Breeding at De Bolster

Breeding takes vision, time and patience

De Bolster is well-known for its breeding
in winter squash and tomato

All breeding work is performed by hand 

We have breeding programs in winter squash, summer squash (is about to come up), and tomato. All our breeding takes place at our farm in Epe, The Netherlands.

Breeding programs
All breeding at De Bolster is conducted with ‘classical’ techniques under organic, low input conditions. This means that we use low input of water and fertilisation. This strategy is chosen in order to breed very robust, vigorous and productive varieties. All our varieties can therefore withstand harsh conditions and are ideal for production under organic circumstances. Top varieties for organic growers!

Winter and summer squash
Bart Vosselman, co-owner of De Bolster, started with breeding winter squash in the early 2000s. In this breeding program we mainly focus on good storability, yield, and taste. Thus far we have bred 5 varieties that all have their unique features. Currently we are market leader in the Netherlands regarding orange varieties for the fresh market. Still, we are  optimizing the storability and taste; new improved and distinctive varieties will follow soon. Summer squash breeding has just started and the first variety is about to come up. Stay tuned!

We are also breeding in tomato for quite some years. We develop varieties which are excellent for organic growers that use a cold greenhouse/tunnel. All our varieties have been bred in a cold greenhouse under low input conditions. We focus on robust varieties with a high yield yield, and varieties that produce beautiful tomatoes with good storability and taste. Currently we have two varieties, Bolstar Granda (round, 80 g) and Bartelly (cherry, 15-17 g). We are making great progress here and we are currently trialling new cherry and round tomato varieties that have significant added value to our current varieties. We will keep you updated!

Breeding process and trials
As you might know breeding is a very labor-intensive, time-consuming process. It takes many years before a variety is ready. When a variety has been developed and applies to the extensive requirements (i.e. uniform, distinct and stable), it enters the test-phase to ensure the variety is ready to be marketed. In this phase we test the variety under different conditions (climate, soil, fertilization etc.). As we stand for high quality, professional varieties, we find it very important to know how our varieties perform under different conditions. We therefore cooperate with growers at different geographical areas to test our varieties (also on larger scale) to ensure the variety is ready to be market. After a variety is available on the market we still try to gather as much feedback as possible to further develop our varieties. We therefore very much appreciate feedback from our customers on our varieties. Please send us your feedback so we can further enhance the quality of our products. Please send it to Maarten Vosselman