It’s time to sign up for 2022 Collaborative Trials on SeedLinked. We invite you to be part of our mission to make the seed system more collaborative and transparent by signing up to be part of trials on SeedLinked in 2022! Participating in trials is a great way to:

  1. Grow new and exciting varieties before they are released commercially
  2. To help provide vital feedback on how the varieties perform on the SeedLinked platform
  3. Participate in an open discussion on the trial community feed
  4. Get instant access to trial results when you submit your feedback
Reviewing collaborative trials on the SeedLinked App
An example of reviewing collaborative trials on the SeedLinked App. Left to right: ‘Track’ tab with trials, reviewing traits for a trial, and the feed for a trial. Images from iPhone App.

What am I committing to when I sign up to be part of a trial? The trial manager will send you seeds and will ask you to grow out each variety and submit your reviews, comments, and photos on each variety on the SeedLinked website and/or app during the growing season. The manager for each trial will communicate more specific details about participating in each individual trial.

Check out what trials are available below. Note that this page will be updated frequently with new trials, so check back often.


2022 Albert Lea Seed Annual Clover Winter Hardiness Trial

This cover crop trial, put on by Albert Lea Seed, is focused on testing the germination, vigor, and winter hardiness of four varieties of clover: generic ‘Variety Not Stated’ (VNS) versions of crimson and berseem clover, ‘Fixation’ balansa clover, and ‘Frosty’ berseem clover. Seed will be shipped in July, and participants are asked to plant a 4′ x 6′ plot of each clover two months before their average first freeze date (see the ‘Historical Date of First Freeze’ map). Winter killed clovers (which these varieties usually are) can be a great way to prep a plot for next year’s spring or summer crops, but some of these varieties might survive and you will be asked to collect data into spring 2023, so keep that in mind when choosing a location for this trial. Learn more and sign up for this trial below.


2022 Clean Crop Tech Chemical-Free Seed Treatment Spinach Trial – Registration Closed

Join this trial at the cutting edge of chemical-free seed treatments. Clean Crop Tech is working on seed treatment options to improve germination rates and time, vigor, and resilience to plant stress. We invite you to be a part of testing the next generation of sustainable seed treatment!* This trial will include one check variety (Space (F1) Spinach) and three variations of CCT’s treatment process on the same variety. Germination may differ by just a couple days – but even that makes a difference for baby green production – so keep a close eye on this quick trial! Seed will be shipped late April, with a target planting date of mid-late May (not before, since bolting tolerance is one of the traits of interest).

*Please note: CleanCropTech’s treatment is not organically certified! However, it does not use any radiation or harmful chemicals. The treatment is an electrical process, chemical-free, and leaves no residues, functioning by special scarification of the surface of the seed. Increasing surface area helps seeds absorb water and thus germinate more quickly and be more resilient to stress. If you are a certified organic grower please check with your certifier or plant the trial in an area outside of your certified growing zones. Although we are hopeful this will eventually be an innovative seed treatment option available to organic growers (this trial is part of the final stages of R&D), the process has not been reviewed by OMRI, and SeedLinked and CCT are not responsible for any issues with organic certification.


2022 Seed to Kitchen Collaborative Trials Sign Up – Registration Closed

Seed to Kitchen Collaborative will send each grower seeds, planting stakes, a planting map, and datasheets. They will be sent by the end of February. Growers manage the trial as they would manage their normal crop. Trials are limited to growers in the Midwest. Learn more about the trials on the SKC trials website.

Seed to Kitchen Collaborative (SKC) trials this year include four different tomato breeding trials, a pepper breeding trial and potato trials with breeding lines from the University of Wisconsin program.

SKC Variety Trials:

SKC Breeding Trials:


2022 Midwest Broccoli Trial Sign Up Registration Closed

Are you a farmer or gardener located in the upper midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, and South Dakota)? Do you like growing broccoli? Are you interested in being part of research to identify varieties that are more resistant to black rot and Alternaria? If you answered yes to all those questions, sign up to be part of our 2022 trials! Trials are a collaboration of SeedLinked and the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association with funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant.


2022 SeedLinked Slicer Tomato Trial – Registration Closed

Do you love tomatoes? Join us for this collaborative trial!
From mouth-watering BLTs to a picturesque case of blemish-free tomatoes, sometimes slicers and beefsteaks are just what you need. This trial features 12 new slicer/beefsteak tomato varieties from some of the industry’s most innovative breeders. Participating breeders include: Artisan Seeds, Earthworks Seed, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, PanAmerican Seeds, Vitalis Organic Seeds, Siskiyou Seeds, and Wild Mountain Seeds. If you join the trial, you’ll receive a subset of 3 varieties to compare, and 10 seeds of each variety. Seeds will be shipped out the first week of March 2022. You’ll be asked to plant at least 3 plants per variety in the same setting. The plant breeders have a special interest in comparing open field/garden and hoop house/caterpillar tunnel environments. Be sure to fill out the management info at the end of the trial season! Open to USA growers only.


2022 Seed Savers Exchange ADAPT Trials Sign Up – Registration Closed

The Community Science ADAPT program is a fun and exciting way to get involved in Seed Savers Exchange’s (SSE) mission of preserving and sharing our food crop heritage. Participants in this program trial varieties from the SSE seed bank and send them feedback on their performance. This information helps SSE better understand the adaptability of these varieties to different environments and guides their selection process for new introductions into their seed catalog.

In early January each year, SSE releases details on the collaborative trials they’re offering for the upcoming season. Participants select the crop(s) they want to trial and are then randomly assigned three varieties. In the first week of March, SSE will send you your seeds, plant labels, a datasheet, and instructions for submitting your data. They ask that you grow the three varieties side-by-side under the same conditions. They do not require a minimum number of plants. You will be evaluating each variety on a handful of key characteristics, including yield, flavor, earliness, appearance, and disease resistance. Learn more on the SSE ADAPT Website.

Updated 6/7/2022

Natalie Hoidal, Charlie Rohwer, Nicolas Enjalbert, 80+ farmers and gardeners
Report reprinted with permission from authors. Link to original report here.
7 minute read

We conducted a replicated broccoli trial at the Southern Research and Outdoor Center (SROC) in Waseca, Minnesota, where we inoculated plots with black rot (Xanthamonascampestris pv. campestris). We also partnered with 80 farmers and gardeners to conduct mini-trials at their farms (Figure 1). Our goal was to screen for varieties of broccoli with tolerance to the pathogens black rot (Xcc) and Alternaria (Alternaria brassicicola). This report outlines preliminary results from the trials. Due to the hot, dry summer in the Midwest, disease pressure was minimal, particularly in the early planting.

Midwest Broccoli Trial - Location of farmer and gardener trials
Figure 1: Locations of farmer and gardener trials.

This trial was completed in collaboration with SeedLinked platform and the Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association with funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.


2022 Midwest Broccoli Trial Sign Up Registration Closed

Before we dive into the 2021 trial results, we want to invite farmers and gardeners located in the upper midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, and South Dakota), who like growing broccoli and are interested in being part of our continued research to identify varieties that are more resistant to black rot and Alternaria to sign up to be part of our 2022 Midwest Broccoli trials on SeedLinked. Learn more and sign up at the links below.


2021 Broccoli Varieties Trialed

Broccoli VarietyBreeder Early Trial – June 1 Planting Late Trial – July 1 Planting Notes
AsteroidH.M. ClauseX X
AvengerSakata X
BatorySyngenta X
BelstarBejo X
CovinaBejo XSprouting Broccoli
DeCiccoLandrace X
DiplomatSakata X
Eastern MagicSakata X
ExpoSakata X
FiestaBejo X
Green LadyPureline X X
Green MagicSakata X X
GypsySakata X
ImperialSakata X
JacarandaPureline XPurple Cauliflower Cross
LieutenantSeminis X
LunaH.M. Clause X X
MontyISI Sementi X X
P13CMS x P1ACornell X XCrossed with Kale, Experimental Variety
ParaisoAmerican Takii X X
SequoiaPureline X X
SEXP1Sakata XExperimental Variety
SEXP2Sakata XExperimental Variety
Waltham 29Landrace XSprouting Broccoli
WolfmanHazera X

Early Trial: June 1 Planting

Earliness: There was significant variability in earliness and harvest duration in the SROC trial (Figure 2). The earliest varieties were Asteroid, Green Lady, Gypsy, Luna, Monty, and P13CMSxP1A. Avenger, Batory, Jacaranda, and SEXP1 were notably later. Some varieties ripened very evenly, with all plants producing heads within a short period of time (e.g., Asteroid, Gypsy), whereas others were less even, with harvests spread out over weeks (e.g., Paraiso, Green Magic).

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Harvest Graph
Figure 2: The red line represents the average harvest curve, with harvest starting around 45 days, 50% harvest at
54 days, and harvest nearly complete by 65 days. The black lines represent harvest time for each variety.

In the on-farm trials, Green Magic, SEXP1, Monty, Luna, and Green Lady were all above average for earliness, whereas P13CMSxP1A, Paraiso, Covina, and Avenger were all later than average (Figure 3).

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Earliness Ratings
Figure 3. On-farm ratings for earliness in the June 1 trial. The gray horizontal line represents the average, and the gray bar around it represents a 95% confidence interval; everything above the bar is significantly earlier than average, and anything below it is significantly later. The width of each bar represents the number of growers who measured each variety; a wider bar indicates more data, and thus a more reliable ranking.

Yield: Yield was measured in multiple ways, including % of plants with marketable heads (Figure 4), head weight (listed in Table 1 below), and head weight * % marketable heads. In the early trial at SROC, all varieties except Sequoia produced nearly 100% marketable heads.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Percent Marketable Heads
Figure 4. Percent of plants with marketable heads at SROC.

Sequoia, the variety that produced the lowest percentage of marketable heads, also produced the largest heads. While a larger head size results in more marketable pounds per acre, some growers may wish to grow smaller heads based on their customer needs. Figure 5 maps percent marketability with average head size.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Average Head Weight/Percent Marketable Heads
Figure 5. Varieties mapped by average head weight and marketability, based on data collected from the early planted SROC trial. Standard error is not included on the graph to improve readability.

DeCicco is not listed on these graphs since it is a sprouting broccoli, and thus the head measurements did not apply. The average DeCicco plant produced an average of 2.76 heads, which were 49.64 grams each, for an average total weight of 133 grams harvestable shoots.

Finally, Figure 6 depicts grower rankings of yield. Rankings were submitted on a 1-5 scale.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Yield Ratings
Figure 6. On-farm ratings for yield in the June 1 trial.

Disease: Disease pressure was non-existent in the early planted trial at the SROC due to extreme heat and drought. Farmer participants reported significant differences in disease tolerance (Figure 7). These results should be considered with caution due to regional differences in precipitation, with many areas included in the trial experiencing extreme drought. Differences in disease pressure may have been more attributable to local weather conditions than variety performance. Since growers only received 3-6 varieties each, not all varieties were trialed in all locations.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Disease Resistance Ratings
Figure 7. On-farm ratings for disease resistance in the June 1 trial.

Additional Characteristics – Early Planting: The following characteristics were also measured in the SROC trial. Alternaria and Black Rot rankings are not listed because they were “0” for all varieties.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Average Rating by Variety
Table 2. Average rankings by variety from the SROC June 1 trial. Ranking key: Dome shape: 1 = flat, 5 = cone shaped. Bead uniformity: 1 = not uniform, 5 = very uniform. Bead size: 1 = small, 5 = very large. Brown bead: % of heads with brown bead, which was recorded as yes/no. Hollow stem: 0 = none, 1 = some, 2 = hollow stem diameter is at least ½ stem diameter. Lumpiness: 0 = smooth top, 1 = slightly lumpy, 2 = non-uniform head. Color: 1 = light, 5 = dark. Dark hues ranged from purple-tinted to very dark green.

On-Farm Broccoli Trial Results on SeedLinked – Early Planting: View basic charts, grower comments and images by variety. We highly recommend logging into your existing SeedLinked account or creating an account when viewing the results so that you have access to filtering by hardiness zone to zero in on varieties that performed well in your location. Additionally, we recommend checking out our blog ‘Digging into SeedLinked Trial Results‘ to learn about all the ways you can filter and view trial results.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - June 1 Planting - Overall Ratings
Figure 8. On-Farm Broccoli Trial Overall Results – Early Trial – June 1 Planting

Late Trial: July 1 Planting

Earliness: There was significant variability in earliness and harvest duration again in the later planted trial at SROC (Figure 9). Due to disease pressure and other issues, many varieties were not 100% harvested. The earliest varieties were Asteroid, Green Magic, Luna, and Monty. Expo, Fiesta, P13, and Paraiso were notably later. Some varieties ripened very evenly, with all plants producing heads within a short period of time (e.g., Asteroid, Green Magic, Imperial, Lieutenant, Luna), whereas a few were less even, with harvests spread out over weeks (e.g., P13). In general, the varieties in the later planting matured more evenly.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Earliness Graph by variety
Figure 9: Earliness curves for each variety in the July 1 planting at SROC.

On-farm earliness results were fairly similar (Figure 10). Asteroid and Lieutenant were notably later in the on-farm trials than at SROC. Sequoia was earlier in the on-farm trials. Packman is listed as the earliest variety; this variety was not formally part of the trial and thus was not reported from SROC, but growers were invited to submit reviews for additional varieties.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Earliness Ratings
Figure 10. On-farm ratings for earliness in the July 1 trial.

Yield: Yield was measured in multiple ways, including % of plants with marketable heads (Figure 11), head weight (listed in Table 4 below), and head weight * % marketable heads (Figure 12). In the later trial at SROC, most varieties performed significantly worse than in the early trial. The group of varieties with the best marketability included Asteroid, Green Magic, Imperial, Luna, Monty, and Wolfman. Figure 11 depicts a wide range of marketability. This is due to differences from plot to plot; each variety was replicated four times, with 9 plants per plot.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Percent marketable heads
Figure 11. Percent of plants with marketable heads at SROC.

Figure 12 depicts the average head weight multiplied by % marketable heads, to show the average marketable pounds of broccoli heads per plant. Overall, head size trended slightly larger in the later planted trial than in the early trial, and there was much more variation in marketability due to increased black rot, Alternaria, and brown bead.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Average weight/Average percent marketable heads
Figure 12. Varieties mapped by average head weight and marketability, based on data collected from the SROC trial.

Waltham 29 is not listed on these graphs since it is a sprouting broccoli, and thus the head measurements did not apply. The average Waltham 29 plant produced 3.09 heads, which were an average of 234.45 grams each, for an average total weight of 468.91 grams harvestable shoots.

Finally, Figure 13 depicts grower rankings of yield in the later trial. Varieties that performed better in the on-farm trials than the SROC trial include: SEXP2, Packman (not included in SROC trial), and Expo. Luna performed worse in the on-farm trials than the SROC trial.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Yield ratings
Figure 13. On-farm ratings for yield in the July 1 trial.

Disease: Disease pressure was significantly worse in the later planting. At SROC, Alternaria was more prevalent than black rot. Figure 14 shows overall disease rankings; Table 4 below includes individual rankings for each disease. In the SROC trial, only two varieties had no disease pressure in the heads: Asteroid and Imperial. Many of the varieties experienced a low rate of disease pressure around 10%. Expo and Paraiso had notably less tolerance, with around 60% diseased heads on average.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Percent plants with disease
Figure 14. Percent of plants with disease-infected broccoli heads at SROC.

Farmer participants also saw significant differences in disease tolerance. (Figure 15). In the grower trials, Asteroid only had average disease tolerance, and Imperial was just slightly above average. SEXP2 had the highest tolerance in the grower trial, which contrasts with the SROC results, where 20% of the heads experienced disease pressure. Luna, Diplomat, Monty, and Imperial had the most consistently high disease tolerance rankings across both
trials.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Disease resistance ratings
Figure 15. On-farm ratings for disease resistance in the July 1 trial.

Additional Characteristics – Late Planting: The following characteristics were also measured in the SROC trial.

RCBD Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Average rating by variety
Table 3. Average rankings by variety from the SROC July 1 trial. Ranking key: Dome shape: 1 = flat, 5 = cone-shaped. Bead uniformity: 1 = not uniform, 5 = very uniform. Bead size: 1 = small, 5 = very large. Brown bead: % of heads with brown bead, which was recorded as yes/no. Hollow stem: 0 = none, 1 = some, 2 = hollow stem diameter is at least ½ stem diameter. Lumpiness: 0 = smooth top, 1 = slightly lumpy, 2 = non-uniform head. Color: 1 = light, 5 = dark. Dark hues ranged from purple-tinted to very dark green.

On-Farm Broccoli Trial Results on SeedLinked – Late Planting: View basic charts, grower comments, and images by variety. We highly recommend logging into your existing SeedLinked account or creating an account when viewing the results so that you have access to filtering by hardiness zone to zero in on varieties that performed well in your location. Additionally, we recommend checking out our blog ‘Digging into SeedLinked Trial Results‘ to learn about all the ways you can filter and view trial results.

On-Farm Midwest Broccoli Trial - July 1 Planting - Overall Ratings
Figure 16. On-Farm Broccoli Trial Overall Results – Late Trial – July 1 Planting

If you’re interested in joining our 2022 Midwest Broccoli trials or being part of other trials on SeedLinked, check out our current available collaborative trial sign-up list here.

Covina Broccoli - Image
Trial Participant Image: Covina Broccoli

Published on 1/19/22

Collabrotive trial results are in! In 2021, we organized three trials for three different crops – indeterminate paste tomatoes, fresh market green bush beans, and jalapeño peppers. The goal of each trial was to grow well-known varieties side-by-side with newly released hybrid and open-pollinated varieties and freely share the results on our Seed Search and in this blog with growers, seed companies, and anyone else who is interested.

Salvaterra's Select Paste Tomatoes
Trial participant photos: Salvaterra Select paste tomatoes

Trial Methods

In January 2021, we canvased United States seed company offerings and selected varieties in each crop/market class that were standard open-pollinated and hybrid varieties. Additionally, we looked for newly bred and/or released open-pollinated and hybrid varieties to grow alongside them for comparison in these trials.

In February 2021, we invited farmers and gardeners across the United States to join our three trials via the SeedLinked platform by reaching out to those who have successfully been part of trials in the past as well as through an open link on our website. We had 92 growers join the indeterminate paste tomato trial, 113 growers join the fresh market green bush bean trial, and 73 growers join the jalapeño pepper trial. Each of these trials was a sub-set trial, where each participant was randomly assigned three varieties of a larger set to grow side-by-side and rate them. Also in this month, we mailed seeds and planting stakes to participants and made the trial active on the SeedLinked platform.

Collaborative Trial Participant Locations
2021 SeedLinked Collaborative Trial Participant Locations

During the 2021 growing season, trial participants were asked to grow the varieties provided to them. The participants logged in to SeedLinked on the web and/or mobile app and input the following data: planting, transplanting, first harvest, and last harvest dates, rate a variety of traits on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, provide general and trait-based written comments, and share photos of the varieties growing.

Trial Results

Once the trials were closed for entering data in December 2021, results were automatically calculated by the SeedLinked platform and shared with participants. You can view links to interactive trial results below. We highly recommend logging into your existing SeedLinked account or creating an account when viewing the results. This gives you the opportunity to filter results by hardiness zone to zero in on varieties that performed well in your location. Additionally, we recommend checking out our blog ‘Digging into SeedLinked Trial Results‘ to learn how to filter and view trial results.

2021 Indeterminate Paste Tomato Collaborative Trial Results

Varieties in this trial were: Amish Paste, Cipolla’s Pride, Emma’s Damn, Granadero, Marzito, Midnight Roma, Myona Paste, Plum Perfect, Pozzano, Salvaterra’s Select, and San Marzano. Trial participants rated the plants and fruit on the following traits on a scale of 1 to 5 throughout the growing season: Appearance, Disease Resistance, Earliness, Flavor, Germination, Vigor, Yield, and Overall. To view the interactive results on SeedLinked, click HERE.

Collaborative Trial Overall Results - Paste Tomatoes
2021 SeedLinked Indeterminate Paste Tomato Trial – Overall Results

2021 Fresh Market Green Bush Bean Collaborative Trial Results

Varieties in the trial were: Affirmed, Antigua, Celine, Crokett, Empress, Jade, Maxibel, Provider, and Provider Premium. Trial participants rated the plants and fruit on the following traits on a scale of 1 to 5 throughout the growing season: Appearance, Disease Resistance, Earliness, Flavor, Germination, Vigor, and Yield. To view the interactive trial results on SeedLinked, click HERE.

Collaborative Trial Overall Results - Green Beans
2021 SeedLinked Fresh Market Green Bush Beans Trial – Overall Results
Antigua beans and Provider Premium beans
Trial participant photo: (Left to Right) Antigua and Provider Premium fresh market bush beans

2021 Jalapeño Pepper Collaborative Trial Results

Varieties in the trial were: Black Magic, Early Jalapeño, El Jefe, Jalafuego, Jalapeño Travelers Strain, Jedi, Mild to Medium Jalapeño Grex, and Nadapeno. Trial participants rated the plants and fruit on the following traits on a scale of 1 to 5 throughout the growing season: Appearance, Canopy Closure, Disease Resistance, Earliness, Flavor, Germination, Spiciness, Vigor, and Yield. To view the interactive results on SeedLinked, click the HERE.

Collaborative Trial Overall Results - Jalapenos
2021 SeedLinked Jalapeño Pepper Trial – Overall Results
Nadapeno Jalapenos
Trial participant photo: Nadapeno Jalapeños

Appreciations

Thank you to all of the gardeners and farmers who participated in SeedLinked trials in 2021. With your help, we are creating more open-source data for how vegetable varieties perform across the United States. Additionally, we would like to thank all the seed companies that shared seeds with us for the trials. Thanks for being open to having your varieties tested by a wider audience of growers around the United States.

Published 12/30/21

Ever wish you had a little more support when choosing new varieties to grow in your garden or vegetable operation? How about more opportunities for connection and interaction with others during COVID? Our new Seed Collection Experience is just the ticket to finding connection and fun new seed options this year!  

What is a Seed Collection Experience?

The Seed Collection Experience was born from our desire to offer a themed growing experience with guidance and curation from experts while providing a way for growers to come together to trial and experience a crop in community and grow exciting new varieties. To make the experience more fun, we’ve teamed up with some amazing food systems changemakers who have chosen the varieties in each collection based on their wide-ranging experience and preference. Many of the varieties in the Seed Collections have a personal connection to our curators – some of them long-time favorites – or have particularly interesting traits that our curators really wanted to share with participants. As a part of each Collection Experience, our partner curators will be offering their expertise to participants through a few live check-ins throughout the growing season. They’ll also be interacting with participants through our platform during the growing season so anyone can ask questions and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way.

What is the the Seed Collection Experience?

For instance, Lane Selman of the Culinary Breeding Network put together two exciting Collection Experiences: an Italian Roasting (Corno di Toro) Pepper collection, and a Leaf or Cutting Celery collection. Both Collections have close ties to the Culinary Breeding Network’s early days. Corno di Toro peppers were the focus of one of the first variety trials Lane organized, and the varieties included in her collection also outshone the pack in her taste tests with professional chefs. On the other hand, the Cutting Celery collection began with Portland-area Thai chefs giving feedback that they couldn’t find a local source of the cutting celery so key to flavoring some of their dishes. By partnering with those chefs and an array of farmers, Lane identified some winning varieties that showcase the diversity of this underappreciated herb. And now she wants to share them with you!

The Culinary Breeding Network leads a pepper tasting.
The Culinary Breeding Network leading a pepper tasting.

When you purchase a seed collection, you aren’t just buying seed for your garden – you are getting a shared experience. Regardless of where you are in the country, or your personal level of growing expertise – this is a way to weave the story of your farm or garden into that of the bigger food and seed system. As a participant, you’ll join hundreds – possibly thousands – of others across the country in a learning experience that also gives back to the broader seed community by providing valuable performance data through your participation and variety reviews. Using your SeedLinked account you’ll track your progress from planting to harvest, rate the different varieties along the way, and share results as you go. 

SeedLinked’s platform is also launching a social feed for growers beginning in 2021, so participants can easily interact and communicate with each other, share updates, ask questions, chat with your curator, SeedLinked Team members, and other growers – and perhaps even brag about who was able to grow the biggest tomato along the way! All participants will also get to take part in three live garden check-ins hosted by your Collection’s curator throughout the growing season. While every Collection will be slightly different, you can expect to have a live check-in starting with planting tips and tricks for your Collection’s varieties, a midseason check-in to talk crop care, and a harvest time check-in to talk about culinary use and storage tips (and in the case of our Beginning Seed Saver collections, seed cleaning demos!).  

One thing that is different about our Seed Collection Experience is that seed won’t be shipped right away as you’d expect when ordering seed. Collection participants will receive their seeds in February, just in time to get early crops started indoors in time for most growing seasons in North America. 

So Why the Seed Collections Experience?

We can learn so much by all growing and sharing results on the same varieties. We get incredible insight into regional performance variation and grower preferences, which then gets shared back to the growers so they can make more informed decisions next season. That data also helps to inform the choices of seed companies, seeing what growers love and what they struggle with in various parts of the country. Take for instance the beginning seed saving collections curated by the Organic Seed Alliance. There is almost no public information about the results of seed growing in different regions of the country, to help small and medium seed companies understand where growers can successfully produce quality seed of different crops. While you might learn a new seed saving skill with this collection, a regional seed company may unlock a whole new region of potential seed producers.

The Seed Collections Experience is an opportunity to receive seed of some unique and exciting varieties, learn about our platform that allows you to collect, track and share growing results, and communicate with other growers and the curator throughout the process. Best of all, everyone is contributing to common goals, helping each other along the way and providing information for the whole seed system to make more informed decisions in the future. We are firm believers that a rising tide lifts all boats!

Who’s Involved, and What Collections?

Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of SeedLinked’s mission, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our partner food systems changemakers and supporting the work that they do. Your purchase of a Seed Collection Experience will help SeedLinked cover our cost to handle logistics and provide the platform and will also provide support for our curator changemakers. They do so much work to educate growers, and we want to be sure their work in the garden and efforts to improve our seed systems are fully appreciated. Some of our curators have also chosen to support other important initiatives happening in our food system by donating ten percent of Collections profits. Check out the individual Collection pages to learn more about these projects.

We’ve got an awesome lineup of partner curators with varied roles in the food system. We encourage you to view all the Collections to get more details HERE. If you don’t have time to check them out individually right now, here’s a sneak peek:  

  1. Lane Selman, of the Culinary Breeding Network, is curating an Italian Roasting (Corno di Toro) Pepper collection, and a Cutting Celery collection.  
  1. Craig LeHoullier, of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project and all-around tomato-extraordinaire, curated collections of his favorite Slicing Tomatoes, Paste Tomatoes, and Cherry Tomatoes, highlighting some of the varieties bred by the volunteers of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project alongside old favorite heirlooms, and some interesting finds from his own garden. 
  1. Meg Cowden, of Seed to Fork, took two different angles – curating a collection of top varieties of cabbage for any season, and a companion planting seed collection featuring marigolds alongside culinary spice peppers meant not just for fresh eating, but also for spices like paprika or sauces.  
  1. Nate Kleinman, of the Experimental Farm Network, is highlighting the crop diversity of the future with a collection that explores diverse and underappreciated perennial vegetables, as well as a second collection focused specifically on highlighting some of the exciting kale diversity available to growers – including a perennial kale! 
  1. Bjorn Bergman, an avid gardener, SeedLinked Co-Founder, and long-time participant in Seed Savers Exchange’s Community Science ADAPT Program is bringing his love of fresh garden salads to the table with a garden lettuce collection.  
  1. Organic Seed Alliance chose three different crops to offer beginning seed saver experiences: sunflower, dry beans, and cherry tomatoes. Not only will participants get to experience the beauty and deliciousness of those crops, but they’ll also be empowered to learn new skills to save their own seeds for friends, family, and future seasons. 
Forellenschluss Lettuce from Bjorn Bergman's Seed Collection
Forellenschluss Lettuce from the Lettuce Eat Salad seed collection.

The Seed Collections Experience was born from our desire to offer a themed growing experience with guidance from curator experts while also making collaborative trialing more accessible and fun. Seed Collections participants join a growing experience that includes seed, support throughout the growing season from their collection’s curator, and the opportunity to connect with growers to trial and experience a crop in community all while growing new varieties in the comfort of a home garden or farm.