Bred by Dr. Sylvie Jenni of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Estival lettuce was named Seed of the Year – East for 2010. This is a wonderful honour as The Seed of the Year competition recognizes publicly developed Canadian cultivars of field crops, forages, fruits, vegetables or herbs important to the agri-food industry. It also includes the accomplishments of public plant breeders, rarely recognized by the public at large. Entries are judged for innovation, industry impact, value chain presence, sustainability and marketability.
Estival is a beautiful, rich green, ruffled lettuce and is a promising cultivar with outstanding performance, sustainability, marketability and industry acceptance – currently holding 40 per cent of the total crisphead or iceberg lettuce sold in Canada. It’s great with creamy dressings like Thousand Island or with a simple, garlic-laden vinaigrette, or shredded to top tacos or burgers.
This high-quality lettuce variety is better adapted to extreme weather conditions and was developed specifically for both the fresh and processing markets. It also has a high tolerance to bolting (it doesn’t go to seed and turn bitter quickly) and discolouration on the crisp ribs of each leaf.
Photo Courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.