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Atlantic Canada Regional Seed Bank

The Atlantic Canada Regional Seed Bank was established in 2014 to increase supply and access to regionally adapted, biodiverse varieties of vegetables, grains, and herbs. The seed bank is a partnership between The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture, and Seeds of Diversity Canada. It is located in Truro, NS. A group of 15-25 organic and agro-ecological growers in four Atlantic provinces support the bank, curating the collection, growing out the varieties to maintain and improve them, and contributing new varieties each year. The seed bank serves primarily Atlantic region farmers and would not exist without their hard work and careful stewardship of seed. 

Contributing and Requesting Seed

  • You can contribute to the seed bank in a variety of ways, for a variety of purposes.
    • Each year we coordinate the Seed Bank Grow-out Program to diversify the bank's offerings, encourage farmers to trial new varieties for seed saving, and bulk up their own farm-saved seed collections. Please note: This program is full for 2022, but we encourage you to explore our list of featured varieties, and order seeds from regional growers to trial in your garden this year!
    • If you have a collection of rare or regionally adapted seed and you would like to have it "backed up" off-farm, you may send samples to the seed bank for storage. All seed will be germ tested as part of processing and stored in our long-term (frozen) collection. For more information about this free service, please contact the Program Coordinator.
    • You may donate seed to the bank. Priority seed is regionally significant, rare, and/or bred/selected in this region. 
  • All seed contributed to the seed bank must be (1) open pollinated (2) non proprietary, (3) organically or agro-ecologically grown, and (4) not readily available commercially at farm-scale quantities (except where you're selecting/adapting a variety.)
  • Every sample that comes to the seed bank must be accompanied by a Seed Intake Form, available here.
  • Seeds should be grown in accordance with these guidelines, which specify isolation distance, minimum population, and the amount of cleaned seed that should be sent to the seed bank.
  • You may request seed (no cost) by sending the Program Coordinator an email. To find out what is in the seed bank's collection, please click here. Please allow several weeks for delivery or your seed. 

Updates will be posted to this site, as well as distributed through our monthly(ish) Seedy E-News. To subscribe to the e-news, please click here. If you have questions about the Grow-out program, please email Steph Hughes at shughes@weseedchange.org. Thanks to funding from Echo Foundation and ongoing partnership support from SeedChange.

The Seed Bank Inventory

In 2019, we digitized our seed bank inventory, making it possible to store more detailed data about each variety, and making it easier for you to access the information. To search the seed bank database, please click here, or use the search fields below.  For best results, it's recommended that you search by "crop", rather than by "variety". Please note the database is new and information is still being updated and added to it. If you have any questions, please contact Steph Hughes (shughes@weseedchange.org).