NOVIC is a four-year collaboration with farmers and researchers in five states. The goal of NOVIC is to improve organic farmers’ access to vegetable varieties that grow optimally on their farms.
The collaborative is a partnership between institutions serving organic farmers in the northern latitudes: OSA, Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin, Washington State University, Cornell, and the Geneva Plant Genetic Resource Center. All the partnering farms have strong similarities in scale, type of farm and variety needs, representing a sector of organic agriculture that has traditionally had difficulty accessing organic seed for expanding markets.
NOVIC will bring farmers and researchers together for four consecutive years to breed, trial and improve varieties for optimum production in organic systems. Trial results are gathered and shared locally, regionally and nationally through published breeding materials, workshops and a collaborative database.
This summer the OSA greenhouse is full of flowering carrots. See YouTube Video. We’re partnering with 10 local farms to trial six vegetable crops: carrots, corn, broccoli, snap peas, winter squash, and beets. We’re teaching farmers how to breed on-farm for performance under organic conditions, and creating an online forum for farmers and researchers to pool resources about organic variety needs.
Watch for NOVIC updates on our website and eXtension.org soon. Better yet, join us in the field to visit with the breeders and see field trials first hand.
The first NOVIC field day is scheduled for September 24th at Nash’s Organic Produce in Sequim, WA. Watch our website for more details.
Micaela Colley, Executive Director