admin by BC Eco Seed Co-op | 25 Sep 2020
Topics:
Local Business, Economic Development,Local Food

Sow local! Support the BC Eco Seed Co-op’s expansion

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BC Eco Seed Co-op is 18 farmers growing & providing 100% local organic & ecological seeds. Help us expand to increase seed security in BC

BC Eco Seed Co-op is 18 farmers growing & providing 100% local organic & ecological seeds. Help us expand to increase seed security in BC

While the demand for local organic produce has risen rapidly, the supply of locally grown organic seed has not kept up and the farmers you rely on for delicious local food struggle to locally source the quantity and quality of seed they need.

A handful of farmers knew it was time to increase the quantity and improve the quality ecological and organic seed grown in BC, and the BC Eco Seed Co-op was born! As a producers co-op of 18 farmers we’re working together to provide seed to growers of all sizes in bulk and packet quantities.

Citizens like you are more concerned now, than ever, about their food security as the COVID-19 pandemic and want to know how they can support farmers and be part of strengthening a resilient system. As a small business made up of farmers we hear you, 2020 has been a year like no other. We’re so glad to see folks like you buying local seed and growing more food and want to grow more together!

Since 2014 we’ve been operating out of a shared office space and now need a “room of our own” of expanded commercial space to increase capacity, meet the demand for BC-grown seed, and to store and package seed safely, efficiently and with care. We want to meet the need for seed and hope you’ll join us along the way, read on to be part of seeding change!

 In 2012 a handful of farmers, who happen to love seed saving, had the idea that together we could make our seeds available to the larger community of farmers and gardeners across BC. Rather than each starting our own small seed companies we saw the co-operative business model as a powerful way to achieve greater farmer cooperation and, along the way, support and learn from each other while changing the seedscape of the province. We supply 100% BC-grown, organic and ecological seeds. All seeds are open-pollinated, GE-free, regionally selected, and grown by our members, on our farms across the province.

Why does this matter? Local, organic/ ecological seeds are good for the planet, the local economy, and regional food diversity and security. Organic seed offers broad public benefit, including minimizing environmental impacts, supporting the success of the organic food industry, and bolstering regional food diversity and security (State of Organic Seed, 2016. Organic Seed Alliance).

Diversity is key to achieving resilience in our food system - local farmers prioritize flavour, quality and regional adaptation - essentials for adapting to a changing climate.

When you support the BC Eco Seed Co-op not only are you supporting this business but those of all our members, the local economy and food system.  As a co-op we follow the seven cooperative principles including democracy and concern for community, while taking a triple bottom line approach to business putting concern for people and the planet at the forefront.

Now, in our fifth year of sales we’ve outgrown our shared office and packing space at Glorious Organics and need to expand to a space of our own to increase operations, serve more customers and enhance our quality assurance protocols.

While we’ve secured the trailer itself, we need an additional $15,000 to make our operational dreams a reality. This will fund the footings, electrical upgrade, germination chamber, quality assurance supplies, system upgrade, shelving and work space provisions to make this dream a reality for this packaging season. Our vision for the future is beautiful and ambitious and we need your support to help us get there and grow to meet demand for 2021.

Help us expand our space to increase seed security in BC!

Without your assistance, this project will not be possible. Supporting the BC Eco Seed Co-op means you can feel good about supporting not only a local small business but seeding change in our food system. Help us deliver the next step in achieving resilient local food systems across BC and join us in this seed revolution!

 

Every time you share this campaign you help to seed this movement! The following actions can make a huge difference, consider

SHARING this campaign page via the buttons below and through your networks

CONTRIBUTING what you can

SIGNING UP for our newsletter (http://eepurl.com/cEzhXf) to learn more about what we’re doing

TALKING to friends, family, garden groups and your networks about the importance of local seed

GETTING IN TOUCH if you know a funder or allied organization we should know about

Post Campaign Update

2 months ago

The BC Eco Seed Co-op has had a busy three months since our crowdfunding campaign wrapped and we wanted to share one last update with you! Read on to hear what we’ve been up to...

We’ve procured and installed a 20' x 8' fully wired and insulated modular trailer for operations, on-site in Aldergrove. Funds from the campaign helped us bring in the mobile office, prepare the site, connect the wiring and install a staircase and overhang above the door. Inside the BC Eco Seed Co-op Seed Can of Possibilities we’ve procured and installed a germination chamber, updated our germination testing protocols and are cranking out germination tests to ensure the seed going to growers meets and exceeds set germination standards. We’ve also installed an internet connection, computer, printer, data logging thermometer, and dehumidifier, with a built in drain pump and a drain hose. The space accommodates all this seed storage and order fulfillment (albeit very cozily!) and we’ve got one full office as the wave of orders keeps on coming. See photos below and a time lapse of the trailer coming in here and the germination chamber in action here.

The amazing response from this campaign allowed us to move quickly and secure what we needed in order to accommodate a huge influx of orders from when we launched our 2021 seed line on December 21 until today. Since the campaign wrapped we’ve been thrilled with the response from satisfied backers through email and our social channels. We’ve run three workshops from our reward menu helping people on a variety of topics including planning a seed garden, seed saving, growing a veggie garden of any size, and the opportunities and challenges that come with organic production. Susan hand packed the 30 “Garden in a Box” collections before the holidays, Keeley sent hand written notes alongside a sticker to our “Shout out with Swag” backers and we're seeing folks use their gift cards when they place their orders.

We are incredibly humbled and grateful for everyone involved in this campaign and all of the contributions we saw in so many different ways, from sharing the info with your friends and family, to buying a reward. It all made a difference and got us to where we are now. We couldn’t have done it without you!

With heartfelt thanks from all of us at the BC Eco Seed Co-op.

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We Couldn't Have Done it Without You!

5 months ago

Our crowdfunding campaign is officially wrapped and we're thrilled to announce we came in overfunded at $15,395 - we couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you to each and everyone of you for donating, sharing our story, helping build our reach and community and for championing local seeds and those who grow them. This was truly a co-operative and community effort and reminds us that no one can go at it alone- collaboration and teamwork are at the foundation of what we do

Keeley and the team and the co-op will be rolling out updates to folks directly on reward fulfillment. Sending gift card codes, scheduling workshops, farm tours and consultations and making sure we have your address so we can ship seeds and our stickers to you early in the new year. With new seed coming in from our members right now we can't wait to share more about our 2021 listings and plans for expansion.

Sending a heartfelt thanks from all of us at the BC Eco Seed Co-op

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Campaign Update from the Finish Line

5 months ago

Wow! What an incredible week of support from folks like you who see the value and power of local seeds and seed growers. Keeley will be following up with folks individually to share details on reward fulfillment but in the meantime a huge thank you to our current 158 backers. We also received a $1,000 donation outside of this platform bringing us to $14,395 - we're almost there!

Yesterday was our last official campaign day BUT we're keeping the campaign link open a little longer for any last minute backers to contribute and grab the last remaining rewards. It's not too late to send folks to our campaign page. 


We’re so grateful you’re part of our story - thank you wholeheartedly for the support! 


See our member Chris Thoreau talk about the foundation and new trailer we've been able to secure at our headquarters in Aldergrove here: https://bit.ly/3jEII8i

See what member Mel Sylvestre of UBC has to share about seeds here: https://bit.ly/3oDBmWD

See the today’s article on the co-op over at the darling little publication The Islands Grapevine here: https://theislandsgrapevine.com/

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Sow close to more BC Eco Seed! Update & call for support; 5 days left!

6 months ago

Thank you to everyone for your support on our expansion campaign; what an incredible showing of support for local seed and seed growers! Big thanks from all of us at the BC Eco Seed Co-op, your generosity and support mean so much. Every donation has brought us closer to our goal and has inspired so much engagement on and offline. We're doing it together and we're on the home stretch.

With 5 days left and $5,500 to go we're on the home stretch - can you help us reach the goal? 

1) Share this campaign with 2-3 friends. If you use social media do a post and tag friends or set up a friendly challenge. Looking for a graphic to use? See links here: https://linktr.ee/bcecoseedcoop for downloadable images

2) Check out the rewards and see if one would make a great gift to a friend or fellow grower or get together with someone to donate together to grab a higher reward

3) Get in touch if you know a media contact, group, or business we should reach out to directly. 

Together we're making this happen and we're so glad to have you helping make this dream of expansion a reality!

Our coordinator Keeley cheering on more BC Eco Seed Co-op from the Gore Park Community Gardens in Victoria.


Watch Adam's video talking about what he co-op means to him here: https://bit.ly/2J1v3M8


Member rep from Saanich Organics, Theresa Heinekey, shows off her radish seed crop and is our cover girl for the National Observer story on the increase in demand we've seen this year. Missed the story? Find the link on our media page: https://www.bcecoseedcoop.com/media

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