24 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Hi, Dan.

    Where can I buy your seeds? I’m particularly interested in varieties of garlic.
    Do you have a website?


      1. Dan, we are trying to source tigernuts. Do you know where we would be able to get some for commercial purposes?

  2. Bonjour Dan,
    Super ton blog en passant. J’aimerais que tu m’éclaircisse le terme ”pollinisation libre” & ”phénotype” versus la conservation des variétés. Je veux reproduire quelques semences pour mon petit jardin. J’ai lue pas mal sur le sujet mais la phrase suivante dans votre catalogue me fait douter sur ce que je pensais avoir compris sur les croisements entre variétés etc.
    Vous dites: ”À pollinisation libre
    Elles conserveront leur phénotype, vous pouvez les reproduire vous-même”
    Dans le guide de ”conservation des semences du patrimoine” il y a des distances de fous à respecter entre les tomates, les haricots, ils parlent de construction de cages etc… Alors je ne comprends pas comment, le jardinier amateur comme moi (petite superficie de quelques mètres). Pourrait reproduire et conserver ses semences ”à pollinisation ouverte”… de plus les croisements entre les espèces sauvages… Bref j’ai besoin de détails… Je suis vraiment mêlée…
    Merci beaucoup pour ton aide 🙂

    1. Bonjour Julie,

      Deux variétés d’une même espèce peuvent croiser si tu ne respectes pas les distance d’isolement. Les distances suggèrées par Semences du Patrimoine assurent aucune croisement. Pour un producteur commercial ces distances sont très importantes. Pour un jardinier les varités d’une même espèce qui recquiert moins que 200m de distance (tomates, haricots, laitues) peuvent être cultivé très proches l’un de l’autre avec des taux de croisement très basses.

      Une variété qui est dite à pollinisation libre qui est cultivé en isolement de toutes autres variétés de la même espèce ressemblera à ces parents. Ceci se contraste avec les variétés dites hybrides qui ne conservent pas leurs phénotypes même si tu respectes leurs distances d’isolement.

      Merci pour l’encouragement!

  3. …Ça devient tellement plus simple les choses expliqué simplement… Merci beaucoup Dan! 🙂

  4. Hey Seed master Dan Brisebois,
    I know you’re probably busy these days at the farm but I had a topic for your blog or actually, it’s more of a question on this F1 rainbow variety that Johnny’s has been offering for a couple of years now.
    Firstly, I just wanted to state that I’ve been seeing this variety used a lot.
    What kind of cross is being done (I believe they say in the catalog that it’s a cross between an imperator and a nantes but more info could be nice on colour variability) and could you explain the genetics behind it.
    Also do the different colored carrots have the same taste?
    would it be difficult get some purple in there?

    1. Hi Eric,

      Here are three possibilities about Johnny’s Rainbow F1 carrot:

      1. If it is an F1 then the breeder has two lines (probably an orange line and a white line) that they cross to get the F1 seed. However, I would think that such a cross would produce a uniformly-colored F1 carrot (probably yellow). I would be surprised that this variety is really an F1.

      2. If you saved seed from a yellow F1 carrot from a cross an orange carrot and a white carrot, you would probably get multicolored F2 carrots. Perhaps this variety is an F2.

      3. This variety might simply be an open pollinated variety with variable colors that is uniform for other traits. If this is the case you could save the seed and maintain your own supply.

      Of course, I might not understand the genetics (unfortunately I am not yet a seed master – only a seed pupil) and there is another solution to how they get the rainbow in the carrots.

      Regarding taste, Johnny’s says the “flavor varies a bit with root color, but all are tender , sweet and flavorful.” I’ve never grown the variety so I can’t confirm this.

      As far as getting purple in there: It might depend on the gene combination that expresses the purple color. It’s possible that crossing it in with other colors dilutes the genes and makes it more of a brown or red.

      You could grow some Rainbow F1 carrots and some cosmic purple carrots this summer and select the best roots for winter storage. Next year you could let the carrots cross and collect the beginning of the Weber super rainbow carrot.

      Good luck! I hope the weather is warmer in Nova Scotia than it’s been in Quebec.


  5. Hello Dan,
    If you have a moment in this busy season, can you answer a lettuce question for me ? I just collected seed from some plants that were fuzzed out about halfway. The seed that I thrashed out is both brown and white.

    The other day I cut some that was on plants that had dried completely, those seeds were more green in color.

    Any ideas on why the seed is so variable ? I’ve seen lettuce seed in both brown and white in different varieties. Is this normal to have both colors ?
    Thanks so much,
    Jean in Mt

    1. Hi Jean,

      I’ll guess that were collecting seed from more than one plant.

      Generally each individual plant should have seed of all the same color. If the variety is very uniform than all the plants should have the same seed color.

      A few varieties are actually landraces – a number of varieties that have similar traits but different genetics in individual plants. That could be one option for your mixed colors.

      Another is that there was chance crossing in a previous generation and you’re seeing it now.

      Yet another option could be that you had a couple of varieties that looked similar and you accidentally harvested them together. Sometimes when the plants are dried down, varieties that are quite dissimilar might also be accidentally mixed.

      Do you think one of these options might apply?


  6. Hi Dan,
    Hmm, the plants I collected from were all from volunteers of the same variety from last year. I planted them in groups of 3 – 4 plants and am collecting separately from each clump that is 10′ apart. The plants are identical in color, style, etc. I cut the whole crown section with all the flower stalks connected off the stalk. Then thumped the crown against the side of a plastic tub, and brown and white seeds fell out together in the first thump.

    These volunteer plants came from plants that died down prematurely last year. The original seed for those plants was in a ‘Allstar Gourmet Variety Mix” from Johnny’s from year 2000. Only one variety grew, and it didn’t match any of the ones listed on the seed packet, kind of a mystery. It appealed to me because of the longevity of the seed, and its ability to set seed in our short climate.

    Someone suggested that the green seed off the plants that died prematurely were not mature.
    Thanks so much for your time and ideas,
    Jean in Mt

    1. The Allstar Gourmet survivors might have been accidentally crossed previously. Often the initial crossing of two varieties produces hybrid vigor – the offspring performs better than either parent. Perhaps this extends to the longevity of the seed.

      It does sound like you have a winner.

      If the green seed is indeed immature, when you dry it down it will probably lose a lot of it’s weight. If the seed blows away more easily than your other lettuce, this might indicate your friend is right.


  7. Please help I’ve planted my garlic last November and now I see that all the plants have started to form a seed head is this normal or not and what can I do .

  8. Hello,
    I just stumbled on your post on Tigernuts…. We are quite interested in it and have started our company here in Canada ( London, Ontario) packaging them. I would really like to talk further with you. Our website is http://Www.g112.ca for you to look at. Thanks and I look forward to talking with you. Regards

  9. Hey Dan!
    I am really interested in joining the seed movement! Question, aside from the big corporations like Monsanto, what protection are seed varieties under if any? I’m not sure where to get my seeds from to get started. I don’t have any special seeds passed down through the years. I feel like it would be a violation of my integrity to purchase seeds from a small seed company, grow them out, and then repackage the seeds as my own. It feels wrong. Any suggestions? Do you have to deal with this scenario often as a company owner?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi,

      There are many open pollinated seed varieties in the public domain. You can find them from different seed companies or organisations like Seeds of Diversity Canada and Seed Savers Exchange. If you suspect that the person offering the seeds might not appreciate you redistributing them, you should contact them directly and ask them.

      Good luck!


  10. Hi Dan,

    Do you grow tomatoes and peppers in tunnels or in the field, or both? I’m specifically wondering about your Doe Hill Pepper seed, but also generally about tomatoes/peppers/eggplant.


    1. Hi Rachel,

      We grow tomatoes and peppers in caterpillar tunnels rather than in the field. They are ready for harvest earlier and in the case of tomatoes the quality is higher.

      In out climate, I would recommend that all market growers grow tomatoes under cover.

      Peppers are another story. We are in hardiness zone 5b and we are able to get mature peppers straight from the field. Doe Hill is a good variety for growing in the field since it yields a heavy load of early fruit. Still, growing peppers under tunnels gets us peppers a couple weeks earlier and extends out harvest a couple of weeks later.

      All our tomatoes and peppers for seed are grown in the field without plastic cover.

      Thanks, Dan

  11. Hello, I live in a similar climate to yours and have a hard time getting biennial brassicas to the point of flowering in the second year mainly because they die in the harsh cold winter here. A project I have had in mind for a while would be to cross a variety of different kale plants that have been overwintered with a broccoli variety that goes to seed in the first year. Over time that population could be selected for plants that produce kale type leaves but that also would also flower and set seed the first year, from the broccoli genetics. This would be valuable to people in cold climates because they wouldn’t have to worry about overwintering kale plants. Do you think this would be a feasible project? A variety similar to what I’m talking about is the purple peacock broccoli, but I would like a wider genetic base to select from to adapt to my garden. Thank you.

    1. I wonder if our climate is too harsh for Brassica oleraceae to select for reliable winter survival. If you’ve got heavy snow cover it might be possible, but the extreme cold weather in Jan/Feb is tough when there isn’t protection. Bra rapa and napus are a little hardier in my experience.

      I think adding some low mini tunnels would go a long way to giving these crops an edge and survive the winter.

      It does sound like a great breeding project, and if you take it on, please keep me posted on your success!


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