Research & Education Seed Farm Update

Posted on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 under Stories

Unseasonably cold and wet, our planting and harvest has fallen behind or fallen prey to an abundance of slugs on our Research & Education Seed Farm. As we all know well, these occasional failures are inherent to the practice of farming and serve to teach, humble, and remind us of our dependence on the natural world despite our best efforts at control. Nevertheless, we are pushing ahead with many crops catching up and flourishing.

We are growing a number of interesting varieties at the farm this season including lemon cucumbers, shishito peppers, an F2 Gold x Striped beet, and watermelon radish. In addition, we are participating in a number of variety trials including the Citizen Seed Trials, CANOVI trials, and a red carrot breeding trial in collaboration with UBC Farm. With so many exciting projects there is a lot of work to keep up with!

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, many of our on-farm and farmer outreach programs have been on hold this season. While we continue to navigate this unprecedented time, we hope to begin offering events at the Seed Farm under new health and safety protocols. Our next event is in the works for September when we will welcome our fellow farmers, seed growers, and the public to join us for a farm tour and seed cleaning demonstration.  Now more than ever, we recognize the need for collaborative and sustainable local seed production.

As the year progresses, we are exploring new initiatives that will increase the Seed Farm reach and capacity while expanding our goal of creating local food systems that encourage farmers, produce seed, and support community members who most need connections to land and food. We are proud to announce that we have received funding from United Way to launch our Seed to Food program. This new initiative will see our Seed Farm joining forces with local partners to recover the food we grow on the farm. Edible produce is a by-product of seed production that is often discarded in the process. Through this program, the food we produce on the farm will be redirected to local kitchens and food programs that will ensure the food we grow is provided to community members in need.