As the goal of the seed to kitchen collaborative is to evaluate new varieties that show promise for direct market growers in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, they are not a comprehensive look at all available varieties. We do make our best effort to include relevant check varieties and to solicit entries from a wide range of breeding programs and companies. Clicking on the crop photos will give you a summary of the best varieties from the trials as well as some information on where to purchase seed. The more detailed reports are available at the links for that year below.
The West Madison Agricultural Research Station is located at 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona, WI. Janet Hedtcke is the station superintendent and has extensive experience with organic systems. Brian Emerson is the trial manager. Soils are silt loams, with about 3.5% organic matter and a pH of 7.4 in the certified organic acreage. It is in the USDA hardiness zone 5a.
In 2014, trials were conducted in the West Madison Agricultural Research Station (ARS) demonstration garden, which has been managed organically for over 10 years. In 2015, tomato trials were conducted in the certified organic acreage of the West Madison ARS, with side-by-side high tunnel and field comparisons. Other crops were in the demonstration garden. From 2016 on, onions and spring greens were grown in the demonstration garden and the remainder of the crops were grown in the certified organic acreage.
We added a full trial of all crops at Spooner ARS starting in 2017 with the help of Phil Holman, Station Superintendent and Kevin Schoessow, area Extension Agricultural Educator. Spooner is on sandy loam to sandy soils and is in USDA Hardiness zone 3b. Management details for crops are found in the annual trial reports.
In 2020 we were unable to run the on-station trials due to the COVID pandemic. We did send out on-farm and garden trials to participating farmers and gardeners.
Slicers, Heirlooms and breeding lines
Bell, Corno di Toro, Snack and Milder Hot.
Small, Standard and Specialty Butternut
Red and Yellow Storage
Orange Bunching and Storage
Green and Red Curly
Little Gem and Butterhead
Yearly trial reports of all crops
On-farm and garden trial results are available at:
2020 SeedLinked External Link
2019 SeedLinked External Link
On-station trial results from West Madison and Spooner are available at:
2019 External Link
2018 External Link
2017 External Link
2016 External Link
2015 External Link
2014 External Link