The availability of healthy, locally produced food is essential for food security, ecological sustainability and economic prosperity.
The Agroecology and Seed Sovereignty in Northern Ontario project’s goals are to improve knowledge, skills and capacity to produce healthy and sustainable food in Northwestern Ontario. The project, led by the Sustainable Food Systems Lab, built upon the relationships with Lakehead University faculty, staff and students, the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station (LUARS), the Lakehead University Office of Sustainability, Roots to Harvest, Superior Seed Producers, Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security, the Lake Superior Living Labs Network, the EFAO, and a number of community partners. Over three years, the partners developed relationships, completed seed trials for carrots, peppers, radicchio, spinach, rutabaga, and Gete Okosomin squash, researched the current needs, interests and capacity to meet project goals, researched the impact of seed saving on health and wellbeing of seed savers, hosted numerous workshops on planting, cultivation, harvesting, preserving, and seed saving, and created two video series about seed saving for community members, including these three videos on how to save tomato, bean, and spinach seed.
The spinach seed video shows seed that was grown as part of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s Farmer-Led Research Project to determine the best spinach variety to grow for seed in northern Ontario.