Question of the Week
Answer: This oilseed brassica, cultivated in Eurasia since the Bronze Age, was widely grown right up to the end of WW II, when it was superseded by the introduction of oilseed rape (Canola is the low-erucic-acid type) at a time when benefits of oils containing a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids were poorly understood. A weedy type occasionally occurs in flax fields in the Upper Midwest. An out-of-print 1987 Minnesota Research Station Bulletin calls C. sativa a "useful research crop and potential oilseed."
As you may know, in Montana Camelina is being actively pursued as a potential biofuel oilseed for biodiesel production. Gary Iverson at (406) 937-3613, 206 Railroad Ave, Sunburst, MT 59482 is the Executive Director of the Great Northern Growers Cooperative which is pursuing larger scale production of Camelina and may have info on seed sources. Their web site is:
Sourcepoint Seeds in Colorado, is offering C. sativa this year through the Seed Savers Exchange, and you may be able to negotiate a larger quantity by inquiring by letter.
You might also be able to secure C. sativa seed from either B&T World Seeds, France or B&T World Seeds, UK. J.L. Hudson Seedsman might also be able to find it for you through their seed search service. It will probably not be cheap. If you plan to save your own seedstock for planting, you need to take care that it does not become contaminated from nearby wild or cultivated brassicas.
Some of the companies in our online database of seed suppliers might possibly be able to find this variety for you in the amount you require.
Seedtec-Terramax, a Canadian research and crop development company based in Regina, Sasketchewan, is offering camelina seed in carload lots through their Canadian Web site. There is no assurance that their camelina is not genetically engineered. Contact information is at www.terramax.sk.ca.
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