Celebrate Seeds at Seedy Saturday

Dianne Dowling

[This article appears in the February/March 2020 issue of The SCOOP.]

By late February or early March, you might (just maybe...) be looking for a break from winter. It could happen. Really.

And if you are a gardener (or would like to be one), by then you will, for sure, be 'raring to go gardening.

But it's too early for planting outdoors.

What to do?

Well, here's an antidote to winter, or relief for cabin fever - go to one of the Seedy Saturday (or Seedy Sunday) events in our region:

  • Picton Seedy Saturday, Feb. 29, 10 am to 3 pm
  • Brockville Seedy Saturday, Mar. 7, 10 am to 1 pm
  • Kingston Seedy Saturday, Mar. 14, 10 am to 3 pm
  • Peterborough Seedy Sunday, Mar. 15 (schedule and location to be finalized)
  • Westport Seedy Saturday, Apr. 4, 9 am to 2 pm

Go to seeds.ca (the website for Seeds of Diversity Canada) for details about Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday events across Canada.

Each Seedy Saturday/Sunday event is organized by local people, leading to various forms of programming and features. However, a common aspect is a seed swap, where attendees contribute packages of seeds they have saved. The range of package sizes, shapes, information provided, and varieties of seeds is a fascinating, even charming, part of the process. There are usually lots of seeds available at the swap table, so even if you didn't bring seeds to the swap, you can take a package or two. Leaving a small donation is a good gesture.

Almost all events have local or regional seed vendors present, offering a wide range of locally grown and locally adapted seeds for purchase. There are often workshops on seed saving or gardening topics, and snacks or lunch available to purchase.

The Kingston Seedy Saturday, for example, has a seed swap, about a dozen regional seed vendors, and other local vendors selling products related to gardening, workshops on seed saving, and displays by several community groups related to seeds, food and gardening. Refreshments are available to purchase throughout the event, and soup prepared by culinary students at St. Lawrence College will be for sale over the lunchtime. It all happens from 10 am to 3 pm, on Saturday, March 14, at Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute, 153 Van Order Drive, Kingston (near the intersection of Bath Rd. and Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd.) See you there!

A Culture of Sharing and Abundance
We can live in a world of abundance if we choose to garden and save seed. The miracle of life is within each seed. Helping it along its cycle from seed, to plant, to flower, to fruit, and back to seed again - witnessing it all unfold, is a truly enlivening experience. The nature of seed saving is that it perpetuates abundance. Practicing seed saving and seed sharing produces a culture of sharing and abundance, and that is what the world needs now."
-- Betsy Goodman, Common Soil Seed Library, Omaha, Nebraska (quoted in the Community Seed Network e-newsletter, fall 2019)

Dianne Dowling is active in a number of local farm and food organizations including the National Farmers Union Local 316, the Food Policy Council for KFLA and the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI). Her family operates a certified organic farm on Howe Island, east of Kingston.