My mentor is Sal Dominelli of Sweet Rock Farm on Gabriola Island (@sweetrockfarm on Instagram & sweetrockfarmseeds.com
). Sal has been growing seed on Gabriola for fifteen years and selling commercially for the last six.
Sweet Rock Farm is a 5-acre farm on Gabriola that has a good supply of water to source from during our usually hot and dry summers. During the recent unusually wet and cold spring we were reminded that a good water supply also means good drainage is vital. These wet conditions have resulted in growing more of some types of vegetable seed and less of others while highlighting the importance of creating a resilient farm that can produce in unforeseeable and changing conditions.
Besides the technical aspects of seed growing, we often discuss how a balanced and bountiful, but also effectively planned, farm may look as I develop my own. The biodiversity of pollinators I see on Sal’s farm is inspiring and as the season moves on I can’t wait to see more 6 and 7 foot flowers. At this point in the season, it is clear how important it is to firstly do effective farm planning (e.g. around soil health, drainage, layout, rotations etc), so that you can secondly grow great vegetables, and then lastly produce great seed.