The Comox Valley Seed Bank was founded in 2012 by a group of people under the leadership of Vivien Adams. This is how she describes the story of starting the Seed Bank.
Eight years ago (in 2012), it was becoming clear that organic, open-pollinated seeds were under threat. We were learning that Monsanto was buying up commercial seed companies, without putting their name on them, but in fact making it illegal to save the seeds. We learned that many of the seeds we buy off supermarket racks came from China. and our Heritage or Heirloom seeds were disappearing, many never to be seen again. This was our precious heritage of plants grown by generations of gardeners, selected for the best traits, and of course, since they had not been crossed with another plant, they could be saved for the future. We have already lost a large percentage of these old varieties. One more great reason: if we grew plants and saved the seeds locally, those would become adapted to our climate in the Comox Valley, and therefore more resilient.
On Seedy Saturday 2012 I asked people who were interested in exploring the idea of a Community Seed Bank to join me in the back room of the Filberg Centre. There was a lot of interest, although like me nobody had any experience of starting a seed bank. But this was the beginning. If you start it, they will come!
We have come so far in 8 years by learning and experimenting, and now we are proud to say we follow the protocols of Community Seed Banks set up by Seeds of Diversity, our national seed bank. Our members bring experience, curiosity, and passion for seeds and plant varieties, organic gardening techniques, and seed-saving techniques. Royann Petrell brought her scientific understanding of selecting seeds for genetic diversity, and her energy and creative ideas which has taken us into new directions. Because we are a community of growers we can obtain information on each plant variety from different locations in the Valley, which adds to our understanding.
if you are curious about being part of our seed bank, let us know. Everyone is welcome! Become part of food security in the Valley.