Saturday, 17 June 2017

Hello again everyone, please find below some information on Seed saving from our friends at Just Food.

We are continuing to celebrate Local Food Week!  This time today we wish to share some information on our seed programs & partners!

For farmers and experienced or large plot gardener please see the section below.

If you are on a small plot, a beginner gardener, or prefer to grow seeds for sharing with friends & neighbours, then participating in the Ottawa Seed Library is definitely of interest to you.

Ottawa Seed Library 
Much like a regular library, seed libraries allow participants to borrow, but instead of books participants can borrow seed!  Interested growers can borrow a few varieties of seed at the beginning of the year for free - all we ask is that you bring it back at the end of the year.  In this way, Ottawa Seed Library participants are able to learn the important art of seed saving, while at the same time allowing for more community members to get engaged.  Over time, more complex seeds will be available to be borrowed, as our collective skills as a community improve. Participants will receive training when seeds are accessed through Beginner Seed Saving workshops - hosted by resident experts. Throughout the season more activities will be planned that provide opportunities to exchange seeds, ideas & to learn from experienced growers.  Join the community today!  See below for details on how to get involved.

Thank you to the Ottawa Public Library & Your Credit Union for supporting the development of this program.

For Farmers & experienced gardeners with larger space

In addition to the Ottawa Seed Library, Just Food supports training & coordination for farm scale seed production though our regional seed program.

The Regional Seed Program works closely with the Bauta Initiative on Seed SecurityUSC-Canada, & Seed of Diversity to enhance our seed system & seed skills.  In the Ottawa region there are many opportunities to be involved.  If you are a vegetable grower, you can access seed & receive commercial level training on best practices for vegetable seed production. You then become part of a growing community of seed growers aiming to enhance the production of locally available seeds in Eastern Ontario & Western Quebec.  This year our participants are growing out two new varieties of vegetables that should be of use to local growers - an early ripening red pepper and a powdery mildew resistance cucumber.  It provides us both a canvas to practice our craft, yet also provides a useful outcome for this region.

Interested grain growers are able to participate in the Public Participatory Plant Breeding Project, whereby local growers can access trial varieties from the University on Manitoba with the intent of creating new varieties of Wheat, Oats & Potatoes!  Here's a link to an upcoming field walk on July 14 with one of the regional Participants, Against the Grain Farms & the breeder, Dr. Martin Entz, from UMB.

Get Involved - Become a Seed Saver

Anyone interested in any of these seed saving initiatives can sign up for seed related information by checking the "Seed Saving programs," box at our Newsletter sign up page, or by send an email to You can also donate seeds to the Seed Library, or preserve a rare variety in our Regional seed bank - Please contact if you have seeds you would like to donate.

Nine out of every ten bites of food starts with seed - Food Security is Seed Security.  Together we can enhance our available seed so that it meets the needs of all types of growers in our region.

Happy Local Food Week!
From the Just Food Team