Seed Farm Hub Sites

Seed hub sites have begun to sprout up all across Canada as part of the efforts of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, and we are proud to represent the British Columbia region. At these sites, we replicate variety trials, grow out seeds and roots for participatory plant breeding projects, and invite farmers to send us seeds from their breeding projects so we can share our observations with them. Field days for farmers and gardeners on-site help share knowledge and empower the current and future generations of seed savers.

Like a garden, our Seed Hub sites continue to grow. We started by leasing 3.5 acres of certified organic land at the Maple Lane Farms Agricultural Innovation Centre in Abbotsford in 2019. Since then, we have established additional sites by partnering with folks at the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture, Fraser Common Farm Co-op, and WoodGrain Farmer Co-op. These sites have allowed us to increase our seed production, create replicates of trials in varying climatic conditions, and ensure everyone on our BC Seed Security team can spend time with their hands in the soil. As plants are one of our greatest teachers in seed work, we believe it is important for our seed team to have experience in the fields.

We chose our crops carefully at the Seed Hub sites to optimise research potential and ensure access to seeds not widely available in BC, aiming to round out the BC Eco Seed Co-op catalogue. Many of our crops from variety trials and research are able to donate to local food banks as part of our Seed to Food program. Other produce is taken to chefs and farmers markets to be taste tested by eaters in our communities.

Lower Mainland Seed Hub - Fraser Common Farm Co-op

Fraser Common Farm (Zone 8b) is a community farm that has been cooperatively owned and managed for nearly 40 years. The cooperative nature is a perfect fit for our lower mainland Seed Hub where our BC Seed Security Program Manager coordinates seed grow-outs, variety trials, seed cleaning & packing, and many other seed and program-related activities.

Vancouver Island - Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture

We started another hub site in North Saanich in 2023 at the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture. Having a farm site on Vancouver Island allows us to do more vegetable and variety trials, grow outs and collaborate with other Sandown growers and food security organizations in the capital region.

Northern BC - WoodGrain Farm Co-op

WoodGrain Farmer Cooperative (Zone 4b) is our most recent and northernmost Seed Hub. Here, the Northern Seed Coordinator is focused on variety trials, including growing alongside participants of the Citizen Seed Trial, trialling varieties for the medicinal seed project, and comparing popular hybrids to their open-pollinated counterparts. The Northern Seed Hub is also where one of the three Mobile Seed Cleaning trailers is parked and ready for the next seed cleaning tour.

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