The Art of Seed Selection at the Green Giant

Peas, Corn, Growing

Here at the Green Giant, we’ve been vegetable experts for more than 100 years. Throughout the past century, our agricultural research team has consistently pioneered innovative vegetable varieties, beginning with a larger pea that became known as the green giant because of its size. We like to say that seed production is an art form; a lot of time, energy and research goes into crafting superior seeds, the first step in growing superior vegetables.  From 1969 to 2009, our farmers doubled the amount of corn grown on the same amount of land here in Le Sueur, Minnesota, through better seed selection.


Our goal was to produce more corn on fewer acres, so we worked to develop better corn seeds by testing and growing only the best-producing varieties. Basically, the plant can’t yield more than its seed potential; that’s why we have to find and grow only the best seeds. Each year, we test thousands of varieties to find the one or two that we’ll plant in our fields. When we find a variety that meets our requirements for yield and quality, we’ll grow that variety again the next year and have a trained panel study the harvest to make sure the variety meets our standards for USDA Grade A Fancy.


Since the 1920s, we’ve used our seed vault to store historical varieties of heirloom sweet corn and other vegetables as a way to keep track of where we’ve been and how our seeds have evolved and improved. Today we have between 8,000 and 10,000 hybrid lines and more than 200,000 seed packets that essentially trace the history of the vegetables we’ve grown for decades. Today, throughout our growing season, veggies are monitored weekly, and when the fields are ready and the vegetables have reached that peak of perfection, we harvest around the clock to get our veggies from our fields to your kitchen as quickly as possible.


What’s your favorite thing about our vegetables?