OSA’s Seed Intensive workshop, taught at University of California – Davis this month, was just that — intensive. No word better describes this one-day, hands-on course led by expert organic plant breeders Jared Zystro of OSA and the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Drs. Bill Tracy and Julie Dawson.
The workshop provided an overview of the art, science and craft of plant breeding, variety trials and seed saving. From painting with pollen to understanding inbreeding depression, the fundamental concepts and manual pollination techniques at the heart of organic plant breeding were introduced to the 40+ students in attendance.
With beans, peppers, tomatoes, corn and squash in full bloom, UC-Davis’s research field provided ample material for instructors and graduate students to demonstrate pollination techniques. The very high level of knowledge of the instructors, the ability to interact with them, and the many demonstrations received positive feedback from the participants. Click on the photos below to view snapshots from the day.