Better Barley, Better Benefits

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Organic barley markets are on the rise as producers shift from producing barley for feed to producing for human consumption. So, what’s the pay off? And how does breeding play a part? As one producer put it “If you can make a living and feed your family while ‘doing the right thing,’ why wouldn’t you?”

To read the entire article, featuring an interview with David Hobson, Regional Coordinator for the prairies, click here

Open Source Seed: What's all the fuss about?

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By now you've perhaps heard of the new Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) coming from the US. Since they released 29 varieties of open source seed in April of this year, they've received much attention - both positive and critical. And for good reason - the OSSI is taking the kind of initiative that inspires serious discussion about seed: its nature, who owns it, and what systems we build around it. One of the OSSI's principal architects, Irwin Goldman, joined the Bauta Family Initiative team at a recent meeting in Saskatoon, where we discussed seed research and policy, and implications of recent trends on our work in Canada. Read this article by Grist, and join the conversation!

DIY Plant Breeding

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With a nod to the well established agricultural "Do it yourself" movement, the Manitoba Cooperator recently posed the question "But what (do you do) if you need a tailor-made potato, oat or wheat variety that fits your farm's soil, weather patterns, geographical location and production system?" The answer came, in part, in the form of the University of Manitoba's participatory plant breeding program, sponsored by The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.  Click here to read their terrific article on our innovative farmer - researcher collaborations.

Seed as Poetry

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"Le Semeur" or "The Sower" is a new film, directed by Julie Perron, featuring an in-depth profile of Patrice Fortier, founder of "La Société des Plantes" in Quebec. The film expresses the inherent poetic appeal of seed saving for Patrice and invites us to experience seed saving as a practice that extends far beyond preserving genes... to preserving and celebrating history! In particular, Patrice is interested in the qualities that people historically selected their vegetables for, such as flavour and beauty. He is interested in recreating this process to develop the "heritage varieties of the future". 

Read the French review here and watch the film's trailer here. The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security ispleased to have provided La Société des Plantes with funding for a seed intern. Check out her French language blog, Semences Libres.

Timeless Tuber

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"Potatoes are an ancient, diverse, and fascinating crop..." so begins this article in the latest Seeds of Diversity Magazine, by  Helen Jensen, Regional Program Coordinator for Quebec. This  terrific article explores the potato's history and biology in an  effort to reconcile diverse and increasingly important agro- ecological growing models, with the demands of the modern  markets. Read the article here.

If you're not already a member of Seeds of Diversity Canada, click here for membership info. Members get the full magazine 4 times a year!