We have just joined the Salt Spring Seeds - Seed and Plant Sanctuary For Canada program. Dan Jason, owner of Salt Spring Seeds, has an extensive collection of heritage based seeds for the field and garden. We have bought seeds from them in the past. The service that Dan offers is tremendous. I submitted my $20 payment via paypal yesterday afternoon (to join the Seed Sanctuary charity group) and right away I received an e-mail from Dan that the seeds I requested will be in the mail today! I am going to spend a little time this winter writing about the various heritage plants that we have grown around the farm in the past.
I ordered: Red Fife (another, more pure strain), Rodney Oats, Purple Barley, Delight Sweet Corn, Black Einkorn and Hulless Barley.
The Seed and Plant Sanctuary works like this. A $20 active membership gives you access to the seeds of the Sanctuary. You can choose up to five varieties from their databases. If you send the sanctuary records of how they do, you will be entitled to choose another five varieties the next time around. As long as you continue to maintain varieties and let Salt Spring Seeds know about them, your initial membership fee keeps you as an active member.
I will catalogue the different plant varieties that we have on hand and I will try to provide some notes on how well the various plants have performed for us. We currently farm about 300 acres of certified organic land. It is my goal to be growing 100% of our acreage in heritage crops. In order to achieve that though, I also have to market these heritage crops and be able to readily sell them. The new flour mill should help in that regard. There are numerous opportunities for heritage flour to be produced and sold in our little region alone.