Tag Archives: Tourne-Sol cooperative farm

Tourne-Sol Open House on Sunday 5 July, 2015

Our annual open house is coming up. The full details are below. But one thing I’ll point out to all my seedy readers is that I will be giving seed and garlic tours during the event!

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 Full Details

Get out your calendars and reserve Sunday July 5th for our Open House. This also happens to be Tourne-Sol’s 10th anniversary celebration so we’re going all out! There will be garden tours, workshops, food and maybe live music. Fun and activities for adults and kids!

Date: Sunday July 5th, 2015

Address: At our farm! 1025 ch. St-Dominique, Les Cèdres, QC, J7T 1P5.

Price: Free!!! (Pulled pork and veggie dogs are for sale)

Rain Date: No rain date. We’re going to have this event rain or shine. We will have tents to gather under in case of wet weather.

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SCHEDULE

10:00am Doors Open
10:15am Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
10:30am Kids Planting Activity
11:15am Garden Tour (French); Seed & Garlic Tour (English)
12:00pm Pulled Pork & Veggie Dogs
1:00 Paper Making Workshop (until 4pm)
1:15pm Garden Tour (English); Seed & Garlic Tour (French)
3:15pm Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
5:00pm Doors Close
*** Ongoing kids tours throughout the day***

GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will show you the farm from our greenhouse through the fields and back to our packing shed. You’ll get to see where all our crops come from and how a broccoli actually grows!

SEED & GARLIC TOURS: Dan will walk you through the seed fields and garlic patch. You can see what Quinoa looks like, find out how to tell different types of garlic apart, and more!

KID’S PLANTING ACTIVITY: At 10:30am, Renée will lead a garden planting workshop. Children will plant their own 3 Summer Sisters (or Brothers) garden that they get to bring home.

KID’S GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will give a garden tour aimed towards kids to see how food grows from seed to fruit to seed again.

PAPER-MAKING WORKSHOP: From 1 pm to 4pm, we will be hosting a paper-making workshop with local artist Claude Aimée Villeneuve. She will use various plant fibers gathered on the farm.

FOOD: At noon we will have pulled pork and veggie dogs for sale.There will also be a free salad bar made from our fresh local organic greeens!

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Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Garlic Festival on Aug. 23

Two days until the Ste-Anne-Garlic festival! Find out more at http://steannegarlicfestival.wordpress.com/  or on Facebook

We are busy brushing garlic bulbs with toothbrushes for the occasion!

2014-08-11 garlic fest 2

If you can’t make the event, you can live vicariously through last year’s garlic fest video.

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Seed Saving Farm Tour At Tourne-Sol Farm

The Concordia Seed Project (http://concordiaseedproject.weebly.com/) invites you to join us on Wednesday, August 13 from 2-4pm for an afternoon with seed saving expert Daniel Brisebois at the Tourne-Sol Co-operative farm. This farm tour will focus on large-scale organic seed production. Hands on seed saving demonstrations will be part of the afternoon activities. This tour is suitable for both expert and beginner seed savers.

This event is hosted as part of the Concordia Seed Project, which is a partnership of Action Communiterre’s (http://www.actioncommuniterre.qc.ca/) Seed Share Montreal program and the Concordia Greenhouse City Farm School (https://concordialoyolacityfarm.wordpress.com/). This tour is free of charge and only 32 spaces are available. Please indicate if you are able to drive as we only have 18 spaces available in our rental vehicles. The first 18 people who register will be offered these spaces. Registration is required for this event. Please visit the following link to register: bookwhen.com/tmwcx

For more information on the Tourne-Sol Co-operative farm, please see Daniel Brisebois’s blog at: https://goingtoseed.wordpress.com/ or the Tourne-Sol Co-operative website at: http://www.fermetournesol.qc.ca/.

If you have any questions please contact Deanna Kazina at: Deanna@actioncommuniterre.qc.ca

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2014 Tourne-Sol seed catalog

Our new seed catalog is out.

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Actually it’s been out since the end of January but I didn’t take the time to post it here!

This is a new step in Tourne-Sol catalogs. It has a lot more colour (4 pages!) & it is fully bilingual French/English.

We used to print a different version for each language but it was a pain when catalogs in one language ran out. It also meant writing 2 catalogs. Integrating both languages took some extra but should be ahead of the game for next year. (Or so I hope.)

One challenge with a bilingual catalog is how to classify crops. For some we could just classify bilingually and it wouldn’t matter (such as carrots/carottes or beets/betteraves.) However other crops are written very differently in both languages (beans/haricots; squash/courge; eggplant/aubergine) and it means that organizing alphabetically means one language group can’t find what they are looking for.

We chose to confuse everyone. We classified by botanical family, and then by scientific name! We did put an index at the beginning of the catalog, I just hope it’s enough! Next year, it will be more comprehensive.

Enjoy our catalog, feel free to order large amounts of seed, and please tell me what you think of our crop classification!

2013 Tourne-Sol seed catalog

We’ve finally finished out 2013 seed catalog. You can download it from the Tourne-Sol website.

Last year we’d set a Jan. 1 release date target. Though Stella has been a big help with germ tests and seed packing this winter, we’re a bit behind on that release date! Maybe next year …

Also, Jordan Marr interviewed me for the ruminant podcast. You can hear the first part of our conversation about seed production.

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Selecting/Breeding Hot Peppers

Seven or eight years ago I planted some Bulgarian Carrot Hot Pepper seeds from Fedco. Most of the plants had elongated orange fruit similar to Cayenne peppers but with more flesh. One plant was covered with fruit that were round and squat though equally orange and spicy. This rogue pepper plant was likely due to an accidental cross in the seed growers garden.

Of course, I saved the seed from this rogue hot pepper – essentially a F1 cross. This is where things got messy. When you save F1 seed from, you get a lot of variation in subsequent generations.  Only by consistently saving seed from plants that look similar over a number of generations do varieties start to stabilize.

The impact and diversity from my carrot pepper selections each generation have brought me to pay more attention to each plant in a population and try to find ways to easily record the changes (essentially accurate labeling and taking pictures.)

(For more crossed up plant, you can read my post on crossed-up lettuces

Growing Out Crossed-Up Peppers

Nowadays, in the early generations after a cross I save the seeds from each selected hot pepper plant separately. The next year I grow 10-20 plants of each selection in the garden.

I grow each selection in a row divided from the previous selection with a stake.

Over the season, I evaluate each plant in each selection to see how uniform the selection is and whether any individual plants stand out. If the selection is very uniform I might mix the seed from the best plants together. If there is still quite a bit of diversity, I keep the seed from individual plants separate.

Let’s see what that looked like in 2011 and 2012

2011 Carrot Pepper CrosseS

In 2011, I selected 6 different plants.  Each plant is labeled in the picture. The first plant labeled F3 6-1. F3 means the plants is from the F3 generation. 6-1 means the plant is the first plant selected in 2011 from the 6th plant in 2010. These 6 plants were all from 6th or 7th selection  made in 2010.

Plants 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4 are therefore siblings. These plants are cousins with 7-1 and 7-2.

2012 Carrot Pepper CrosseS

In 2012, due to space constraints I only grew 5 plants of each selection. For each strain I first took a picture of the plants:

This gave me a quick idea of the relative yield, color variations, pod shape, and whether the fruits grows upwards or hangs down.

Next I pulled the fruit off of each plant and took another picture:

This let me see how fruit variation was still present. Pods pointing down indicated hanging fruits, pods pointing up indicated upwards fruit.

This also lets me compare the 2012 fruits with my 2011 picture above. In general you can see there’s less variation within each of the following 2012 selections than in 2011.


At this point I’ve selected different plants to save fruit from based on pod characteristics, plant structure, yield, and earliness (I’d previously tagged the first plants with mature fruit.)

I put the fruits from each of my selection into a separate quart to later extract the seed.

This picture is actually from another set of selections in the F6 generation.

The culled fruit go into a bin…

and then head to market or CSA!

One Other Selection Consideration

Before extracting seed from each selection, I taste each fruit. I start with the fruit bottom, then the side wall, and finally the core to see how hot these peppers are.

I started doing this after I realized a Jalapeno I was working with had lost almost all of its heat. After selecting by taste for a future generations, most peppers are consistently and adequately hot.

Needless to say this tasting happens over a few days. As it takes me 10-15 minutes after each “winner” before I can taste another pepper’s heat.

A Word About Isolation Distance

Most of the peppers we grow are destined for eating. As such we grow these varieties side by side with no isolation distance. Though peppers are predominantly self-pollinating, there can still be low amounts of cross-pollination with plants grown this close together. Still I save seed from these peppers for our own farm use. Most of the time I don’t see any crossing, but when I do I get excited!

I should mention that I always grow hot peppers a good 200′-600′ away from our sweet peppers. This ensures our sweet peppers stay sweet and our hot peppers stay hot. Also, any hot peppers we grow to sell as seed are grown with 200′-600′ isolation distance since we want to keep these varieties pure.

What Else Has Been Going on In Dan’s Life?

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. Part of that of course is due to the growing season, and playing with hot peppers; and of course planning for the Nov 9-10-11 Seed Connections conference in Montreal; but mainly (and most importantly) Emily and I now have a little daughter named Stella in our life! You can see some pictures in the recent Tourne-Sol newsletter.

Brassicas in Bloom

Some of the brassicas that have been blooming over the last month.

Brassica rapa and oleracea in bloom


ARUGULA in bloom

CHERVIL in bloom (An Umbel not a Brassica)