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
|Steph Warr, 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 is a practising pharmacist in Northern Ontario, passionately promoting locally grown produce as the best (and most delicious!) way to ensure good health. Her personal mission is to grow as many varieties as possible, of medicinal or edible plants that ought to be able to grow in Zone 3 and 4, on her 160 acre hobby farm 30 minutes west of Sudbury. Of course, saving seeds is a necessary part of this. Inspired by the work of Vandana Shiva, Seeds of Diversity and the annual Seedy Saturday/Sunday events in Ontario, Rachelle actively supports local initiatives to encourage food lovers to grow more of their own food.
Rachelle joined the board in 2018, and represents Ontario.
|Zoe Arnold, Director
Zoe lives on Treaty Six Territory in Saskatoon, SK. She is a qualified teacher and outdoor education specialist. She holds an honours degree in Biology, a B.Ed., and a certificate in Forest School Education from the UK. She helped launch the Saskatoon Seed Exchange in 2020 through the Saskatoon Public Library and has helped organize three of Saskatoon's Seedy Saturday events. Zoe has worked with organizations specializing in conservation, urban agriculture, outdoor education, and environmental initiatives. She has been involved in urban agriculture and developing greenspaces as gardens in Saskatoon. She currently spends the majority of her time teaching children and youth outdoors on a variety of topics. She can usually be found outdoors in all seasons enjoying gardening, hiking, and cross country skiing.
Zoe joined the board in 2018, and represents the prairies from her home province of Saskatchewan.
|Valerie Gabriel, Director
Valerie Karonhiatakwen Gabriel is a Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatake, and the owner of Nations Garlic Farm and Tall Tree Learning Center, a small-scale garlic permaculture farm and environmental and agricultural education center for Kanien’kehá:ka youth.
She is an environmental and agricultural consultant currently working with TerraHumana Solutions as well as the Kanehsatake Ratihontsanonhstats Environment Center. Valerie participated in the UN COP13 and has been part of the Indigenous Women's Biodiversity Network since 2017. She serves on the advisory committee for the Food, Environment, Health and Nutrition of First Nations Children and Youth (FEHNCY) in Kanehsatake. She has a degree as an environmental technologist from Vanier College and is now conducting a bachelor’s degree at Concordia University in Human Environment.
Valerie joined our board in 2020.
|Bob Wildfong, Executive Director
Bob has been saving seeds and teaching about garden biodiversity for over 30 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 garden and food history at the Waterloo Region Museum, and as a board member of the Pollinator Partnership Canada 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.
|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 Sloboda, Office Administrator
Christine volunteered in our office for many years, and joined our staff in 2019. When you email our office to inquire about membership, donations, Seedy Saturdays, or a hundred other things, Christine will be there to help you.
|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.
|Rayna Almas, Media and Promotions Coordinator and School Food Gardens Co-Coordinator
Rayna joined our team in 2019 to help grow our School Food Gardens program. She has since taken on the additional role of Media and Promotions Coordinator. She is currently studying Food Security at Ryerson University, and hopes to continue exploring solutions to the issue of food availability in remote areas of the country.