Here is a list of various publications from FarmFolk CityFolk and partner organizations:
In order to promote seed security awareness successfully, we found it crucial that we have information about what BC organic farmers are already doing to ensure their own seed security. Thus, this survey was created to gather important information from farmers. We hope that by utilizing the results of this survey, as well as continuing talks with organic farmers, that we can develop a plan to decrease reliance on larger seed companies and increase reliance on each other for sourcing quality seed.
The 2014 BC Seed Producers Survey was developed and hosted by the BC Seeds Project, a project of FarmFolk CityFolk. Designed to inform the business plan of the B.C. Eco Seed Producers Co‐operative, a for profit co‐operative for British Columbia (BC) certified organic and ecological seed producers, the goal of the survey was to research the production and use of BC-grown certified organic and ecological seeds, and to gauge producer (i.e., small-scale commercial seed producers), interest in participating in a BC seed producers co-operative.
Vegetable soybean (Glycine max Merr L.) popularly known as Edamame, is a crop with rising popularity in the western world. Its rich nutritive value and health benefits have created increasing market demand among health conscious consumers. Though this crop is generally adapted to Asian countries, its cultivation is slowly expanding in Europe and North America. Edamame seeds and frozen pods imported from Asia, mainly from China, Taiwanand Japan, are available in market place and super stores. However, edamame grown in small area in different parts of USA and Canada are still not able to reach in frozen section of super stores. Atlantic North East and Pacific North West regions are suitable for edamame cultivation but there is no official record of promotional efforts for its cultivation in BC.
Richmond Food Security Society and The Sharing Farm Society supported the edamame study focused on adaptation testing and varietal development from 2009-2013. Two varieties (one yellow seeded labeled as Edamame and other as Black Jet) received from Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds Inc, were planted in 2009 to test the possibility of adaptation. Results encouraged to make seed increase planting in long rows in 2010 and close observation identified three individual promising plants under marginal fertility and reduced irrigation. They were harvested separately and labeled as Single Plant Selection Breeding Line 1, 2 and 3 (SPS-BL-1, SPS-BL-2 and SPS-BL-3). Two previous varieties plus three breeding lines and five additional varieties received from Anapolis Seeds Inc of Nova Scotia, were planted in 2011. Results were promising and a fully fledged adaptation study in 2012 and yield stability study in 2013 were conducted with the grant support of Organic Sector Development Program (OSDP) administered by Certified Organic Association of British Columbia (COABC).
This is a summarizing document to provide a verification support to the edamame (Glycine max (L.) Merr L.) study reported from 2009 – 2015 as an effort to help meet the mission of The Sharing Farm and Richmond Food Security Society. The 2016 study was designed using (a) segregating populations of spontaneous mutations identified and developed at The Sharing Farm, (b) varieties tested for adaptation at Richmond agro-climate, and (c) appropriate technology for local seed production. Studies were planted during the second week of May 2016 utilizing residual organic fertility from previous organic onion crop. Three feet long rows spaced 2 ft. apart were hand planted with 15 seeds. Single rows of the families of four segregating populations and five rows of adapted varieties plus four breeding lines made experimental units for comparative performance test. Plant growth status was closely and frequently monitored and any deviation from normal growth was recorded. Frequent showers and weeding kept the nursery moist and clean. However, health and vigor of seedlings which began to decline at seedling stage, continued to decline beyond 45 days after planting resulting into stunted growth associated with leaf yellowing and puckering of terminal growth – a complex cause of disease and nutrient deficiency. Severity increased irrespective of crop husbandry practices applied except nutrient amendment.
The long-term objectives of this 4-year project are, broadly, to increase the viability of growing organic and ecologically grown carrot seed in high tunnel isolation structures. In addition to addressing the reality of cross-pollination with Queen Anne’s Lace, the outcomes generated by this research will also point to best practices in increasing the yield of regionally adapted seed through the potential of growing out multiple carrot varieties without cross-pollination.
Whether they are planted or consumed, seed is at the origin of our agricultural and food systems. Seeds carry the essence of the agricultural biodiversity responsible for food system resilience. Despite the importance of agrobiodiversity, 90% of the agricultural crop varieties have disappeared over the last century due to the increase of the industrial-type corporations’ control over seed systems (FAO, 2015). In response to this decline, there has been increasing efforts to build a strong global seed sovereignty movement with organizations such as Via Campesina (viacampesina.org) and Navdanya (navdanya.org) encouraging seed preservation and fighting to protect farmers’ rights to the millennium-old practice of seed saving (Shiva, 2012).
For local seed producers, this fight for seed sovereignty translates into producing quality seed in quantities large enough to support the local food system, maintaining cultivar performance in their respective regions, and encouraging other farmers to practice seed saving. Support beyond the political realm of seed saving is needed to sustain seed production practices. Organizations and networks across the world such as the Organic Seed Alliance in the United States have been developing programs to directly support seed producers’ needs. Closer to home in British Columbia, seed producers have been connected through either loosely-formed networks or more official organizations such as BC Seeds (bcseeds.org) to increase seed production capacity. Every year, new seed producers and stakeholders emerge in BC. Among them, a project based at UBC Farm called the Seed Hub was created in 2012.
The main objective of seed extraction and cleaning is to; reduce the bulk and weight by removing non-seed chaff or debris, and to put seed into a suitable condition for storage and/or sowing. The principles of seed cleaning are to separate seeds and their associated structures into different fractions and retain only good, healthy, viable seeds. These fractions usually include; -good, healthy, insect free, viable filled seeds -find debris (smaller in size and lighter than seed) -coarse debris (larger and heavier than seed) -empty or insect damaged seeds.
These notes are a record of some of the information shared at Gathering Together Farm, where the field day focused on seed production by Frank Morton, a specialty lettuce and brassica seed producer, and farmer-breeder.
Efficient and Economical Seed Production (2006) – Alan Adesse
Alan grows seed for 60 – 70 medicinal herbs, flowers and vegetables on 6 – 7 acres of land in the Grant’s Pass area of Oregon, USA which he describes as “sort of on the edge of a Mediterranean climate”. His presentation was sub-titled “A Year in the Life of a Seed Grower” and was accompanied by colour slides. He was mentored by Dr Alan Kapular and has made organic farming and seed growing a life style choice.
Garlic White Rot
Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) “star legume” is the most widely grown and used legume in the world. USA and Brazil dominate the production of grain type soybean while China and Taiwan dominate the production of vegetable type soybean popularly known as ‘Edamame’. Japan and USA are major importers of Edamame. Soybeans, in general, are rich in protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, omega -3 fatty acids and other nutrients. In addition Edamame contains more proteins, sucrose and abscisic acids than grain type soybean. The clinical value of soybean against heart disease, cancer, hypertension and osteoporosis is making Edamame more popular. Edamame is described as an “emerging new crop” in European and North American countries.