Since launching in the early 90s, Seedy Saturdays/Sundays have become immensely popular and have sprung up in dozens of B.C. communities. Gardening enthusiasts look forward to these events as a way to find local seeds, talk gardening, and generally get pumped up for the coming growing season. Last year, many of these events were cancelled due to COVID-19, including our local Seedy Saturday.
A quick scan of the Seeds of Diversity website, 2021 Seedy Saturday listings shows that while some communities are talking about hosting small, outdoor seed swaps or drive-thru seed swaps, most Seedy Saturday/Sunday organizers have decided to go virtual for 2021. Vancouver-based FarmFolk CityFolk has stepped up to the plate to host a Province-wide Gardening Conference on the weekend of Feb. 19-21. Details are still in the works, but gardeners may want to save the dates because plans include sessions on seed saving and gardening education, movie screenings, Q & A’s with Master gardeners, local community discussions and more that has yet to be announced. Registration and the full schedule will be available soon at bcseeds.org.
Local organizers are planning to hold a modified in-person Seedy Saturday event spread out over two weekends in March in conjunction with the Kamloops regional Winter Farmers’ Market. The first session, Mar 6, will be in the Purity Feed Greenhouse, where the Saturday Farmers’ Market has been held since November. The second session, Mar 13, will take place at the OLPH Parish Hall, where Seedy Saturday has been held for the last few years. Details will be available soon on their Facebook page.
In other local seed news, the Kamloops Food Policy Council’s Community Seed Library has been looking for a home where our seed collection can be more easily accessed by the public so anyone is able to sign up and take home seeds for free. Over the last few years we have shared our seeds at public events like Seedy Saturday, Kamloops Green Living Expo, and the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market where we could also engage with people, explain how the seed library works, talk about growing and saving seed, seed biodiversity, and food security in general. Last year we distributed a lot of seed to local non-profits like the Boys & Girls Club, Family Tree, and the Mount Paul Food Centre, as well as individuals who contacted us on our website or Facebook page. Since seeds need to be continually grown out to maintain vitality, we’d really like to make our collection available to more people. We currently have some interesting varieties of drying beans, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, and other veggies, as well as herbs and flowers. We also have a box of commercial vegetable seed packages that were donated to us. Check our website or Facebook page in the next few weeks for announcements and updates, and watch for us at Seedy Saturday in March!
It is immensely satisfying to carry out the complete growing cycle from seed to flower or fruit back to seed, and saving and sharing seeds is the only way to guarantee the survival of special vegetable and flower varieties. Many popular vegetables such as tomatoes and lettuce are easy to save seed from and don’t require any special skills. Others, such as squash have certain requirements in order to produce seed true to type. A little bit of research can help you decide which seeds are worth saving and how to go about it. Seeds of Diversity has a wealth of information and resources for anyone looking for unusual seeds or wanting to learn more about seed saving.