Farmer participatory breeding works best when we start with a diverse population of tubers created by crossing distant parents. In our program, this process is overseen by Dr. Duane Falk in Ontario. Duane is a plant breeder, recently retired from the University of Guelph. He conducts his work on his research farm in southern Ontario.

Click here to read the full manual


Farmer-breeders in the Prairie Provinces have been selecting populations of wheat, since 2011. In the summer of 2014, wheat populations selected by farmers in the prairie were evaluated at the University of Manitoba's Carman Research Farm to determine their agronomic and quality characteristics, alongside some traditionally bred "check varieties." The results are in! In short… "The results of this study indicate that farmer selected populations are better adapted to organic crop production than conventionally selected varieties."

Click here to read the full report.

Partners in Organic Innovation

Partners in Organic Innovation: A Conversation with Jane Rabinowicz & Helen Jensen. This article (July 2015), from the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Dalhousie University providesa great overview of the Partcipatory Plant Breeding Program in Canada. It includes good information on the program's rationale, partners, and progress to date. Please note the article is available in English only.

On-farm Wheat and Oat Breeding: Tips for making selections

On-farm Wheat and Oat Breeding: Tips for making selections. The purpose of making selections is to retain plants with desirable characteristics while removing those exhibiting negative characteristics. The plants that you select to harvest seed from will produce the next generation of your population. This document gives an overview of how plant breeders make selections and provides tips for making selections on your farm.

Our 4-page "Primer"

Our 4-page "Primer" on the Participatory Plant Breeding Project provides a great introduction to the rationale for this project.


Growers in British Columbia are working to increase the viability of growing local organic and ecological carrot seed using high tunnel isolation structures. They hope to address the challenges posed by Queen Anne's Lace cross-pollination, as well as define a set of best practices for increasing the yield of regionally adapted seed through the potential of growing out multiple carrot varieties without crossing. Included in this report is an overview of the carrot physiology as well as a concise outline of growing carrots for seed. Anecdotes from the growing season are woven throughout the report to offer further detail. Data was collected from the four participating farms and analyzed to provide documentation and insight as this project steps into its second year.

Click here to read the report.


A researcher at Cornell University has recently completed a study on "sensory quality" of local sourdough varieties, grown in the northeast. The bake and taste tests reveal some interesting results, and provide a unique model for this work because it was carried out with a group of 7 artisanal bakers who developed the methods collaboratively - a participatory process. Lisa Kissing Kucek was a presenter at the 2014 Seed Connections conference in Quebec.

Click here to read the report. Click here to check out the website. Click here to watch Lisa's ECOSGN presentation.