On Thursday 21 February 2019, during school half term the Walley group were at the Victoria Gallery and Museum (VGM). We took with us a display of cultivated brassica crops, and their crop wild relatives to demonstrate how over many years the weedy Brassica oleracea crop wild relatives have been domesticated and bred into so many different vegetables through selection.
Visitors had a go at performing crosses between different brassica crops by transferring pollen between flowers using paint brushes and, inspired by how new vegetables can created, such as flower sprouts or ‘Kalettes’ (crossing a sprout with a kale plant), designed their ideal or fantasy brassica plants for us to display.
The methods of modern plant breeding that we are using within the BRESOV project (Breeding for Resilient, Efficient and Sustainable Organic Vegetable production) were discussed and compared to conventional plant breeding.
Visitors had the opportunity to taste many of the different vegetables derived from wild Brassica oleracea, including cauliflower, sprouts, kale, kalettes, red cabbage, pak choi, chinese cabbage and broccoli- they were very popular!