Although there is a growing local food movement in Canada, the vast majority of our local vegetables are not grown from local seed. In addition, thousands of our hardy vegetable varieties have become extinct over the course of the last century due to corporate concentration of seed ownership and production, and loss of seed saving and processing infrastructure.
Across Canada many organizations recognize that a truly sustainable food system needs a secure source of high quality, locally grown seeds.
FarmFolk CityFolk, through its BCSeeds project, is working with USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada on a national project to work with farmers, gardeners, food activists, and community organizations to grow, conserve and spread locally adapted, biodiverse seed.
As part of the BC Seeds project FarmFolk CityFolk has organized workshops and conferences to bring together regional seed growers and to teach new farmers how to produce quality seed. We are also initiating research projects through out the province and recently partnered with Kwantlen Polytechnic University on the BC Seeds Gathering, November 9-11, 2012.
FarmFolk CityFolk is partnering with USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada in the pilot year of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. This national project seeks to work with farmers, gardeners, food activists, and community organizations to grow, conserve and spread locally adapted, biodiverse seed.
The initiative has 3 key objectives for the 2012 pilot year:
1. A nation-wide series of “seed training” workshops in which seed growers as well as members of community organizations are trained in “best practices” of seed production in order to further spread that information in their local communities. Three workshops are planned for BC in May – West Kootenays, Lillooet, and Central Vancouver Island.
2. A project headed up by Seeds of Diversity Canada to create an interactive, online, social network style website on seed issues
3. Meetings with stakeholders across Canada to determine the current state of seed security in Canada, with an aim to create a national action plan aimed at stimulating and strengthening Canada’s capacity to produce locally and ecologicall grown, high quality, biodiverse seeds
You read more about the Bauta Initiative at http://www.seedsecurity.ca/en/