Category: Plants, Algae, & Fungi

Agrobiodiversity up Close, and in Place

Solveig Hanson

This image foregrounds an intricately serrated radicchio leaf from one of thirty-four radicchio varieties in the 2021 Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement (CANOVI) trials. Radicchio, the leafy form of chicory (Cichorium intybus), exists in a gorgeous array of leaf shapes, head forms, and colourways, thanks to centuries’ worth of regional adaptation by farmers in Northern Italy. In CANOVI trials, both at UBC Farm and at about 50 farms across Canada, we are trialing radicchio varieties for their productivity and marketability in Canadian climates and cultures. We are exploring a fraction of radicchio diversity, with the goal of increasing overall Canadian agrobiodiversity.