For most people, farming is a tradition handed down from generation to generation, but a Trent student is taking an alternative route.
After getting a taste of farming in high school, Carling Serran chose to study in Trent’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program as a way to kick start a career that merged his interests in farming, the outdoors, and environmentalism.
Now in his fourth year at Trent, Carling has combined his in-class learning with valuable farming experience, spending summers working on a farm in Guelph, volunteering at the Trent Farm, and serving as the coordinator for the new Trent Seed Saving Club.
“Seed saving is basically exactly what you think: saving a seed from any plant that produces a seed,” said Carling. “I got really interested in seed saving after being introduced to the idea in my third-year Organic Agriculture Class and following a semester in the Global Indigenous Environmental Issues class when I did a project on seed saving.”
Carling says he wants students to learn about seed saving as an opportunity to get outdoors and as a form of environmental and consumer activism.
“Seeds saved from locally grown plants can adapt over time to be more resilient and productive in your local conditions. You can get better yields if you select seeds from the best, most productive plants,” said Carling. “People can save their own seed instead of having to buy from a commercial market. So, it is definitely a good way for farmers and other growers to take back control, with seed sovereignty being a big issue in the world right now.”
After graduating, Carling’s dream is to own his own farm, but for the time being, helping teach fellow students about seed saving is a good place to start.