Seeding frenzy!

Find seeds worth saving—the best of the best!—at one of this season's many Seedy Saturdays around BC.

Credit: courtesy of Craig Young

Treasures like these beautiful beans from Violet Bruntlette’s garden in Squamish abound at Seedy Saturdays.

Find seeds worth saving—the best of the best!—at one of this season’s many Seedy Saturdays around B.C.

Local produce is hot, locally made is hot and that’s not all…

“Local seeds are hot!” says Mary Alice Johnson, farmer, seed-gatherer and owner of Full Circle Seeds and ALM Organic Farm in Sooke.

The coming season will find thousand of new and experienced gardeners all over Canada milling through the best swap meets in town—this year’s incredible lineup of Seedy Saturdays. Just check our What’s Up listings for where and when.

At the shows, “you’ll find seeds that have been saved by people for 20 years—and by their family for 20 years before that… seeds that have been selected because of special qualities, seeds you couldn’t find anywhere else,” says Mary Alice, who reminds us that “seeds are exciting!”

Seedy Saturdays around BC
Seed packagers at Qualicum Beach’s Seedy Saturday.

Seedy Saturdays around BC
Kale gone to seed and drying in a recycled paper bag.

Seedy Saturdays around BC
Kale seed collected from my garden.

GardenWise columnist and gardener extraordinaire Carolyn Herriot will be attending a slew of Seedy Saturdays this season to provide seminars on organic growing and sell her own line of seeds grown at The Garden Path in Victoria.

“Seedy Saturday is a unique opportunity,” says Carolyn, “held just once every year, when seed savers gather to sell and swap their collections of organically grown, open-pollinated heritage seeds—seeds you can save seeds from!”

Carolyn has just finished writing her second book, The Zero-Mile Diet: A Year-Round Guide to Growing Organic Food, to be released this spring, with lots step-by-step guidance on growing and saving seeds. She even reveals her hammer trick for the most stubborn specimens!

If you have seeds to bring, simply grab them and go. Seed packagers at the show will assist you with all the needed preparations.

FAQ: Do you need to bring seeds to swap?

A frequent question is “Do you need to bring seeds to swap?” The answer is No! You are welcome to attend sans seeds: Plan to hunt down seed treasures, join workshops, chat with Master Gardeners, check out the exhibits and meet many of BC’s local seed sellers. 

In North America, Seedy Saturdays are unique to Canada, says Mary Alice, who notes they do not exist in the United States. 

“Seedy Saturdays make it possible for my little seed company to exist, help me to keep my farm gong and encourage me to keep honing my skills as a seed saver, to keep building up my collection.”

In short, Seedy Saturdays are helping all of us to secure our supplies of the best of the best seeds around—which would be a very good reason to attend, if it wasn’t just so much fun!