ATLANTIC CANADA

The program in Atlantic Canada is focused on virtual and in-person knowledge exchange for seed growers, biodiversity conservation and recovery, and creating strong regional networks for farmers who are engaged or interested in seed work. Many farmers in the region use and save seed from open-pollinated varieties with rich history in the area, keeping those varieties, plant genetics, and stories alive one season to the next. Seed growers here help organize some of the country's most vibrant Seedy Saturday events, and are actively involved in local community seed collections -- a thriving movement in Atlantic Canada. ACORN hosted this program from 2013 - 2018 and remains an important collaborator in the region. Stephanie Hughes is the Atlantic Canada Program Manager. You can reach her at shughes@weseedchange.org. See below for more information on our programs.

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-- Farmer-to-Farmer Seed Mentorship Program2024 Applications have closed.This program connects experienced seed growers with farmers wanting to increase the scale, quality, and/or diversity of seed they're saving on-farm. Mentors are paid to provide 10-20 hours of one-on-one support, helping mentees reach their seed growing goals. The program is self-directed and flexible, completed between May - November. This is not a hosted internship; mentees should have an established space where they can cultivate their seed crops. For more information, please email Steph at shughes@weseedchange.org

-- Seed Bank Grow-out Program.  The sign up for for 2024 has been closed. The Atlantic Canada Regional Seed Bank was established in 2014 to increase access to regionally adapted, open-pollinatied crop varieties. A partnership between The Bauta Family Initiative, Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture, and Seeds of Diversity, the bank is supported by 15-20 regional growers who curate the collection -- choosing, growing out, improving, and contributing the varieties each year. The 2024 program will focus on refreshing seed from rare varieties contributed over 5 years ago. These are varieties available by 3 or fewer commercial providers in Canada. The list of priority varieties is available HERE. If you are new to the program and would like to sign up for a future year, please complete THIS FORM and email Steph at shughes@weseedchange.org.

-- Atlantic Grown Seed Showcase Gardens. In partnership with Hayes Farm (NB) and Legacy Community Garden (PEI), we are showcasing and trialing regionally bred and stewarded varieties of vegetables. Read more about this work. 

-- Find Local Seed. In partnership with ACORN, our program maintains a regional database of seed sellers in Atlantic Canada. Providing information on the company, the kind of seed it sells (local, imported, etc.), and its organic status. Purchasing locally grown seed for your garden and farm is an important way to support farmers and to access high quality seed with excellent potential for regional adaptation and seed saving. Access the directory. Learn more about Canada's vegetable seed industry.

-- Seed Libraries & Community Seed Projects. This region is home to dozens of community-based seed programs which aim to share seed and educate about seed saving. If you're part of such a project, or looking to find one/start one, please visit the Community Seed Network. Add yourself to their growing membership by putting yourself on the map, and check out their long list of resources. For more information on this sector in Atlantic Canada, contact Steph Hughes.