Meet Our Members
Meet some of the members behind the BC Eco Seed Co-op! For a full list of current members see our Current Members page here.
Akasha Seeds (Rupert Adams)
Rupert has been working with plants and growing seeds for over 2 decades and working with Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds since 2004. As Akasha Seeds, Rupert grows a wide range of vegetable, grain and herb seeds for Salt Spring Seeds and the BC EcoSeed Co-op. He specializes in growing medicinal herbs, running his own medicinal herb and tincture business Kairos Botanicals. From 2013-16 Rupert worked with the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, 2 years as the BC co-coordinator, and one year as the National Training Advisor. In 2021, Rupert co-authored his first book “Medicinal Herbs to Know and Grow” with Dan Jason, with a follow up in 2023 “Medicinal Perennials to Know and Grow” through Harbour publishing. He has been growing seeds at Abundance Community Farm near Agassiz, BC, for the past 5 seasons, and recently relocated to Hope Hill Farm, Salt Spring Island, BC for the 2024 season.
Amara Farm (Arzeena Hamir)
Bright Farm (Jessica Kavanaugh and John Pattison)
Bright Farm is a certified organic no-till farm on Saltspring Island. Farmers Jessica and John grow a wide diversity of vegetables, fruits, and seeds. Our approach to farming recognizes that great farms are embedded in their ecosystems and only thrive when care and consideration are given to all aspects of the surrounding landscape. This includes the soil, the water, the plants and animals that share the farm spaces, and also the people and social connections that make up the community surrounding us. We strive to be good neighbours and to create beneficial connections and relationships with all these elements.
Diggers Farm (Suz Coulter & David Burdge)
Suz Coulter and David Burdge have been sharing stewardship of an off-grid 20 acre homestead on the Chilliwack River since 2011, growing garlic and vegetables for a small market garden, keeping goats and chickens and saving seeds. They grow ecologically and are working to have rich biodiversity on their farm. In the last few years they've focused on moving beyond seed saving to seed producing, and have recently completed the Canadian Organic Growers Vegetable Seed Production course. They're keen to grow some regionally adapted quality seeds as some kind of sane gesture in this insane anthropocene.
Earth Apple Organic Farm (Shirlene Cote and Mike Nyberg)
Mike and Shirlene are the owners and farmers of Earth Apple Organic Farm. Shirlene, with a fondness for potatoes, named the farm after les pommes de terres back in 2011. Through many adventures over the years, the farm now grows a wide array of vegetables, some fruit and has a particularly strong focus on growing big, beautiful, beefy GARLIC. Farmer Mike has been growing garlic commercially for 14 years and established New Mountain Garlic with Shirlene in 2020. New Mountain Garlic provides seed garlic through the BCESC, other seed companies and via our online store.
We farm at Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op where we grow certified organic produce with our partners for the Glen Valley Organic Farm CSA program.
We acknowledge the traditional ancestral unceded shared territory of the Sumas First Nation and Mastqui First Nation. These two First Nations are part of the Stό:lō Nation. The Stό:lō people have lived in the Fraser Valley for 10,000 years. It is for this reason that we acknowledge the traditional territory in which we reside and grow food.
Full Circle Seeds (Mary-Alice Johnson)
Mary Alice loves seed; their shapes, structures, colours and textures and the feeling of holding them in her hands. She started saving seeds the first year she started growing vegetables commercially and began her small seed company in 1994, first as ALM Seeds and then under the name Full Circle Seeds. She grows almost all her own seed on the two properties that make up the farm and has over 275 varieties she’s able to grow through using time and distance barriers as well as hand pollination.
Glorious Organics Co-op (Susan Davidson)
Glorious Organics Co-op has always done some seed saving, while growing fruits and vegetables for some of Vancouver's finest restaurants and farmers markets. In the beginning we maintained just a few crops that had been handed to us by fellow farmers, like string-less runner beans and Aprovecho fava. Over the years we have educated ourselves in various aspects of seed saving and breeding, increasing our capacity to harvest good quality seed with interesting yet stable genetics. Many of our members have attended workshops and travelled multiple times to the Organic Seed Growers Conference in the USA, run by the Organic Seed Alliance, as well as taken part in the BC Seed Gatherings. In the early days we started by prioritizing our favorite seed varieties that we felt were at risk of being dropped by seed companies, and continued by saving seed from all kinds of species. As we gained more experience we began breeding some of our own unique varieties, and some of those breeding projects have been ongoing for over a decade. Our farming style favours diversity over uniformity, and so many of the varieties we save seed from are diverse in appearance, but uniform in vigour and flavour.
Good Earth Farms (Simon Toole & Heather Mills)
Black Creek, BC
When Simon & Heather met in 1999, both were growing seed on a small scale, and their focus quickly became “feed people well”, a project they were part of that collected, prepared and served nutritious food to the hungry in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Their passion to provide good food to their community was realized after putting down roots in Black Creek on Vancouver Island. Currently they have about one acre of land producing 70 types of food crops for seeds.
Simon & Heather have been growing seed for 22 years; 19 of them commercially.
They joined the co-op to build connections with like minded seed producers and to be a part of a community dedicated to local food security.
Grounded Acres Farm (Mel Sylvestre and Hannah Lewis)
Growing Opportunities is a Nanaimo-based farming co-operative. We got our start in 2008 but were officially incorporated in 2017 as a Community Service Cooperative. This means that we exist for the benefit of the community (not its members, as with a typical co-operative). To this end, we provide employment and enrichment opportunities to people of diverse abilities and support underrepresented and marginalized groups to co-learn in a farm setting.
In addition to this core work, Growing Opportunities frequently participates in seed trials and research activities that support organic farming and sustainable agriculture.
Growing Opportunities sells to the public via a pre-paid Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box known as the Farm Gate Crate, as well as through farm gate sales and to local restaurants and markets. The sale of our produce at market rate helps us provide free or discounted produce to community organizations that address homelessness or income instability, such as local shelters and food programs.
Heavenly Roots Farm (Kaleigh Barton & Ben Corno)
Salt Spring Island, BC
Heavenly Roots is Kaleigh Barton and Ben Corno. Now in their fifth season of production, they lease two plots of land on Salt Spring Island growing fruits and vegetables for market. Ben and Kaleigh dove into seed growing in 2016, when they were asked to coordinate the island's Seedy Saturday event. Inspired to learn more, Kaleigh attended three Plant Breeding workshops, completed a Seed Mentorship Program, attended the OSA Organic Seed Growers Conference, and began growing and selecting seed crops. Seed growing had already been a long held goal of Ben's, and he has continued to maintain tomato and pea varieties, while playfully saving seeds all over the farm. Both enjoy educating others about seed growing through workshops at Seedy Saturday and with on-farm apprentices and WWOOF participants. In 2018 the two attended the Organic Seed Growers Conference together, and cemented their plans to become active members of the BCESC. As co-op members, they seek to expand their seed growing knowledge, connect with other seed growers and promote a regional seed system to other market farmers.
Linnaea Farm (Adam Schick)
Manson's Landing, BC
Adam has been farming in B.C. since 1996 and has been living on Linnaea Farm, a 316 acre land trust, since 1998. Adam integrates seed production into the 2 acres he cultivates; an incredible space for potential seed trials and training. He has spent years teaching and sharing the art of self sufficiency and agriculture while living and working in community. Adam deeply believes in the cooperative principles that are upheld by the BC Eco Seed Co-op and is excited to be a member and help grow seed and food security here in BC.
Saanich Organics is a group of three farmers who have been growing vegetables for the Victoria community since 1997 and working together since 2002. We are all passionate about creating a viable alternative to industrial agriculture and growing the organic food movement through mentoring new farmers. We started Seeds of the Revolution in 2009 as a response to the narrowing of corporate control of our seed supply and to contribute to the availability of regionally adapted, organically grown seed. Through the hard work of our seed managers and their careful attention to isolation distances, selection of best traits, variety trials, and final seed cleaning, we are proud to offer the best of our bulk seed through the Eco Seed Co-op.
Sowing Kits Seeds & Pulses (Loki Wallace)
Loki is passionate about local food and seed security, and is always awed by the potential of just one seed. Their farm, Sowing Kits Seeds & Pulses, is located on unceded Musqueam land, along the banks of the Fraser River in what is commonly known as Richmond. They have been growing in a variety of capacities for most of a decade, building guerilla gardens, converting lawns into food gardens, operating a seed library and fresh harvest pantry, joining participatory breeding projects, and for the past three years, farming at the KPU Farm School site near Steveston. Staple crops, including tomatoes, pulses and beneficial companion plants, are the focus of their seed-growing, however they also grow a number of fruit and vegetable crops as part of seed-breeding projects and for donation to community fridges in Vancouver.
Sweet Rock Farm (Sal Dominelli)
Gabriola Island, BC
Sal Dominelli of Sweet Rock Farm on Gabriola Island has been farming since about 2003, but has had his hands in the soil from a young age helping his grandparents pick berries,or peas, or dig potatoes on their farm. The bug to become a farmer started there, and as soon as he had a place to dig, he started planting and didn't look back. He has been growing seed for fifteen years; five of them commercially. On his farm, he integrates seed production into about a 1/2 acre of Sweet Rock's five acres, as well as another 1/2 acre that he leases a few kilometres away, to keep some crops from crossing. Sal joined the co-op to connect with a group of like-minded folk who are equally passionate about seeds.
Grounded Acres Farm (Mel Sylvestre)
Sunshine Coast, BC
Mel started being interested in seed saving when she discovered that most commercial seed companies didn't grow their own seeds and most of the seeds she bought as a market farmer were not locally grown. She also had issues finding some varieties for a year to another so I took the matter in my own hands and embarked on the journey of learning to save seeds. She currently produces seeds at Grounded Acres Farm which she grows in large enough quantities to sell in bulk through the co-op.
Urban Micro (Chris Thoreau)
Chris Thoreau started his seed production adventures in 2004 after attending a workshop with Dr. John Navazio of the Organic Seed Alliance in Washington State. He went on to grow seed crops of hot peppers, purple sprouting broccoli, and parsnips for Stellar Seeds while growing several others for his own on-farm use. After a few years away from farming and seed production he joined the BC Seed Security team at FarmFolk CityFolk and started working with farmers growing carrot seed in isolation tents. Crops he is considering for the future include tomatoes, carrots, golden beets, lettuce, arugula, and purple sprouting broccoli.