The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) recently hosted an informative talk about food and its importance to Vancouver’s culture, history and environmental future.
Photo by Rebecca Blissett
The speakers included Imogene Lim, an anthropology and global studies professor at Vancouver Island University, and Harold Steves, a local farmer, argoecologist, and climate activist. Both are passionate collectors and contributors to the All Together Now exhibition which feature Lim’s extensive collection of Chinese take-out menus and Steves’ heirloom vegetable seeds, among 18 others.
Harold Steves comes from a line of farmers and seed savers. His great uncle and grandfather established the first seed company in Western Canada. He works out of his family farm in Richmond, raising non GMO heirloom seeds and grass fed beef. Steves explained the pivotal moment in BC’s agricultural history which influenced him and his wife to start saving local seeds. In 1985, the local seed retailer Buckerfields shut down. Seeds offered in their catalogue were slowly being replaced with varieties from California and Mexico – replacing what was once local. Steves was concerned about the loss of genetic diversity and being able to grow seed varieties in BC’s specific climate. So he started saving these seeds, which he now sells.
Steves went on to share some of the vegetables and plants he grows including the Yellow mangel (essentially a big beet that can grow to 10 pounds and has a sweeter taste), alpha tomatoes, Early Amber Sorghum, and Black Russian Sunflowers. He gave a glimpse into some of the growing and seed saving techniques he practices and at the end of the night, he gave out alpha tomato seeds for guests to plant in their own gardens. Thanks Harold!
For more photos from this event please visit: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumofVancouver/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10153716702671433
Follow @Harold_Steves on Twitter.