GREEN GOODS Compiled by Abby McGarry TRIAL-PROVEN roduce These award-winning vegetables performed well nationally. A ll-America Selections continues to evolve after celebrating 90 years of plant trialing last year. Along with a robust testing program for flowers, the independent nonprofit organization recognizes vegetables that perform well on a national or regional scale. Diane Blazek, executive director of All-America Selections (AAS), shared some of the primary attributes that breeders are working toward when it comes to new vegetable introductions. Higher yields and improved nutritional value take precedence along with disease and pest resistance - meaning lower inputs - and an extended growing season. 34 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | AUGUST 2023 34 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | AUGUST 2023 Technology advancements are also driving the fruit and vegetable industries. Robotic harvesting has come a long way in combining advanced vision with horticultural knowledge. Favorable breeding for such automation may include horizontally grown tomatoes, peppers with durable yet harvestable stems and similar characteristics. Blazek also says that fruiting ability under artificial lights is an increasing goal as controlled environment agriculture grows beyond leafy greens. The following varieties are the newest AAS National Winners, earning recognition for their superior performance throughout all of North America.