Seeds of Diversity's Canadian Seed Library is a collection of seeds that backs up the work of our member seed savers and Canadian heritage seed companies. As a not-for-profit project, we store back-up samples of Canadian seed, prioritizing rare and locally adapted varieties to be available for future gardeners and farmers.

Community Seed Grow-Outs 2023

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Community Grow-Outs Program 2023

This season, we are offering 3 grow-out projects in partnership with the EFAO and Bauta Family Initiative for Canadian Seed Security.

  • Save & Share: Dwarf Tomatoes
  • Save & Share: Beans for Canadian Climates
  • Collaborative Breeding of an Upright Ground Cherry: Year 4

You can participate in as many Community Seed Grow-Out projects as you'd like.
Sign up now using this form.

 

Save & Share Projects (beginner-friendly)

These projects are pretty straightforward: we want your help saving seeds and increasing how broadly they are shared across the country. While our Canadian Seed Library does a good job of seed conservation, the goal is not just to keep endangered seed alive but to get it into as many gardens as possible. We’ve chosen what we hope are some worthy varieties carried by only a few Canadian seed companies. Your job will be to grow them, take observations, save LOTS of seed, and help us share it.  

Gardeners love fresh, delicious, home-grown tomatoes, but not everyone has enough space for tall, vining plants. That’s why we’re excited to introduce Canadian gardeners to dwarf tomatoes - varieties that have compact plants, but not necessarily small fruit.

We’re also concerned about the quickly changing growing conditions that all gardeners are experiencing, and we know you are too. Adapting to a changing climate is a big deal, but you can help in a small way by growing a selected bean variety and helping us all learn how it grows where you are.New to saving seeds? That’s OK! You’re welcome to take part. The bean project is particularly beginner-friendly. We will send you seeds and provide instructions throughout the season. Just make sure you have the time and garden space to follow through.

 

Dwarf Tomatoes

We've selected about a dozen dwarf tomato varieties, ranging from ultra-compact to ~3ft tall. All of them can be grown in gardens or pots. None of them should require staking. All of them are relatively rare. We'll decide what to send you, but you can choose whether you will receive a cherry or slicer.

If you don’t know what dwarf tomato varieties are, learn more at https://www.dwarftomatoproject.net

Requirements:

  • Garden space to grow out 10 dwarf tomato plants at 1.5’ separation
  • 20' isolation distance from any other tomato varieties
  • A warm, bright spot to start seeds indoors and grow seedlings for 6-8wks
  • Willingness to collect, clean & share seeds

Registration deadline: March 1

 

Beans for Canadian Climates

We've selected bean varieties that we think hold promise to thrive in Canadian growing conditions. There are snap, shelly and dry beans included. We'll decide what to send you, but you can choose your preferred climate conditions and whether you receive a pole or bush bean.

Requirements:

  • Space to grow 15-20 feet of bean plants
  • 20' isolation distance from any other bean varieties
  • Commitment to taking written observations throughout the season
  • Willingness to collect, clean & share seeds

Registration deadline: March 15

 

Ground Cherry Breeding Project Year 4 (intermediate/advanced)

Participatory Plant Breeding is not as complicated as it sounds, but it is more involved than just saving seed. For the past 3 years, gardeners across the country have been working together to develop an upright-growing variety of ground cherry (Physalis pruinosa), planting the prior year’s seed and making selections . You can help continue the process:

  • We'll send you a packet of last year’s seeds, collected from all those gardens last year.
  • Grow as many plants as you can (20 to 30 would be a good range to aim for).
  • Uproot the short-bearing plants that grow flat on the ground prior to flowering, to prevent them from crossing with the tall-bearing plants.
  • Taste the berries and keep seeds only from the ones that have excellent flavour.

Every time we repeat this process we get closer to the goal of a ground cherry that tastes great, and bears on upright (easy to harvest) plants.

Requirements:

  • 30-40 sq ft of garden space
  • ability to start seedlings indoors at 20-25C 6-8 weeks before transplanting

Registration deadline: February 20

 

You can participate in as many Community Seed Grow-Out projects as you'd like.
Sign up now using this form.

 

In addition to our Community Grow-Outs, we are always looking for experienced seed savers who can help multiply the especially rare seeds in our Canadian Seed Library collection.

If you're an experienced seed saver interested in helping with growing other crops, contact our Seed Library Co-Ordinator angie@seeds.ca

Community Grow-Outs managed in partnership with:

EFAO logo
Bauta logo