Lifestyle

There is nothing quite like a seed

Seven-year-old twins Malakye and Nathaniel Abel of Qualicum Beach, package saved seeds and labelling the packets for Seedy Saturday. - Submitted Photo
Seven-year-old twins Malakye and Nathaniel Abel of Qualicum Beach, package saved seeds and labelling the packets for Seedy Saturday.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

There is nothing like a seed …

… nothing in the world … there is nothing you can name … that is anything quite the same … (and Rodgers and Hammerstein would, I’m sure, forgive the plagiarism).

For a seed is a complete little parcel of life; a miracle. A seed holds an embryo, its first crucial meal, and around it all a protective coat.

A seed is the source, the origin, the beginning of anything. A seed is a promise; a promise of growth, of life, of food, and of beauty.

All of which brings us to a tale of Seedy Saturday — that first Saturday of February here in Qualicum Beach when January’s winter blahs are behind us, the dark days forgotten.

We’re looking ahead, and there is spring, with its showers of seeds, help and ideas, smiling faces, books, tools, prizes, and all other things garden-y.

This ninth annual Seedy Saturday will bloom at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, Jones Street, on Sat., Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. with something to tempt every gardener’s appetite.

While Seedy Saturday is about exchanging seeds at the Seed Swap, it’s planted with a variety of other proven winners: three speakers, a Farmers’ Showcase, Milner Gardens’ Shoots with Roots children’s program, more than 70 garden-related vendors, the Seedy Café for flagging energy, and door prizes and draws.

You can even get a head start on your garden dreams on Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the Windsor Room where Dr. Linda Gilkeson, author and master gardener, will speak on The Bugs in Your Garden: Good, Bad, and Beautiful.

Seating is limited and admission is by donation. Again on Saturday, Dr. Gilkeson will present her second topic, from 10:30 till 11:30 a.m. — Smart Gardening: Three Keys to Growing Your Most Successful Organic Garden Yet.

From 11:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m., Chanchal Cabrera of Innisfree Farm and Botanical Gardens in Royston and a member of the board of advisors of Dominion Herbal College in Burnaby will explain the Growing of Medicinal Plants and Herbs.

Between 1:30 and 2:30, Dan Jason of Saltspring Seeds, who specializes in heritage and heirloom varieties of vegetables and was involved in the founding of Seeds of Diversity Canada will show you how you, too, can start saving seeds. And while gardening itself may be ‘old as the hills’, young people are nurturing their interest in growing and saving seeds.

Dan will be joined on stage by Owen Bridge, originally from Qualicum, but returning for Seedy Saturday from Nova Scotia.

Owen started seed saving at age ten, and at only 16, started his own seed company, Annapolis Seeds.

Closer to home, seven-year-old twins, Malakye and Nathaniel Abel of Qualicum Beach started gardening with their mom, Tania, two years ago at the Qualicum Beach Community Garden. Now that they know some varieties taste better than others, they are enthused about saving seeds and even packaging them for exchange at Seedy Saturday.

Just as gardening depends on a bit of luck as well as knowledge and consistent care, Seedy Saturday will provide some opportunities to try your luck at numerous door prizes, and some very special prize donations.

Two beautiful glass vases by Ted Jolda, practical seed saving books and binder, Lee Valley tools and watering wand, a back-saving garden cart from Dolly’s Home Hardware, and a garden pot from Ken-Dor Nursery.

By now you should be able to taste the lettuce and crisp radishes, so don’t miss Seedy Saturday on Feb. 5 in Qualicum Beach.

For more, check on line at www.qbseedysaturday.com.

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