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Through CANOVI we are supporting a collaborative network of farmers and researchers to:

  • Trial and evaluate vegetable varieties on-farm for flavour, seed production potential, and adaptation to agro-ecological practices.
  • Generate and share varietal data with farmers and seed producers.

  • Collect and analyze data to assess crop performance in organic systems.
  • Create new lines of priority crops through Participatory Plant Breeding
  • Build farmer capacity for on-farm trialing and breeding. 

If you are a farmer using agro-ecological methods, and you’re interested in learning about variety trialing and plant breeding, CANOVI might be for you. CANOVI farmers grow, select, adapt, and evaluate varieties and breeding lines of important vegetable crops in Canada. If you’re interested, please contact your Regional Coordinator today!

CANOVI results




Variety trials are commonly used in the seed and plant breeding industry, though few programs address the needs of agro-ecological farmers and seed producers, which has led to a scarcity of information about crop performance in those settings. Our variety trialing program has generated important data about carrots, radicchio, rutabaga, squash, and red bell peppers. Our current trials focus on heat tolerant lettuces, and orange and specialty carrots.

-- Join the CANOVI Facebook Group!
-- Contact your Regional Coordinator if you have questions.
-- For a full list of resources regarding CANOVI, click here.


Participatory Plant Breeding for Vegetable Crops

Open-pollinated (OP) varieties have been the foundation of farm-based seed saving for many generations. Developing organic OP varieties means working with seeds which can be selected, saved, and shared by farmers, keeping valuable biodiversity in their hands. Using PPB, OPs can be continually adapted to the environment, making them an asset for farm resilience in the face of climate change. We hope this work contributes to a wider array of high-quality seed options for agro-ecological growers.
Our current breeding work is focused on developing OP lines of specialty and orange, Nantes-type carrots for domestic seed production. If you are a farmer interested in participating in this work, please contact your Regional Coordinatorr for your area to inquire.

Thank you to our funding partners:

This research is part of Organic Science Cluster 3, led by the Organic Federation of Canada in collaboration with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University, supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Agricultural Partnership-AgriScience Program.