Frost may be deep on the pumpkin, but some are already looking forward to next year’s crop

Seedy Saturday event is one of the highlights of spring in Qualicum Beach

The first snow of winter may have just coated the ground, but there are some people in the area who are already not just thinking about spring, but preparing for it.

Those preparations will bear fruit on Feb. 2 when Qualicum Beach once again plays host to Seedy Saturday at the Civic Centre.

Seedy Saturday is a time to see food and flowering plants and seeds that will grow in the Central Island area and to get ideas from experts in all aspects of gardening.

The event includes a seed swap, where gardeners can share their saved seeds with other local gardeners or buy seeds they have saved locally.

Nurseries from the region are well represented, with lots of specimens to choose from or just to admire. As well, expert speakers and master gardeners will be on hand to discuss many aspects of gardening.

It’s important to note that not only people with large plots of land can benefit from Seedy Saturday, particularly this year, when the theme will be Pots and Plots, Sowing and Growing our Food.

“People from Qualicum Beach and surrounding areas have probably downsized from larger lots and are trying to figure out the best way to still enjoy fruits and vegetables from their own gardens,” said organizer Sandy Glazier. “The opportunities to do so have increased in recent years, as more varieties of patio sized vegetables, and even fruit, have been developed.”

Seedy Saturday has a particular resonance in the Parksville-Qualicum area, with its predominantly seniors demographic.

“Some people are trying to re-create the tastes of their childhoods and support the companies at Seedy Saturday that have seeds of heirloom varieties,” Glazier said.  “Even a variety of fruit trees can be grown in the average backyard.  Instead of one large, spreading apple tree, however appealing it might be to sit and read a book in as I did in the Bramley’s cooking apple tree in my childhood, columnar trees are now available that take up less space and can even be grown in pots. These also blend nicely into the more contemporary, minimalist landscape plans.”

Seedy Saturday-related talks include Pots and Plots; Sowing and Growing Our Food at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m; Linda Gilkeson speaking on: Don’t Panic: Keeping Up With New Pests and Diseases; Gord Hutchings on Bumble Bees:  Our Only True Native Hive Bee and  Kathy Claxton, From Plant Pot to Crock Pot.

The event will include more than 70 vendors, farmer’s market, seed swap, master gardeners, Milner Gardens Shoots With Roots, Children’s Program, a cafe, door prizes, and raffle. Admission is by donation. For more information visit


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