OSA has been breeding Swiss chard in collaboration with organic farmers on the Olympic Peninsula for seven years. The project is focused on breeding red chard varieties with more bolt tolerance, which remains a major production challenge for organic farmers. We’re also developing a vibrant magenta chard variety (see photo). These plants came out of a population developed collaboratively by OSA’s current research team; our co-founder, John Navazio; and farmers Marko Colby of Midori Farm, Sebastian Aguilar of Chickadee Farm, and Nash Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce. We’ll be working with organic seed companies to commercially release this magenta variety within the next few years.
Micaela Colley is the author of several publications on organic seed and leads OSA’s research and education programs focused on organic seed production and organic plant breeding.