Mission Statement

Our mission is to conserve and preserve our local plant diversity by encouraging and supporting public participation in growing heritage and non-hybrid food crops and other plants.


  1. What does non-hybrid mean? Plant offspring can be expected to be virtually identical to the parents. Original plant varieties must be preserved because seeds from hybrid plants do not breed true. Non-hybrid is also known as “open-pollinated”.
  2. Why save old non-hybrid varieties and native plants?
    • to perpetuate our seed heritage
    • to maintain genetic diversity and integrity
    • to have control over our food supply
  3. Advantages of growing older varieties:
    • extended harvest season
    • greater disease and pest resistance
    • proven over time
    • adapted to fluctuating water tables and temperature extremes

Board of Directors

  •  Chairperson.        
  • Sylvain Alie;

grew up in Eastern Canada and spent many hours helping Mom and Dad prepare,weed and harvest the family plot, his introduction to gardening. A graduate in Business Administration Sylvain worked in many fields ending his career with a decade long stint in industrial baking. Now retired, he lives on Steller Raven Farm with his spouse
Royann Petrell where they have farmed organically for the past 20 years. His passion forfarming, rekindled in his early 30’s, is almost an addiction. He says “There is nothing likedirt under your fingernails to make you feel in touch with nature.“ He loves to share his passion for the land and explain how Steller Raven has provided most of their fruits and vegetables while living the “100 foot Diet“. He loves experimenting with new crops and hopes to get more people growing different plants with his continued involvement in the the Plant Sale and Seedy Saturday.

  • Vice Chair
  • Gordon Greenough.   
  • Gordon spent most of his life in Calgary, dreaming  about the day when he could move to the coast and enjoy a warmer climate and gardening. Gordon taught middle school, mathematics and art, for most of his 27 year career. He had a one year leave of absence and traveled to China, Thailand and Indonesia. 12 years ago he moved to Comox where he spent most of his time building (two homes), painting watercolors and for the last 5 years, gardening. He is presently almost finished his latest house and looking forward to gardening/landscaping, sculpting in clay and metal, and some travelling.
  • Recording Secretary
  • -Leona Wall; grew up in Smithers, BC and learned her passion for gardeningfrom her English Grandfather whose family made their living for generations gardening near
    Canterbury, Kent. She started gardening organically in the mid-nineties in a large
    community allotment garden in Victoria which later became a housing development. After
    retiring from the public service, she moved to the Comox Valley in 2003. She and her
    partner now live at Creekside Commons where the community has a large organic
    community garden. She helps coordinate the growing of vegetables. She joined CV
    Growers and Seed Savers shortly after arriving in the Valley and is hoping to share her
    passion for growing your own food and saving seed with the all generations through her
    involvement with Seedy Saturday, the Plant Sale, and the Fall Fair. She hosts the monthly
    meetings at Creekside.
  • Treasurer –
  •  Dianna Talbot grew up in the Comox Valley on a hobby farm where her family had
    chickens, pigs, horses, dairy and beef cattle and a large vegetable garden. After
    graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Forest Resource Management, she worked for
    several years in silviculture and wildlife research. Now living in suburban Comox (vinyl
    ground zero), Dianna is converting a bleak lawn into a healthy ecosystem and food
    garden. Dianna believes that with climate change and rising oil prices, local food
    production will be increasingly important. She is excited to be part of the seed saving
    movement. She is passionate about supporting our local farmers, protecting farmland,
    and developing genetically diverse locally adapted seeds for future generations. Dianna
    has served on the board since June 2013, organized the September 2013 garden tour,
    and became treasurer in May 2014. She hopes to increase local food security through
    the expanding CVGSS seed bank and public education.
  • Directors at Large
  •  Membership coordinator – open
  • Jenny Gohl comes from a family of gardeners. Her father was Director of Parks and
    Forests in Cape Town, South Africa and from him she learned about indigenous plants
    and vegetable gardening. She is a physical therapist with much knowledge about the body mechanics
    involved in gardening and how to prevent back strain. With the ideals of local and seasonal she tries
    to grow as much of her own food as possibe, experimenting with various crops and
    methods of isolating seeds for saving in a small space. She is  coordinator of the Seed exchange for Seedy Saturday.
  • She also coordinates Seedy Saturday and the plant sale.
  • She would like to research, with input from all her seed saver friends, which varieties do best in the Comox Valley and so become discriminate on which seeds we save. She is also fascinated by the idea of creating new varieties. “My latest project is developing a purple runner bean.”


  • Peter Polson.

Directors’ Duties

  • BOARD MEMBERS – make decisions on behalf of the CVGSS membership guided by the society’s constitution and bylaws. The Board members are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, or as needed during the year.
  • CHAIRPERSON – Chairs Board meetings, creates and distributes meeting agendas, and represents the organization in the community. Decisions are made by consensus. The Chair may conduct other meetings as well, including the Annual General Meeting and monthly membership meetings.
  • VICE CHAIR – Takes over the duties of the Chair when that person is absent and may assist the Chair when necessary.
  • MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY – Keeps an updated list and contact information of the membership, keeping that information confidential. Forwards newsletters, membership renewals, announcements and other documents as needed.
  • RECORDING SECRETARY – Takes minutes of the Board meetings and sends them to the Board executive. The minutes are corrected as needed and archived for reference.
  • TREASURER – Keeps track of financial matters of the society, records and reports this status to the Board at regular intervals.
  • DIRECTOR AT LARGE -Takes on various duties as needed, such as coordinating events, writing and distributing the newsletter, or updating documents.