Time has changed to 11 a.m to 1 p.m.
The Northern Seed Cleaning Tour is coming to the B.C. Interior next week.
The tour is part of the FarmFolk/CityFolk Society’s B.C. Seeds Program according to Siri van Gruen, seed security program co-ordinator. van Gruen said she is looking forward to touring the Interior and Northern B.C. and connecting with local farmers.
“We aim to educate and inspire people to strengthen B.C.’s sustainable food systems,” van Gruen said. “We’ve been doing seed tours since 2019 and we got funding in 2021 to purchase three more seed trailers from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food. This year, for the first time, we’re heading up north with our equipment.”
The tour begins on Sept. 24 in Pemberton then stops in Quesnel at the Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival on Sept. 25, the Prince George Rodeo Association on Sept. 26, Hazelton at the WoodGrain Farm on Sept. 28, Tea Green Farms in Kitwanga on Sept. 28, the Williams Lake Farmers Market on Sept. 30 and the Horse Lake Community Co-op near 100 Mile House on Oct. 1. van Gruen said the time will vary depending on the day but she said each stop will likely last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At each stop, van Gruen said she’ll be teaching farmers and gardeners how to clean and store their seeds. Cleaning seeds requires separating the seed from the chaff, which can be done manually or by using a machine.
“When we think of cleaning seeds we think of three main steps. Threshing, which basically just means freeing that seed from whatever plant material it is stuck in,” van Gruen said. “After that, we move on to a technique called screening, which is the idea of separating the seeds by size, or we talk about winnowing, which is just separating a seed by weight.”
In the back of the seed trailer van Gruen said she has examples of several different machines. This includes a winnow wizard, an office clipper for screening and a bike-powered thresher.
“We have a bit more DIY equipment for the northern tour to show people what they can do by themselves. We have all this great equipment but once you know how to do it you could do it yourself at home.”
van Gruen said she is looking forward to the tour because this will be her first time heading north of Deka Lake. There are several great seed farms along the way and as someone who wants to live rurally one day, she appreciates the chance to get a sense of what that will be like.
In the future, van Gruen said the trailer will be permanently moved to a northern community so the Interior has access to its equipment. For more information on the tour, she invites the public to check out farmfolkcityfolk.ca’s events page.