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S2 Episode 6 – Breeding New Tomatoes

Helping Gardeners Grow: The Podcast
Helping Gardeners Grow: The Podcast
S2 Episode 6 - Breeding New Tomatoes

Guest: Karen Olivier, Independant Tomato Breeder

Big Idea:

Are you a tomato enthusiast? Imagine breeding and selecting your own varieties!

Topic Today: 

Karen Olivier is a nurse by day and a tomato breeder in every other moment. She was told she couldn’t grow a good tasting tomato in her northern garden near Edmonton, Alberta so she considered that a challenge, not a problem.

Starting with heart shaped heirloom seeds originally from Kazakstan and crossing them with her favourite colourful heirloom, she made a whole new series of tomatoes – The Northern Heart Collection – now available internationally!

“I’m in my own lane, I do my own thing in my own yard and it it’s been an adventure.”

And who is eating these fancy new tomatoes? Karen says “Gourmet restaurants are focusing so much more on vegetables. And so, for example, in the San Francisco Bay area, my friend sells to chefs in very high end restaurants and they are very exacting as to what they’re looking for and what they’re looking for is flavour.”

What Karen has accomplished in her residential back yard is amazing. “I don’t have a lot of space [and] I don’t have people helping me. I mostly have done my projects on my own. And, so, what I’ve accomplished, I think, has actually been more difficult, not easier.”

Curious about Karen’s tasty tomatoes? Listen in and enjoy!


How to clean tomato seed (FB Video)

Tatianas Tomato Base:

Tomato Forum:

Dwarf Tomato Project:

Artisan Seeds:

Instagram: @northerngardenerCanada

Facebook: @northerngardenerCanada

Donna is Helping Gardener’s Grow through her interviews with various growers and gardeners. Want to build soil, grow food in extraordinary ways or raise the world’s most expensive spice? Listen in, rate and subscribe.

In every podcast we talk about food or how to grow better food. To ask a question about the current or past episodes send a voice memo from your phone to [email protected]. In the voice memo tell us your name and where you garden first and then ask your question.

Music in every episode is by Donna’s son, Brennan Anderson, a musician in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada. Season 2 has all new music so thank-you Brennan!


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