Published: In the Hills, March 23, 2014
Everdale organic farm is at the centre of a project designed to create a self-sufficient organic seed industry in Canada.
Aabir Dey readily acknowledges he was a typical suburban kid, raised in Mississauga, who didn’t know how to grow so much as a tomato, arguably the most widely cultivated plant in Canadian home gardens. So it may be one of life’s surprising twists that the 26-year-old now finds himself working at Everdale organic farm near Hillsburgh at the heart of an initiative to promote and expand the security and diversity of Canada’s – and the world’s – seed supply.
Dey is the Ontario regional co-ordinator of the national Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. Led by USC Canada in partnership with Seeds of Diversity, the four-year project was inspired by the idea that producing diverse, regionally adapted organic seed will enhance the country’s food security. The goal is to create a self-sufficient seed industry by helping organic growers develop their own seed-breeding programs that will remain vibrant long after the program has ended.