When the Covid-19 pandemic was declared in March, the fate of this year’s mobile seed cleaner tour was very uncertain. We knew we wouldn’t be able to bring it to bustling markets to connect with farmers and consumers in the same way we did in 2019, but we hoped we would at least be able to visit a few farms. Eight tour stops later, and well over 100 seed varieties cleaned from the Interior to the Island, the 2020 mobile seed cleaner tour was a success by any standard.
This year’s tour began in August with a visit to SSOL Gardens, a sprawling 20-acre farm on the banks of the South Thompson River outside Kamloops. The small, tight-knit community, cultivated there by Daniela Basile joined us for a packed day of threshing, screening, and cleaning. Over the course of a day and a half, we cleaned over 20 seed lots of onion, coriander, dill, carrot, spinach, radish, beans, and more.
As September waned, the mobile seed cleaner made its way to Vancouver Island with BC Seed Security Program Coordinator Steph Benoit at the helm. Arzeena Hamir and the folks at Amara Farm in Comox used it to clean lettuce, bok choy, collard greens, and coriander. Amara Farm is a featured farm in our Farmers for Climate Solutions series. Read more about the climate-friendly practices they employ to grow 47 different vegetable crops and woody perennials.