UW-Madison’s “Vicar of Vegetables” on harvest, hubris and a beet born to be raw

It has starred in Forbes and stormed Austin, Texas. It even charmed a wary podcaster.

It is the Badger Flame beet, a charismatic vegetable with pyrotechnic color and breakthrough flavor. It took UW–Madison breeders 15 seasons to create.
In contrast to the high-tech ethos of fail early/fail often, horticulture is “the slowest of the performing arts,” muses Irwin Goldman.

Prof. Goldman, a plant breeder and geneticist, is a celebrated figure in UW–Madison Horticulture. His team has produced a veritable cornucopia – novel carrot lines, onion and table beet varieties – all crafted through decades of love and labor using traditional breeding techniques.

Goldman works with WARF to protect and commercialize high potential creations like Badger Flame. Other innovations he releases into the world through the Open Source Seed Initiative, which he helped found.


Read full story at https://www.warf.org/commercialize/technologies/warf-advances-uw-madison-technology/badger-flame/