David Wolyn standing in a garden
Prof. Dave Wolyn has developed a number of important asparagus varieties

The research of Prof. David Wolyn, Department of Plant Agriculture, was featured in a Toronto Star report entitled, “Meet Ontario’s Asparagus Man.”

The article noted Wolyn’s 30 years of work with the U of G Asparagus Breeding Program, including creating the Guelph Millennium varietal, which has become one of the most popular asparagus varietals in North America and is catching on with growers in Europe and Asia as well.

“If you’ve eaten Ontario-grown asparagus, odds are it’s the asparagus Wolyn introduced almost 20 years ago,” the article noted.

The article detailed the process behind the creation of new asparagus varietal, noting Wolyn’s team plants 100 asparagus hybrids every year at a test field in Simcoe County, and that it can take 20 to 25 years for one hybrid to be fully developed, from those first steps in the lab to reaching consumers’ tables.

“I think in general, people who don’t have an association with agriculture don’t realize that… there’s a whole big research infrastructure in producing our food,” Wolyn said.

Wolyn was recently named the winner of U of G’s Innovation of the Year award for his leadership in the breeding and development of asparagus.