Community seed libraries have sprung up around the world to create alternatives to the globalized farming industry. Locals in Vancouver have joined the global “Seed Sharing Movement” and established a number of seed libraries across the city. These seed libraries offer a variety of locally grown and climate-adapted seed specifically for our region. Additionally, they offer resources and tools to grow and save one’s own seed.
Seed art at Nexways wa lh7aynexw “Transformed Life” Britannia School Gardens
According to local seed saving project Borrow Save Share, we have lost between 75-90% of global crop diversity, including many heirloom and heritage crop varieties. As a result, our food crops are far less resilient in face of environmental disaster and extreme weather conditions.
While farmers and growers have saved and shared seeds for thousands of years, this practice has declined in recent years with the rise of a global food system. The global food system currently relies on the practice of monoculture farming, which encourages intensively growing a single crop on a large scale.
Village Vancouver and Grandview Woodlands Food Connection recently collaborated to start the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library.
In Vancouver, we are lucky to have a number of dedicated individuals and community groups who offer free or low-cost #SeedySaturday events and provide educational resources.
Beyond preserving seed diversity, one of the goals is to “increase self-reliance and community resilience by focusing on community seed saving as opposed to large commercial seed suppliers,” says Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library.
Read on for a list of local seed libraries across Vancouver.
For more information about individual Neighbourhood Food Networks or their organizations, please visit the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks map. Visit individual Neighbourhood Food Network websites for other current employment and volunteer opportunities.
This posting has been updated as of June 25, 2018.
This month, we are excited to highlight the work of our network member, Cedar Cottage Food Network in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood.
Cedar Cottage Food Network’s longest running and most popular program is their mobile markets.
Mobile markets travel throughout the Kensington-Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood to set-up pop-up produce markets.
The goal of this program is to increase food access in the community and tackle issues of both affordability and physical access.
Mobile markets address affordability by selling fresh, affordable produce, that is local and organic whenever possible, at a subsidized rate of 70% of wholesale costs.
They tackle issues of physical access by bringing the market to the community at multiple locations, addressing issues of food deserts (places where there are no nearby grocery stores) and travel for seniors and those with disabilities.
Cedar Cottage Food Network is now presenting a brand new market on the fourth Thursday of the month.