Jesse Howardson is a farmer and seed saver committed to biocultural diversity and resilient, culturally relevant food systems. Since moving to Lekwungen and WSANEC territories 10 years ago, she has immersed herself small-scale organic vegetable and seed production, alongside teachings on the restoration of natural systems. Concurrent to farming, she completed a BA at UVic in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies, with a keen focus on Ethnobotany. Beyond work in local food systems, Jesse is a co-founder and steering committee member of Sea to Cedar, an organization working in Gwawa’enuxw, Dzawada’enuxw, and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis territories to promote place-based and community-driven conservation.
Jesse has been heavily involved in regional movements for the preservation and promotion of ecological seed since 2012, working as coordinator for the Victoria Seed Library as well as directly with local seed farmers through the BC EcoSeed Co-op, the Bauta Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, and FarmFolk CityFolk. She has taught numerous seed saving workshops to support community skill and knowledge for the resilience of local seed systems. Mentored by a wide range of dedicated and brilliant farmers, Jesse’s in-field experience includes stints at Stellar Seeds, Salt Spring Seeds/Kairos Botanicals, Ravenhill Herb Farm, Saanich Organics, and Square Root Farm. For the past 3 years, she has worked with LifeCycles Project Society to develop and coordinate a successful local gleaning project with farms and service agencies in the region – a project that combines three of her favorite things: food justice, farm education, and spreadsheets.