Michael’s vegetable breeding program is focused on developing new cultivars of pea, squash, melon, cucumber, bean and pepper crop for organic farming systems.  This process of breeding new varieties through traditional methods of cross-pollination is informed by surveys of natural diversity and studies into the underlying genetic mechanisms.  His grower-driven traits focus on fungal and insect resistances in regionally adapted backgrounds to provide a reliable, productive harvest and reduce the need for pesticide applications.  His consumer-driven traits focus on color, quality, flavor and novelty to drive the consumption of naturally nutritious food.