Diversified Grain Production

Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm

Heritage barley field

Workshop Description

Diversity is one of the best tools we have to be resilient in the face of climate change.

Growing diversified grains at different scales is one of the ways in which we can work towards building a resilient agricultural system.

But how do we get it from seed to table? Learn from Paul Spence from CK Table on how bringing grain farmers, bakers, and eaters together is one of the best ways to diversify your farm and diversify our food system.

Topics covered will include:

  • Overview of diversified grain practices across North America
  • Tiered equipment for cultivation, planting, weed management, harvesting, and seed cleaning
  • Marketing techniques for diversified grain
  • Overview of participatory plant breeding for organic grain


Speakers: Aabir Dey & Paul Spence

Paul Spence

Paul was raised on a family farm in Chatham Kent, attended the University of Guelph for Agricultural Business and lived in Guelph for 10 years after graduation; working in food safety, sales and marketing.

He returned home to the family farm 8 years ago and started a series of failures to get local food directly into consumer’s mouths.

He attended regional farmers markets, sold direct to consumers and now sells directly to locally sourcing restaurants and works with chefs and culinary artisans who want a quality product.

In 2012, Paul helped to start an event called the CK Table to directly link consumers and farmers.  Through this award winning event he has built a reputation and trust amongst farmers in Chatham Kent and in nearby communities.

Paul Spence

Aabir Dey
National Program Manager and Western Ontario Coordinator
[email protected]

Aabir developed his passion for seeds while he was completing his Sustainable Farming Certificate at Everdale, a teaching farm in Hillsburgh, Ontario, and supporting research trials for Seeds of Diversity’s collection of over 3,000 different Canadian seed varieties. After completing a Master of Environmental Studies at York University, researching organic seed systems in Ontario, Aabir joined the The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, as the Regional Program Coordinator for Ontario. Aabir has co-authored publications on Canada’s seed system including the Canadian Organic Seed Sector Environmental Scan and the Discussion Paper on Seed Policy in Canada. He has been instrumental in shaping and leading the training, research, and policy programs developed for The Bauta Family Seed Initiative, and created their flagship vegetable varietal improvement program that involves over 100 farmers across the country. Aabir loves working in the field with seed producers and farmers all over Canada, and is thrilled to continue to steward The Bauta Family Seed Initiative at a national level into the future. Aabir is based at the regional host organization in Ontario, Seeds of Diversity.

Aabir Dey at microphone