Estival Lettuce :Bred by Dr. Sylvie Jenni of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Estival lettuce was named Seed of the Year – East for 2010. This is a wonderful honour as The Seed of the Year competition recognizes publicly developed Canadian cultivars of field crops, forages, fruits, vegetables or herbs important to the agri-food industry.
’Alta Blush’ was discovered as a chance seedling in Wetaskiwin, Alberta in 1992. The exact parentage is unknown but it was developed by private potato breeder John Safroniuk of Wetaskiwin Alberta. It has a smooth, thin skin, shallow eyes and tastes wonderful. selection occurred from 1993 to 1995. Selection criteria included yield and quality characteristics. Trials for ‘Alta Blush’ were conducted in Drummond, New Brunswick in 2006 .
Asian Eggplant, as the name implies, is traditionally grown in South and East Asia, and exists in a wide variety of shapes and colours under names like Purple, White Princess, Oval Green, and Pingteng Long. Today’s seed catalogues are full of such awesome ingredients, many of which were brought here to Canada by recent waves of immigrants.
The Orangutang is a Granny Smith made in 1985 by Dr. A. D. Crowe of AAFC-AFHRC in Kentville, NS, and named/certified by Dr. Charlie Embree in 2011. Its distinct orange colour, tangy taste and large size make this apple suited to niche markets.
Dr. Al Slinkard of the University of Saskatchewan is an agricultural researcher specializing in turning dreams into reality. Because of him, Canada is now the world’s leading exporter of lentils andpeas and one of the top producers of chickpeas. His Laird lentil is to the culinary world what Marquis wheat was and Yukon Gold potatoes are – a true, unmitigated star!
The Reinette Russet apple is a mutation of Reine des Reinettes, discovered at the Fruit and Ornamental Plant Breeding Unit of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) located in Angers, France. It was subsequently released in collaboration with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Centre in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.
Popular in China, India and South Asia, the Bitter Melon, a member of the curcurbit family, is used for its leaves as well as fruits for medicinal and culinary purposes. Also known as bitter gourd, foo gwa, balsam pear, cundeamor, fwa-kwa, leprosy pear, or bitter cucumber, its medicinal uses include treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular health and as an anti-malarial medication.
Yukon Gold is arguably one of the most successful potatoes in the world. It is a true culinary star. Hybridizers Garnet “Gary” Johnston and Jeff Rowberry dug the first hill of legendary spuds at Agriculture Canada’s Cambridge Research Station in 1980. It took many years of research. A short time before his death Johnston observed that “potato hybridizers are a patient lot”
Not only have our researchers given the world new varieties across many plant varieties, one team gave the world its finest oil, canola. Standing in a flowering canola field in the July sunshine is one of the most exquisite and quintessential Canadian experiences. Canola is the Canadian oil and the healthiest edible oil on the planet. A truly “Made in Canada” crop, it is often the nation’s most valuable one, with annual exports of canola seed, oil and meal that are valued at three…
Another release with berry breeder-extraordinaire Dr Andrew Jamieson’s name attached, ‘Valley Sunset’ is a short-day strawberry was commercially introduced in Canada in May 2009 by the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Center of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
Cotton Candy Apples : Juicy and sweet, this apple variety gets its name from its distinct cotton candy taste. Harvested in late August or around Labour Day Weekend, the apples are very large and have smooth, fairly thick skins so they can be easily stored for at least three weeks.
Valencia Peanuts : When tobacco fell out of favour in the 1990s, new crops were researched to be grown in the well-drained, rich and sandy soils of Haldimand and Norfolk Counties in Ontario. The climate turned out to be ideal for peanuts (among other field crops like garlic, melons,ginseng & shallots). Because these plants are highly susceptible to frost, the long Southern Ontario growing season was perfect. Harvesting takes place in late September-early October.
Amaranth, in all its incarnations, should be a total culinary star but it is just now being understood here in Canada.! It can be a delicious salad green or simply pigweed to be ripped from your garden. It can also be a fantastically nutritious grain or an ornamental that will grace planters and front beds with drooping brilliance.