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Back to January 2016 Newsletter

Sourcing Canadian Seeds

Angie Koch

It’s the time of year to cozy up with seed catalogues! While many of you may prefer to leaf through paper copies of catalogues from your favourite companies, some of you may be interested in finding new sources or researching sources for Canadian seed online. Check out these online services to identify sources of Canadian, heritage, organic, regionally adapted or other hard-to-find seed and enjoy a beautiful, diverse garden this summer.


Seeds of Diversity's Canadian Seed Catalogue Inventory

This is a list of vegetable and fruit seeds that were sold in recent years by Canadian seed companies. The list is organized by seed company and by crop. Follow links to visit any of the companies’ websites, or click on crop names (in the box on the right) for a list of all varieties we’re aware are being carried in Canada. Note that this list is only updated every two years.


Seeds of Diversity’s Ecological Seed Finder

This service (currently being updated for the 2016 season) helps you find seeds that are well suited to your region in Canada. Choose a crop species and select your region to find which seed suppliers are located near you. Local seed companies often sell the varieties that are best suited for your growing conditions.


 Find Organic Seed

Canadian Organic Growers developed with the goal of making it easier for organic farmers to find the seed they need. You can browse catalogues from several organic seed suppliers. Keep track of your choices by making a "seed list" that you can come back to as often as you like.


Seeds of Diversity's Member Seed Directory

This is a listing of over 2980 varieties of vegetable, fruit, grain and herb seeds saved by Seeds of Diversity members across the country. This directory is available to members only, so become a member today if you'd like access to this fantastic grassroots resource. Over two-thirds of the varieties in the directory are not available from any seed company in North America. Our grower members conserve and offer these seeds to other members, to ensure that the varieties can be grown, tested and adopted by gardeners across Canada. This member-to-member seed exchange is an incredible example of people protecting the people's seeds.


Seedy Saturdays

These events happen all across the country through the winter months, and each features a community seed exchange. Trade or purchase seed grown by local gardeners. We have an event listing on our website - check back for updates and to find an event close to you as the winter progresses.


Community Seed Libraries

Community seed libraries protect genetic diversity in our food system and promote public access to seeds. Community members can check seeds out and grow them on the condition that a portion of the freshly grown seeds will be donated back to the library. These seeds are then stored and made available to others who continue to contribute to this cycle of taking seeds, growing them and donating a portion back to keep the collection viable, healthy and fresh. Seeds of Diversity works with the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security to support many of these community seed libraries across Canada because they work towards the same goal we have be striving towards for over 30 years.


Happy seed hunting!



Angie Koch is Seeds of Diversity's Seed Library Coordinator.


Back to January 2016 Newsletter

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