OFRF Announces First Research Grant of 2018

OFRF’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce a research grant award to Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seed Growers. The project will assess resistance to both Bacterial Wilt and Cucurbit Downy Mildew among selected cucumber and muskmelon seedstocks, continuing with the development of a pickling cucumber that is resistant to both diseases.

Frost has been producing certified organic vegetable seeds at Twin Oaks Seed Farm in Louisa, Virginia since 2008, and pursuing variety trials and breeding work since 2011. He leads Common Wealth Seed Growers, a cooperative effort of several Virginia seed growers to grow and sell seed varieties that perform well in the region. They aim to build the awareness and capacity necessary for improving organic seed systems in the Southeast.

Farmers throughout the Eastern U.S. cite Bacterial Wilt and Downy Mildew as key limiting disease issues for melon and cucumber production. This research project is a direct response to the need for new resistant varieties that have the potential to make management easier, decrease losses, and extend the harvest period.

Since its founding in 1990, OFRF has awarded 337 grants to organic researchers and farmers, investing over $3M. All OFRF-funded research must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation, take place on certified organic land, and include strong education and outreach components. All research results are freely available in our online database at ofrf.org.

OFRF's next Request for Proposals will be released in the fall of 2018 for 2019 projects.