Skip to content

Kamloops’ Seeds

Planting Seeds
Seeds
Seeds, KFP

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity around seeds. With spring planting just around the corner, seeds really seem to be on everyone’s minds. 

During this time a gardener’s mind can become dizzied with possibilities. There is so much joy and excitement from the vast array of colours and flavours there are to choose from. As a beginner seed saver, I’ve been amazed at the world that opens up when you begin to save your own seeds. It brings a feeling of self sufficiency, or more accurately, community sufficiency. Building a seed stock with ample variety diversity and genetic diversity truly takes a village, and I am glad it does! When we come together to work towards a common goal, a multitude of new ideas and connections can sprout. 

Gearing up for seed events this spring, Eden Mackay, our seed library volunteer, spent many days cleaning, sorting, and labelling seeds. A relaxing and meditative type of work best done with a friend. We organised the community seed library with the hopes that the seed would be eagerly plucked up and taken to good homes on Seedy Saturday on March 12. Our hopes were exceeded!  Seedy Saturday felt like an extremely special day, seeing so many familiar faces that we had missed through the long winter. While also meeting many new and experienced gardeners taking the seed home to their gardens. Prior to Seedy Saturday, we sent many of our seeds to Merritt, in the hopes that they could replenish some of their local seed stock that had been lost in the floods.

The seed in our seed library consists of seed donated to us by seed savers in the community, small seed companies, and some seed which is grown at the Butler Urban Farm. The idea behind a seed library is that our community works together to grow, save, and share seed year after year. Individuals are invited to take seed in the spring, try their hand at growing it out, and if they are able, save seed from these plants and bring them back in the fall. This helps us to have a stock of locally available seeds, adapted to our climate, and available free of cost. We hope to protect heirloom seeds - and protect the rich stories that come with them.

Saving seeds is an exercise in seed security and seed sovereignty. On March 10th we were lucky to have a visit from Sara Bartlett from Farmfolk Cityfolk to teach us about these concepts in her Seed Saving 101 workshop. After participants cleaned seed together, we gathered to learn the how and why of seed saving. We learned about the massive consolidation of seed production, the introduction of seed patents, the decreasing diversity of seeds, and how this can put us at risk in the face of supply chain disruptions and climate change. 

Earlier this March, youth volunteers from the Invasive Species Council of BC joined us for a day of learning about seed security and seed sovereignty, and got a chance to pick through our seed supply. Following this, we got a chance to get our hands dirty planting Chestnut seeds which had been cold stratifying in a fridge all winter. These chestnut trees will eventually be shared out with the community in efforts to increase more nutrient dense perennial plants across the city.

These events throughout March have brought to mind the power of seeds to connect a community, their ability to be a community resource, and how they can build resilience in what feels like uncertain times. I look forward to seeing our community seed saving capacity grow! 

We are always accepting seed donations for our seed library, so long as these seeds are open-pollinated varieties which were grown organically. As part of our Kamloops Seed Stories project, we are also seeking stories people have about a particular seed, ideally with a small donation of this seed. Did your grandma pass down this variety? Did the seed come into your possession in an interesting way? We want to hear about it!

To get in touch or find more information about our seed library, check out our website: www.kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com or email me at caitlin@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com. To stay in the loop on upcoming seed & food events, follow us on Facebook @ facebook.com/kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil or on Instagram @kamloopsfoodpolicy. For other great resources on seed security check out FarmFolk CityFolk’s BC seed security initiative.