FREE with Registration | UBC Farm 3461 Ross Drive

Join us for a day of community science as we evaluate organic carrot variety trials and begin an exciting new participatory plant breeding project. Building on 3 years of the BC Seed Trials Project, this fall UBC will begin a new collaboration with Organic Seed Alliance and the Bauta Initiative on Canadian Seed Security to develop improved carrot varieties for organic and ecological production in BC.

At this kickoff event, Alex Lyon, a researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, will guide field day attendees in a group evaluation of carrot variety trials in the field with the goal of selecting outstanding parent lines for plant breeding. Local farmer co-facilitators with in-depth experience in organic carrot production will lead this evaluation with Dr. Lyon and be on hand to answer your carrot questions. Get your hands dirty and engage your taste buds as we judge carrots on shape, colour, quality, leaves, and flavour!

Attendees will also learn about opportunities to engage with this project in the future, and contribute to a discussion of regional priorities for carrot improvement which will shape the future of this project. This field day is intended for farmers with some experience in carrot production, particularly in organic and ecological systems. It is being offered free of cost and lunch will be provided.

This event is free with registration. Click here to register your spot!

Tentative Schedule:

10:00am                               Meet at UBC Farm gate, walk to carrot breeding plots

10:15am                               Welcome and intro, group introductions

10:30am – 11:45am         Group evaluation and scoring of organic carrot breeding lines in the field

12:00pm                               Lunch

12:45                                     Carrot tasting and flavour evaluation

1:15pm                                 Discussion of carrot seed production including in isolation cages

1:30 – 2:30pm                    Community discussion of carrot breeding priorities

3:00pm                                 END


About your host: 

Alex Lyon is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm. Her research focuses on crop improvement for organic and ecological farming, community seed systems, and the role of seed and plant breeding in socially and environmentally sustainable agri-food systems. For the past three years she has served as the lead scientist for the BC Seed Trials, working with the UBC Farm and farmers across BC to identify crop varieties that are well-adapted to a range of local environments and cultivation practices, with the longer-term objective of supporting local seed production and participatory plant breeding.


This event is made possible in part through funding from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, and the Government of Canada.