2020 has seen an explosion of home gardeners ready to improve their food security. The global pandemic has dominated our consciousness, prompting interest and urgency for seeds like never before. Sellers and distributors have struggled to fulfill an increase in orders upwards of 300%, particularly with physical distancing requirements. In an attempt to cope, many companies have imposed daily limits, delays, and restrictions, with at least one American seed company halting shipments to Canada.
The simultaneous demand for seeds and difficulty obtaining them highlights the important work of the BC Seed Security Program, and provides new opportunities for us to connect with seed growers and sowers. We have been working since 2005 to help foster a thriving ecological seed sector in the province through the production of high-quality seed crops at commercial scale. We deliver training, mentorship, and infrastructure to new seed growers, and conduct collaborative and participatory agricultural research. We engage our network of farmers and growers across the province to help expand and improve local seed production in ways that support agricultural economic viability, safeguard seed biodiversity, and increase the resiliency of our food system.