THUNDER BAY -- The local farming community on Wednesday received a taste of the potential food diversity of this area's future.
Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, the director of research and business for the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station, led a tour of the experimental plots for more than two dozen people Wednesday.
“The role of the station is to try to find new crops, new varieties and better management practices by regular farmers and improve the production of farming,” he said, adding that there is a variety of new crops growing this year.
Gold Harvest Bush Peas is among those new crops.
“Those peas are golden-coloured and they are meant for eating the whole grain when they’re mature,” Sahota said during the tour.
Another new crop is the Blue Tinge Ethiopian Emmer Wheat, a commercial crop from California with successful yields already at the research station. The bluish tint on the seeds gives the crop its name.
“We are trying it here for the first time. The beauty of the wheat is that you can eat it boiled just like rice,” Dr. Sahota said.
In addition to developing new crops for the region’s farmers, Dr. Sahota said another goal for the research station is to support local unions and the local food system. New types of nutrients are also being tested to see if they improve growing conditions.
A new type of corn called Painted Mountain Flour Corn was also planted in this year’s experimental plot. Dr. Sahota says it was developed by cross-germinating over 70 different types of dry corn and can grow well in harsher climates.
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