Producing Carrot Seed in Isolation Structures

Producing Carrot Seed in Isolation Structures

Project Lead

Chris Thoreau, MSc. Candidate, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems, Faculty of Land and Food Systems; Program Coordinator, Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security at FarmFolkCityFolk


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.


Bauta Initiative


About the Project

A mostly unknown fact is that carrots are one of the more complex seed crops to produce. First, the crop is a biennial, meaning it requires two years to grow out and has 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 allow 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.

External Links and Publications

More Project Information on the BC Seed Trials Website.


Banner Photo credit: BC Seed Trials, Chris Thoreau