Research

Common Wealth Seed Growers believes that the organic farmer benefits the most when able to utilize open-pollinated, regionally adapted seedstocks. We are committed to continuing our trialing and breeding work to bring you more varieties that exhibit the best pest and disease resistance for pressures in our region. Variety trialing and breeding work informs our production of quality, regionally adapted seed that market growers can depend on.

Common Wealth Seed Growers received a SARE grant for winter squash research, selection and breeding work in 2016. More information and data coming soon. The final report will be posted in March.

Here is a slide show about the project that Edmund Frost presented at the Virginia Association for Biological Farming 2017 conference: VABF Squash Tasting 1

CWSG did not receive any grant funding in 2015, so there was only one unfunded gourd trial due to lack of financing. We have discontinued a few varieties and added new ones in as a result of the 2015 gourd trial. See more results here:2015 Gourd Trial

Twin Oaks Seed Farm received a $10,000 SARE producer grant for the 2014 growing season to identify downy mildew cucumber, melon and winter squash varieties. The primary goals were to evaluate resistance to Cucurbit Downy Mildew, and to identify resistant seedstocks. Eating quality and productivity were also evaluated. Downy Mildew has been the number one limiting factor in cucurbit production at Twin Oaks Seed Farm, affecting seed crops as well as market crops of cucumber, squash, melon, gourd and watermelon. Twin Oaks Seed Farm wanted to find varieties that will do better, and to share the results. Some of the varieties identified will be useful as is, and some will be useful in future breeding projects.

Final SARE report: Identifying and Marketing Quality Open-Pollenated and Organic Cucurbit Seedstocks for Virginia  Please note: you will need to disable your pop-up blocker to be able to read the data sheets on SARE’s website.

Trials Summary can be read here: 2014 Variety Trials at Twin Oaks Seed Farm115(1)

Trial result presentation can be seen here: 128 2014 SARE trials power point

Cucumber Trial Data In-Depth

Cucumber Trial Data Summary

Melon Trial Data

Winter Squash Trial Data

Living Energy Farm conducted two observation trials in 2014 funded by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Sow True. In our tomato trial, LEF grew 20 varieties described as disease resistant and measured the yield, marketable yield, and resistance to foliar disease (mainly early blight and Septoria leaf spot). Stand out varieties for disease resistance were Homestead 24, Marglobe VF, Ozark Pink, and Tropic VFN. Stand out varieties for production of quality (marketable) fruits were Quadro, Homestead 24, Ozark Pink, and Defiant.

In the sweet corn trial,  20 varieties of open pollinated and hybrid sweet corn, both normal sugar types and sugar enhanced, were observed. The best performers for yield were Kandy Korn (hybrid). Buhl (OP), Golden Bantam 8-row (OP), Silver Queen (hybrid), and Top Hat (OP). Standout varieties for ear quality and tenderness were Kandy Korn, Silver Queen, Top Hat, Texas Honey June (OP). Top Hat is an exciting new sugar enhanced open pollinated variety bred by Jonathan Spero in Oregon. LEF would like to grow it and offer seed through CWSG in the coming years.

Tomato Trial Data

CornTrialData