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)

Salt Spring Island, BC

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)

Courtenay, BC

Amara Farm is a certified organic vegetable, berry and nut farm located 10 minutes north of Courtenay on the unceded territory of the K’omoks people. Arzeena and her family have been feeding her community for over 12 years. Arzeena’s passion for seed saving was sparked after hearing Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seed speak at a conference she helped to organize. A seed mentorship with Mary Alice of ALM farm and a trip to the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon are just a few of the ongoing education opportunities that Arzeena has continued to seek out to improve her seed saving knowledge. Amara Farm specializes in short-season varieties that are easy to grow and are resilient to the unpredictable seasons that have been coming at the farm over the last decade. Arzeena loves that fact that being a member of the BC Eco Seed Co-op means that she can concentrate on saving seed varieties she loves to grow and do well in her environment.

 

Bright Farm (Jessica Kavanaugh and John Pattison)

Salt Spring Island, BC

Bright Farm is a certified organic no-till farm on Salt Spring 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)

Chilliwack, BC

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)

Fraser Valley, BC

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. 

 

Enderby Organic Farm (Dalbir Bains)

Enderby, BC

Enderby Organic Farm Limited is located in Enderby North Okanagan and grows organic garlic and other vegetables. I have been supplying organic garlic seeds to different seed companies since 2014.We grow 15 different hard neck and soft neck garlic varieties. I attended the Organic Seed Alliance course offered in the USA last year and learned a lot about seed production.

 

 

 

FarmFolk CityFolk

(Abbottsford, Aldergrove, Kitimat-Stikine, Saanich, BC)

FarmFolk CityFolk produces seeds at Seed Hub sites across BC. 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.

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 and create replicates of trials in varying climatic conditions. 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 carefully select crops to cultivate at our Seed Hub Sites, aiming to maximize research potential and broaden access to seeds not widely available in BC.

 

Full Circle Seeds (Mary-Alice Johnson)

Sooke, BC

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)

Aldergrove, BC

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)

Gibsons, BC

Grounded Acres Organic Farm is a small-scale, mixed produce and livestock farm currently growing on 3 acres in unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory in Gibsons, on the Sunshine Coast of BC. Hannah and Mel grow over 60 varieties of berries and mixed vegetables and tend to a flock of 100 laying hens. They sell through a weekly farmers’ market, farm stand, box program, and wholesale. The produce they grow and laying hens they raise are certified organic under the BC Certified Organic Program, using agricultural practices that regenerate and contribute to the health of our ecosystem. They are a queer-run farm established in 2021 with values rooted in food justice and creating safer spaces in agriculture for folks who identify as 2SLGTBQ+ and BIPOC.
Mel has been integrating seed production within commercial mixed vegetables farms since 2011. She was part of the original group of dedicated seed producers creating the BC Eco Seed Coop and has been working on multiple breeding lines over the years, most of which are available through the BC Eco Seed Coop. 

Growing Opportunities

Nanaimo, BC

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.

 

Hummingbird Farm (Lana and Brad Braun)

Winlaw, BC

Hummingbird Farm is celebrating its 10th season in 2024! We grow specialty cut flowers and small fruits in Zone 5, in the beautiful Kootenays in BC.  We started saving our own seed as lots of cut flower seed is hard to find and impossible to find certified organic. As a certified organic farm, this lack of supply is a serious issue. Since joining the BC Eco Seed Co-op we have continued to expand our seed-saving including our favourite annuals and perennials that we know are easy to grow and a must for any cutting garden, or farm looking to expand their market offerings with cut flowers. All of our seeds are from blooms and fillers we know you will love as we do!

 

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.

 

Metchosin Farm ((Fiona Hamersley Chambers and Dan McDonald)

Metchosin, BC

Metchosin Farm is a certified organic seed and plant nursery stewarding 260+ seed varieties, 25+ soft fruits, garlic and many hard to find edible roots and tubers. Growing since 2004, the farm’s focus is on improving the quality of genetics available to backyard gardeners as well as creating new plant food varietals. Recent introductions include the ‘Metchosin’ apple, ‘My-Chosen Purple’ and ‘Orozco’ potatoes, ‘Purple Soft Leaf’ kale, and ‘Teardrop’ and ‘Strawberry Cherry’ tomatoes, among others. 

Growing up homesteading on the West coast of Vancouver Island as well as in the UK countryside, Fiona was interested in plants from a young age and this led eventually to graduate studies in ethnobotany and a professional specialty in revitalization of traditional plant food systems. She works with many coastal BC First Nations in food security/sovereignty and has authored or co-authored a number of field guides including Wild Berries of BC and Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada. A plant-breeding internship with John Navazio at Johnny’s Select Seeds in Maine as well as 30+ years of mentorship from Seeds of Victoria’s Carolyn Herriot solidified her commitment to seed production. She’s grateful to have had Bauta support to attend an OSA conference, has taught part of the OSA’s seed growing course, and also appreciates the ongoing educational and networking webinars offered by FarmFolk, CityFolk. Dan has come later in life to farming, after a career spanning teaching, athletics, environmental consulting and chasing surf. He’s very proud of his garlic crops! Metchosin Farm is located on traditional Lekwungen, T’souke and Schian’exw territory and their stewardship of this land, especially the soil, is gratefully acknowledged.

 

Mr. Mercy's Mushrooms (Robin Mercy)

Kaslo, BC

Robin Mercy has spent most of his working life in the forests of interior BC. This informs his approach in the world of cultivation, trying to find and imitate what is already working in our local ecosystems and using that as a starting point. He lives and works on a small homestead in rural BC, with his partner Tamara, and kids Kirin and Akasha. He doesn’t have anything that especially qualifies him to be selling you mushrooms, except an under-developed sense of what is normal.

 

River and Sea Flowers

Delta, BC

River and Sea Flowers is a certified organic cut flower farm on Westham Island in Delta BC, run by Rachel Ryall and her team. We are located on the unceded territory of the Tsawwassen, Musqueam and other Hun'qumyi'num' speaking peoples, at the mouth of the Fraser River where it flows out into the Salish Sea, which gives the farm its name. We specialize in growing cut flowers for our local farmer's market customers and florists as well as at our farmstand and in bulk for DIY events.

We have been saving seed for our own use for a few years and are excited to scale up a few crops for dedicated seed production in 2024. We look forward to getting more organic cut flower seeds out into the world in the future!



Saanich Organics - Seeds of The Revolution!

Saanich, 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)

Richmond, BC

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.

 

Urban Micro (Chris Thoreau)

Burnaby, BC

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.