Get a head start to your Garden with Seedy Saturdays

It’s never too early to start thinking about your garden. Late January is the time to think about which kind of seeds you’ll plant and where to get them. A Seedy Saturday is a great opportunity for gardeners to get their hands on a diverse selection of seeds and get excited about the next gardening season. From finding a new variety of seed to meeting expert gardeners that can share their gardening wisdom, a Seedy Saturday event is always worth going to.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons

Check out Seeds of Diversity for a list of Seedy Saturday events across Canada. The two closest to Halton Region are the Guelph Organic Conference which is happening between January 26th to 29th, and the Mississauga Seedy Saturday event on February 18th.

The Guelph Organic Conference hosts over 150 exhibitors and is open to the public free of change. Visitors can enjoy food samples, shopping for seeds and gardening tools, and learn from the experts. There are 40 workshops where you can learn about anything from permaculture gardening to the future of genetic engineering.

The Mississauga Seedy Saturday event might be closer to home, and also has free admission. There are 20 vendors/exhibitors as well as 8 workshops.

What makes a Seedy Saturday special?

The events bring communities and seeds together in order to maintain and develop a diverse collection of seeds available to through the public domain. We often hear about genetically modified seeds that are the legal property of corporations that develop them. Seedy Saturdays are important for keeping seeds accessible to anyone.

Sharing information about the culture behind a heritage seed is something that is valued across the world. When we share local heritage seeds and the information about them at Seedy Saturday events, we are helping to keep our food system resilient, local, and unique. Swapping seeds helps to maintain a strong genetic diversity. The seeds that we save are often pollinated by a limited number of other plants. If we only plant the seeds we save without adding some genetic diversity, our gardens could become more susceptible to disease and infestation.

Many seed savers end up with more seeds than they can possibly plant and provide the extras to new gardeners, or gardeners that would rather avoid the hassle of seed saving.

Who started Seedy Saturdays?

Seedy Saturdays actually started in Canada. Sharon Rempel organized the first Seedy Saturday in 1990 in response to the difficulty she found in accessing heritage varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and grains. The movement has spread across Canada and into other countries as well.

Halton Food Council advocates a Halton where food is an important part of our heritage and culture. Seedy Saturdays help to strengthen the food and gardening culture by bringing together communities that share similar values. So whether you are a beginner gardener, or a seed expert, a Seedy Saturday event will definitely offer you something you need, or at least get you excited about the upcoming gardening season.

References:

Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

Mother Nature Network

Seeds of Diversity

Wikipedia - Seedy Saturday

USC Canada

Guelph Organic Conference

Toronto Seed Library       

By Nate Van Beilen