The Comox Valley Seed Bank is now almost one year old and starting its second season of growing and saving seeds. The core team members produced an impressive variety of seeds in 2012, which were packed, labelled and stored in two identical bins, kept in different locations in case of damage. All the plants were monitored during their growth, right up to seed formation, and details were recorded about the performance of each seed type. These records will be kept from year to year, giving us a good picture of how each plant performs under different weather conditions, as well as resilience to pests and diseases, productivity, taste and length of time from seed to seed.
The seeds will be stored in cool, dry storage for a maximum of 3 years, but during that time, many of the seeds packed in 2012 and subsequent years will be grown out and seeds returned to the Seed Bank, as it is a living Seed Bank, and we want to make sure that the seeds we store have been tried out during seasons with a variety of conditions.
We will be increasing the variety of seeds we grow this year. What follows will give you an idea of some of the plant varieties we saved in 2012:
~ Beans (8 types)
~ Beets (2 types)
~ Winter squash (2 types)
~ Tomatoes (5 types)
~ Lettuce and other greens (7 types)
You might be still wondering how you can get involved in the Seed Bank. One option is to join the Team, the group that attends meetings and steers the unfolding of the project. Some members have taken on specific responsibilities, and all have taken on commitments to grow and save seed varieties.
A second option is one we are beginning as we go into the second season, which is to become part of “The Second Tier” of people who contribute seeds grown specifically for the Seed Bank, but don’t attend meetings. By doing this, you would help to increase the quantity of seeds we have available for even more growers next year.
If you are intrigued by this and would like to find out more, contact Vivien Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 250-338-8341. The seeds above are available to people willing to follow some basic growing rules, sign a simple Agreement that you will return some seeds to us at the end of the season, and monitor the progress of each plant on a Crop Record form.
Global warming and the activities of giant companies that are patenting a large number of seeds in the world, both present threats to the future of our seed supply. Locally-adapted seeds of food crops in particular will help to provide us with food security. Let us know if you would like to get involved.