I just added another link to our list of Weblinks: BC Seeds. This is an initiative of Farm Folk/City Folk and a bunch of seed producers and other friends of sustainable agriculture in BC. The coolest feature is the database of organic seeds, which allows you to search for the source(s) of any kind of food plant you’re interested in finding seeds for.

Here is their list of suppliers.

There are some glitches. For example, a search for “tomato” turns up an entry for Lutz beet, because the information from the Salt Spring catalogue entry for this variety comtains the sentence “We bake both the greens and the roots with caramelized onions in a tangy tomato sauce for a mouth-watering harvest dish.”

Here is some tantalizing information:

BC Seed grower Patrick Steiner has just published his first seed growing book: Small-Scale Organic Seed Production. This publication is not so much a “how-to” of seed growing as it is a “what to expect” when embarking on a journey of seed growing.

Patrick interviews several small-scale seed growers from Canada and the United States to get a glimpse of their experience over the years – their successes, their challenges, and what to expect in the future. Their stories are inspiring and do a wonderful job of preparing the reader for the world of seed growing.

Patrick himself is an experienced seed grower, operating Stellar Seeds (www.stellarseeds.com) in Salmon Arm, BC. He is well-known for his high-quality seeds as well as his involvement in seed growing education. Patrick has worked for the last several years on seed security issues in Canada and abroad, including serving on the board of USC Canada (www.usc-canada.org)

Organic seed production plays a vital role in developing sustainable food systems. With chemical seed production often being heavily reliant on pesticide use, the energy savings alone with organic seed production is huge. Furthermore, growing seed crops in organic conditions helps ensure that the plants that sprout from those seeds are also better adapted to organic systems.

Funding for the manual came from the Organic Sector Development Program. The 40-page manual is available for $10 as a print copy or $5 as a an electronic copy in pdf format. To get a copy of the manual, contact FarmFolk/CityFolk at admin@ffcf.bc.ca.

We ought to get a copy of this manual.