August 24, 2017
Vitalis Organic Seeds participated in the annual University of Wisconsin-Madison organic vegetable field day, where organic growers in the upper Midwest are invited to tour the trial plots grown on the organically certified land at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station. The upper Midwest boasts a large concentration of organic vegetable and dairy farms, many of which provide organic produce and dairy products to the large cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. Not surprisingly, researchers at the UW-Madison are at the forefront of organic vegetable breeding and participatory trials, including the work of Julie Dawson, Ruth Genger, and Irwin Goldman in the Department of Horticulture, Bill Tracy in the Department of Agronomy, Phil Simon with USDA-ARS, and Erin Silva in the Department of Plant Pathology. Numerous vegetable crops were on display at the field day, with material from commercial breeding companies, organic seed dealers, public plant breeders, and independent breeders. Vitalis trials included long conical and jalapeño peppers, winter squash, and lettuce. The field day provides a great opportunity for organic growers, commercial seed companies, and public researchers to interact, share successes, and continue to improve the availability of quality organic vegetable varieties.