Local seed varieties are key to protecting the genetic diversity of crops, according to Island seed growers. Metchosin Farm is cleaning and saving about 120 different seed varieties this season, all locally grown open-pollinated heirloom varieties.
“We do quite a wide range of seeds, so we have your usual vegetables like carrots, beets, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce,” said Fiona Hamersley Chambers of Metchosin Farm. “Then we do herbs, and we do quite a few native plants as well, especially berries.” To help the farm out in its process of cleaning and saving the seeds, FarmFolk CityFolk is stopping by with their mobile seed cleaner.
“It’s built to help seed growers clean their seeds more efficiently,” said Siri van Gruen, a coordinator for the organization’s B.C. seed security program. “A big barrier for a lot of seed producers across the province does not have the equipment to efficiently process their seeds.” The mobile seed cleaner - with its 2021 tour funded by the ministry of agriculture - comes equipped with a thresher, a winnow wizard, and different screens and clippers.
Metchosin Farm grows about 260 different seed varieties and the reason for it, Hamersley Chambers says, is simple. “There’s no food security without seed security.”
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