Seeds of Diversity
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September 2016

List Your Seeds in the 2017 Member Seed Directory

This is the time of year when we ask our members to list their saved seeds in our annual Member Seed DIrectory. As Canada's largest seed exchange network, our seed directory is the list of seeds that our members save at home and offer directly to other members. We publish it online and in printed catalogue form in January, and all members are welcome to request seeds.

Since it's a member-to-member seed exchange, you request seeds by sending a form to the person offering them, along with payment. Most of our grower members accept stamps as payment, and Canadian Tire money is popular too, so it's easy to participate. For nearly 30 years, our members have used this annual directory to offer and request seeds, but more importantly, it has bonded so many seed savers together through the shared experience of saving and sharing seeds, and the handwritten notes that accompany them about their gardens, challenges and successes, stories of the seeds' origins, and best wishes for the next gardening season.

If you're new to our Member Seed Directory, see the back pages of our Spring magazine for more information. You can see last year's directory at to see how it works.

We invite any members to offer their saved seeds, and only ask that you offer seeds that you are confident to be good quality and true to type. Beginners can be very successful by starting with flowers, beans, or tomatoes; the easiest seeds to save reliably.

Seed Festival & Annual General Meeting

Meet other members at our Seed Festival in Truro, Nova Scotia on Saturday November 5th and stay for our Annual General Meeting at 2:00 pm. Read the details here.

Donate Aeroplan Air Miles!
Do you have aeroplan air miles you would like to share? Consider donating them to Seeds of Diversity! Your donation will help us get staff, board members and seed savers to board meetings and other events. Each charitable donation you make will be topped up by a 10% contribution from Aeroplan.

Thank you for your donation!

How to Dry Your Seeds to Perfection

Seeds are meant to germinate when they're moist, and hibernate when they're dry. That's why it's important to dry your seeds after you harvest them. Open-air drying is the best way, and there are several methods for creating just the right conditions for perfect seed drying, using ordinary household items.


Canada’s newest heritage potato

There is no universal definition for a heritage variety, but most of us agree that fifty years is long enough to declare a popular variety to be part of our collective culture. Welcome to the club, our newest heritage potato: the renowned Yukon Gold!

Fifty years ago, Gary Johnston, a potato breeder at the University of Guelph, was intrigued by communities of Dutch immigrants who had established successful farms in southern Ontario. Their preferred yellow-fleshed potatoes were commonplace in Europe at the time, but nearly unknown in Canada where white-fleshed varieties such as Kennebec and Russet Burbank were typical.


The Mysterious Garlic of the Jesuit House

It was during a Seedy Saturday in Quebec City that I met Kevin Bouchard for the first time. Among the many people that visited the booths that day, he came and handed me a small paper envelope on which was handwritten "garlic from the garden of the Jesuits." He introduced himself and explained that he had been taking care of a garden which had belonged to the English, and more formerly Jesuit community.


The Life – and Death – of a Bumblebee

Right now, in the last days of summer, bumble bee queens are laying both female and male eggs. The females who emerge at this time will become queens themselves, and will soon mate with the emerging males. These new queens forage to build up their food stores for the winter, and then find a secluded spot to hibernate (often in leaf debris, mulch or rotting logs) for the winter. The rest of the colony, including all workers, males and old queens, will die at the end of summer or in the fall, depending on the species


In this issue

How to Dry Your Seeds to Perfection

Canada’s newest heritage potato

The Mysterious Garlic of the Jesuit House

The Life – and Death – of a Bumblebee

Not yet a member?

An annual membership to Seeds of Diversity gives you access to our seed exchange, seed grow-out programs, and our online news.


Seeds of Diversity
1-12 Dupont St W,
Waterloo, ON
N2L 2X6


Organic potato production
Wednesday, September 28th 2016
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Orchard Hill Farm
45415 Fruit Ridge Line, St Thomas ON

Heritage Cereals showcase
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Covent Garden Market
London, ON

Seed saving workshop
Saturday, October 1st, 2016
2 pm - 4pm
UBC Farm, Vancouver, BC

Best practices for harvesting and cleaning seeds
Greta's Organic Gardens
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
10 am - 3 pm
Ottawa, ON

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Seeds of Diversity Canada   —   #1-12 Dupont St West, Waterloo ON N2L 2X6   —   (226) 600-7782   —

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