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From Earth to Industry

The Journey of Seed Diversity and Sustainability

The Origin and Cultural Significance of Seeds

Seeds, often underappreciated, have a fascinating history and great potential. Originating from wild plants, they were crucial in early agriculture, especially among indigenous farmers who developed and passed down new varieties through generations. In traditional agricultural societies, a farmer’s worth was measured by their proficiency in seed keeping, involving cultivation, harvest, cleaning, and storage.

The Impact of Industrial Farming on Seed Diversity

The rise of industrial farming and seed companies significantly changed agriculture, making traditional seed saving obsolete and leading to the loss of important skills. This shift resulted in the disappearance of many fruit and vegetable varieties, as much as 95% by some estimates, due to a new focus on uniformity and shelf life. The introduction of hybrid and GM seeds, which don’t yield viable offspring, and the patenting of varieties by large companies, has further pressured global food security.

The Role of Open Pollinated Seeds in Sustainable Agriculture

Open Pollinated Seeds (OP) represent a return to natural seed production methods. These seeds, resulting from natural pollination, are notable for their consistency; when saved and replanted, they yield the same variety, assuming no cross-pollination occurs. Supporting local, small-scale seed companies that offer OP seeds contributes to preserving genetic diversity and species. These seeds are not only reliable in various growing conditions but are also adaptable to climate change, making them a valuable asset in the pursuit of sustainable agriculture.

Some of our growing methods and the ways we’re making a difference include:

  • organic, natural soil amendments
  • crop rotation to limit disease, pests and nutrient deficiencies
  • no till methods reducing soil compaction and the disruption of the natural soil layers
  • the use of natural mulch to aid in soil and moisture retention and weed suppression
  • drip irrigation to preserve our water supply and ensure it goes only where it’s needed
  • reduced use of plastic for weed suppression
  • going Electric! We sold our tractor, drive an electric car and use an electric lawnmower
  • bicycling to market whenever possible with an electric assist bike and trailer
  • maintaining seed varieties from extinction
  • donating part of our profits to local groups in support of climate action, Truth and Reconciliation, food sovereignty and seed sovereignty
  • taking part in Indigenousled Reconciliation workshops

From Comox Valley Roots to Island-wide Growth

In 2002 we joined the Comox Valley Farmers Market and credit the organization with giving us a strong foothold in the local community. Our seeds are currently sold in several retail outlets in the Comox Valley and throughout Vancouver Island. We can be found in the early spring months at many community Seedy Saturday / Sunday events and our online store is open year round for sales of individual  seed packs as well as larger amounts for farmers and market gardeners.

When we’re not busy with our hands covered in dirt or working on seemingly endless spreadsheets, we’ll most likely be outside on a hike, riding our bicycles, ski touring or at a local swimming hole.

Our hope is that the next decade will see us continue on our path, be open to challenges and change and to provide our community, near and far, with quality Organic Seeds.