Grow with us
As we wake up to the reality of a changing global economy, many of us are turning "back to basics" and revitalizing the skills and trades that our ancestors used every day to support themselves. Working in the garden, harvesting the fruits of our labour, preserving the harvest for the cold months to come, and sharing the bounty with those around us.
Hope Seeds is a business that has firm roots in the values of honesty, community, quality, and fair play. Buying your garden seed from us helps us to spread these values to our customers, our growers, our volunteers, and beyond. But there are MANY other ways that you can take part in building this business, spreading these values, and fostering within yourself the change we all want to see.
Hope Seeds is a unique seed company just by the fact that we produce and sell our own seed from our own farm. But seed production is a finickity thing, and with isolation distances, crop production sizes and seasonal limitations, we look to include seed from other organic and sustainable farms. Currently we partner with a few other farms in Eastern Canada (some as local as only about 20 km away!) to diversify our offering of locally-grown and acclimatized seed. Learn more about growing high-quality organic seeds in Eastern Canada through the Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers Network.
We are always ready to talk to other experienced farmers or growers that would consider putting part of their farm or gardens into seed production. Having a foundation of experience in fresh produce production, homesteading, or backyard seed saving is essential. Growing seed, like any farming venture, is a process through which you constantly learn. Hope Seeds is willing to walk with the most dedicated growers through this process, as we hope to build lasting relationships with them.
Our priority is sustainable, local agriculture. We include farmers in that priority, and offer all of our growers a fair price for high quality crops. Hope Seeds believes in the relationships between growers, and works to ensure that communication is very clear from the start through the development of grower contracts. We know from our own experience the disappointment of a failed crop due to weather, pests, disease or other uncontrollable events, and take all of these things into consideration.
See the Hope Seeds Grower Network for a list of our current growers.
The word is spreading, and Hope Seeds is becoming more and more popular with growers and gardeners across the continent. Demand for our unique and excellent selection of garden seeds is increasing rapidly, and we just can't keep it all to ourselves! Hope Seeds is happy to offer the opportunity to you to have our products in your store, garden centre or farm market stall.
How does it work? How does it work? Hope Seeds has gorgeous custom-made wooden display cases (made by Fallsbrook Woodworking) that hold 30 different varieties of seeds. You can either purchase the stand from us or we'll work with you to determine a suitable display for your business. We fill the stand with our retail Top 30 -- a collection of about 20 vegetable, 5 herb, and 5 flower varieties. You get a wholesale discount off the retail price per pack. As you go through the season (generally February to June), you can restock your big sellers, or switch varieties to accommodate your customer choices. At the end of the season (by June 31) you have the option to return up to half of your seed order for a full credit to your account. Essentially, this means you commit to purchasing 50% of the seeds up front.
Thinking about it? Don't hesitate to contact us today with any questions or ideas! We're interested in working with YOU to find the arrangement that meets your needs.
For a list of our current retail locations click here.
We love being able to show off the art, work and skills of people in our community.
Here are some of the folks behind the scenes:
2015 Corn $3 by Poppy Balser of Digby, NS: http://poppybalser.com/
2014 Red Kuri by Helen Opie of Granville, NS: http://helenopie.com/
2013 Corn by Morgan McMahon of Kingsport, NS: http://thepaintedroad.wordpress.com/
2012 Three Pumpkins by Helen Opie of Granville, NS: http://helenopie.com/
2011 Luke's Barn by Jean Richards of Dumfries, NB
2010 by Jean Richards of Dumfries, NB
2009 Green Mountain by Jean Richards of Dumfries, NB
Hope Seeds packaging and logo artwork by Leland Wong-Daugherty of South Knowlesville, NB
Custom seed cleaning equipment and retail display racks made by Fallsbrook Woodworking
Stickering and custom woodworking from Carleton Industries:
If it weren't for the Everdale Environmental Learning Centre in Hillsborough, ON where Andrea apprenticed and was first exposed to seed saving waaay back when, we might not be where we are today. Andrea is fairly certain that those first 6 months of back-bending, muscle-building, character-strengthening, and food-appreciating education were every bit as valuable as the 4 years she spent in university. If you are considering organic farming as a career, or starting a homestead or a small farm to support your family, it is worth getting the whole picture from "start to finish": by taking part in the crop planning process, getting seeds in the ground, caring for seedlings and dealing with the pests, bringing in the harvests and selling the fruits of your labour.
We're so thankful for the wonderful folks who have helped us over the years from traditional garden chores to special seedy jobs. Here are just a few:
In 2009 Hope Seeds hosted two phenomenal women as apprentices for a 6-month hands-on learning experience. Colleen Prentice of Three-Fathom Harbour, NS and Carolyn Cismoski of Davis, CA planned, planted, dug, picked, scratched, saved, sold and studied way beyond our highest expectations. Kate O'Brien of Mount Shasta, CA started her apprenticeship in April 2011, jumping in to seed potato shipping, seedling starts and crop planning. Kate brought a year of market farming experience with her, and added organic seed production to her skills as a result of her apprenticeship at Hope Seeds. What made these three gals successful apprentices? Their self-directed learning, patience, tenacity and passion for living an agricultural life.
2014 marked the first year that Hope Seeds participated as a host farm in ACORN's Grow A Farmer program. This was a unique apprenticeship program focused on learning about commercial organic/heritage seed production, made possible through funds from the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. Visit the Grow A Farmer blog for more information about this program.