Who We Are

Members and Volunteers

We are a group of seed savers from coast to coast who protect Canada's seed biodiversity by growing it ourselves and sharing it with others. Every year, we multiply the most vulnerable seed varieties that we can, exchange seeds with each other, and keep those varieties alive and in cultivation for future gardeners to enjoy.

As a membership organization, our main funding is from our own contributions in subscriptions and charitable donations. Over 1000 members across Canada make Seeds of Diversity a vibrant and visible part of the gardening and food security scene.

Besides multiplying rare seeds, we volunteer at over 150 Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday events across Canada, write articles for our popular magazine and monthly email bulletin, package seeds for community seed libraries, and help beginner seed savers learn the easy techniques for growing good seeds.

 

Board of Directors

Nick Wees, Co-chair

Nick is dedicated to all forms of small-scale food production. He has been a seed-saving member of Seeds of Diversity and a volunteer at the Victoria Seedy Saturday for several years, and an intensive organic vegetable gardener for many more. He is currently studying cultural and social anthropology at the University of Victoria. He joined the board of directors in 2013.

 

Steph Warr, Co-chair

Steph has been a member of the board since 2016, and represents the Maritime provinces.

 

Matthew Kemshaw, Treasurer

Matthew has been a member of the board since 2017, and represents British Columbia.

 

Teprine Baldo, Secretary

Teprine is a seed farmer and agroecologist who loves working with all the elements within a permacultural framework and being outside on her family farm in Frelighsburg Quebec. It was the coming into this world of her two wonderful children that inspired her to move back to the land and take her family's food sovereignty into her own two strong hands. Sharing the love of nature and seeds with her children is a nourishing task that she takes on with joy and patience. Living her passion and being a good role model and entrepreneur, she hopes to encourage her community to take similar actions, to take time to plant seeds, watch them grow, and share them with others.

 

Rachelle Rocha, Director

Rachelle joined the board in 2018, and represents Ontario.

 

Lorna McMaster, Director

Lorna joined the board in 2018, and represents Atlantic Canada from her home province of PEI.

 

Zoe Arnold, Director

Zoe joined the board in 2018, and represents the prairies from her home province of Saskatchewan.

 

Staff

Bob Wildfong, Executive Director

Bob has been saving seeds and teaching about garden biodiversity for over 25 years. He mixes science and storytelling to reveal the secret lives of seeds, plants, and pollinators. Bob has been a member of Seeds of Diversity since 1988, and became our first Executive Director in 2002, after a career in software engineering. He teaches food history at the Waterloo Region Museum, and as a steering committee member of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, helps build the movement to preserve pollinators. He is a past President of the Culinary Historians of Canada, and delights in explaining how we can learn about future food sustainability by remembering past lessons.

 

Judy Newman, Administrator

Judy has been an organic gardener for 35 years. She lived on a farm in Newtonville, ON where she raised vegetables, fruit, chickens and children. She was a volunteer on the national board of Canadian Organic Growers, a sister organization to Seeds of Diversity. Judy began working for Seeds of Diversity in 2000.

 

Lyne Bellemare, French Programs Coordinator

Lyne Bellemare est coordonnatrice du volet francophone de l'organisme depuis 2009.  Certifiée en design de permaculture, elle donne des ateliers et des conférences sur la conservation des semences, le patrimoine horticole et les variétés en danger. Elle travaille comme semencière à Montréal à la Ferme Bord-du Lac.

 

Taarini Chopra, Publications Coordinator

Taarini joined the Seeds team in 2012 to design and edit the newest edition of our book on "How to Save Your Own Seeds," and stuck around to  coordinate and design our outreach materials and regular publications. When she isn't making drawings of vegetables for Seeds of Diversity, Taarini works as a researcher with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), and the University of Waterloo's Global Food Politics Group. She is the co-chair of the Waterloo Region Food Systems Roundtable.

 

Angie Koch, Seed Library Coordinator

Angie is a local, organic vegetable farmer and educator. When she is not out in the fields at her farm near Waterloo, ON, Angie manages the collection of seeds stored on site and works, coordinates our volunteer grow-outs, and works with other seed libraries to establish protocols and provide training materials for the storage and record keeping of seeds in their collections. Angie is also proud to be the first Canadian farmer to certify herself under the Bee-Friendly Farmer program in 2012!

 

Christine SlobodaOffice Administrator

Christine has volunteered in our office for many years, and joined our staff in 2019.

 

Jill Byers, School Food Gardens Co-Coordinator

Jill started our School Food Gardens program in 2017, and she's growing it fast!

 

Allison Eady, School Food Gardens Co-Coordinator

Allison joined us in 2019 to help grow our School Food Gardens program, but her vision for the project dates back to her original research that started it.