For over 10 years we have been working closely with vegetable seed growers and seed companies across BC and are a regional partner for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. We deliver workshops, field days and conduct research with a long-term vision of a thriving ecological seed sector in BC that produces high-quality seed crops at a commercial scale.
We believe in collaboration and are working with a wide range of partners from farmers to educational institutions to advance the ecological, economic, and community aspects of seed production.
Collaborators include USC Canada, the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of the Fraser Valley, the BC Eco Seed Co-op and a network of farmers across BC and Canada.
While the BC Seeds program works with a wide range of farmers and collaborators throughout BC, it is made up of a core staff team from FarmFolk CityFolk.
David Catzel, Seed Security Program Director,
started his farming career in Vancouver, working with the Environmental Youth Alliance, running gardening programs for youth out of Cottonwood and Strathcona Community gardens. He had the opportunity to experiment with seed growing, breeding, low till annual production, intercropping and companion planting while working with Glorious Organics Co-op in Aldergrove, BC. He has taught workshops in gardening, composting, permaculture, and seed saving to adults and children all over the lower mainland.
David lives at Fraser Common Farm Co-op where he and his wife have farmed and homeschooled their three children. David enjoys learning directly from the soil, seeds, plants, and children who are part of his farmscape, and looks forward to bringing his enthusiasm for the perpetuation and promotion of sustainable seed growing to producers and consumers across BC.
Char Friesen, FFCF Seed Farm Head Farmer, was raised in Southwestern Ontario on a fourth-generation, family farm. Animal husbandry, growing crops, and tending to a large garden where the majority of the family’s food was grown was a way of life. After working in several different jobs/industries, she recognized her passion was farming, and particularly growing food. Char has managed and operated production on agriculture endeavors of all sizes, in both Ontario and BC, from large-scale production farms, to market garden operations, to backyard gardens, prepping garden plots and building raised beds – getting friends and family enthused about growing their own food. Most recently, managing various projects and working at Maple Lane Farms in Abbotsford, the opportunity to work with Farm Folk City Folk presented itself and she is looking forward to being a part of the Seed Farm and expanding her experience.
Carla Hick, Seed Security Program Assistant (Interior BC), is always involved in food in one way or another. She holds a Red Seal in Cooking; BSc. in Applied Biology (Food and the Environment Major); a Permaculture Design Certificate; Organic Vegetable Seed Growing Certificate and a Canada GAP Auditor Certificate. Currently delivering her work from the Okanagan and working on multiple projects within the food and agriculture industry. She has worked on different aspects of the BC Seed Security Program with FarmFolk CityFolk since 2017; most notably working on the BC Seed Trials, Seed Security Outreach (including Seeds of Knowledge, Beet, Carrot and Kale Tastings, Field Days, Workshops, Seedy Saturdays and Feast of Fields), BC Seed Gatherings and the Citizen Seed Trial.