Jun 11 2012
Posted by CHLY News as Campbell River, Chemainus, Courtenay / Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Gabriola Island, Lake Cowichan, Local Food, Nanaimo, News & Updates, Parksville, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, Victoria |
For Immediate Release: June 11, 2012
What: Seed Savers Gathering Wrap-Up
Who: Central Island Seeds Savers Network
Contact: Jen Cody
Local Non-profit Explores Yet Another Golden Opportunity to Diversify the Economy of the Alberni Valley!
Seed producers from across Vancouver Island gathered on Saturday, May 26th, at Providence Farm in Duncan to take action to increase the availability and quality of locally grown organic seeds.
As seed savers since 2007, Women’s Food and Water Initiative were invited and attended this Vancouver Island seed producers summit. At the summit it was recognised that there was an opportunity for Alberni Valley farmers. There is growing demand for seeds from areas where seeds will not be contaminated by genetically modified crops. If agreement were reached to keep genetically modified crops out of the Alberni Valley, we could become a source for seeds which would be in demand across North America. This could provide a welcome opportunity to diversify the local economy.
Representing all interests from growers to distributors to end users, participants explored different seed production, harvesting, separation and storage techniques to ensure the highest quality seed is available locally.
Growth in both commercial and home organic food production results in increased demand for locally sourced seed adapted to our regional growing conditions. Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are ideally suited to produce large quantities of numerous seed crops, due to our extended growing season and the isolation of many growing areas.
The Cowichan Valley, once home to a large seed production industry, can again supply organic seeds throughout the world. But one of the greatest threats to organic seed production is the proliferation of genetically modified plants whose pollen can contaminate organic seed crops, leading to multiple problems from loss of organic certification through unpredictable growing results and even possible negative health effects. “In addressing this concern”, says Jen Cody, a regional seed saver, “the goal in hosting a meeting for Vancouver Island and Gulf Island seed savers was to determine how seed savers can work collectively to increase the production of local organic seed. From this meeting it appears that one way to achieve this goal would be to support the formation of a BC Seeds Collective. While this is a long-term goal, we are excited to see how this type of project could unfold in the future.”
For Seed Savers who were unable to attend this event but are looking for ways to connect and network with other BC seed savers, Farm Folk City Folk will host the 2012 BC Seed Gathering from November 9 to 11, 2012 at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Richmond Campus). An interactive conference hosted between Richmond, BC and Montreal QC, this event will feature guest speaker Don Tipping, from the Siskiyou Seeds and the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative in Oregon.
Offering workshops for beginner and advanced seed savers, the BC Seed Gathering will be the ideal opportunity for participants to learn more about producing organic seeds as well as how to network within and influence the greater agriculture community. For more information on this seed gathering, visit the Farm Folk, City Folk’s website at www.farmfolkcityfolk.ca.
For further details, or to learn how you too can get participate in increasing locally produced seed in the Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island regions, contact Jen Cody of the Central Island Seed Savers Network (CISSN) for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alberni Valley Contact:
Women’s Food and Water Initiative email@example.com 250-724-7308