On March 1, 2019 FarmFolk CityFolk signed a five-year lease on 3-1/2 acres of certified organic land in Abbotsford to launch the FarmFolk CityFolk Research & Education Seed Farm.
The Research & Education Seed Farm is a first-of-its-kind model that trains current and future seed growers and advances vegetable seed research while demonstrating the economic potential of seed production in BC.
The Seed Farm’s goals are to:
- Conduct vegetable seed research to increase food system resiliency through seed trials and variety improvement to help organic vegetable producers meet production challenges and changing climate conditions
- Train farmers in a live, learning environment on best practices for producing high-quality organic and ecological vegetable seed
- Model an economically viable seed farm business by openly sharing business planning documents as well as seed and food production best practices
- Demonstrate how leasing programs can effectively link farmers with owners of agriculture land for mutual benefit
- Engage the public through hands-on educational opportunities that demonstrate the importance of seed to food security and sustainability
The goals of the Seed Farm are an extension of over ten years of program work carried out by FarmFolk CityFolk’s BC Seed Program.
We began with a vision of better connecting local seed producers and supporting public engagement with seed through support of seed libraries and Seedy Saturdays—one-day seed selling fairs that take place in communities across Canada.
The early organizing work of the seed program evolved into the formation of the BC Eco Seed Coop, a 14-member farmer co-op focused on making high-quality, locally grown seed more widely available, and the coordination of the BC Seed Gathering, a biennial seed event that draws over 100 seed growers and advocates from across BC.