Qualicum Beach’s Seedy Saturday event is gearing up to kick off the garden season — and they’ll be the first in B.C. to do so.
The event takes place all across Canada, the U.S. and England, however, Qualicum Beach boasts being “the first one of the year” according to committee member Sandy Glazier.
“Because of our mild climate we’re able to have our event quite early,” she said.
On Feb. 1 the 12th annual campaign to healthy eating will host 70 vendors and three key note speakers.
Last year, Glazier said more than 2,400 people came out to enjoy the festivities of Seedy Saturday.
“We’re promoting how you can grow your own produce in the most nutritional way,” she said. “We’re trying to keep up the tradition of growing good food.”
Glazier said Seedy Saturday is a movement where people from all around the province come to swap seeds, buy organic produce and meats and educate themselves on the topic of health and nutrition.
“It’s an important event because we look at the fear of genetically modified seeds,” said Glazier, adding that the event is not political but educational. “It’s really fun. If you’re a gardener you can buy or swap seeds, or buy plants that are already started. There’s a lot of interesting things to see.”
Milner Gardens’ Shoots with Roots program will also be on site, educating kids about flora and fauna.
Glazier said the three keynote speakers — Kathleen Millan, Zeena Halmeer and Kathy Claxton — are highly knowledgable about their trade and will discuss a variety of topics.
Millan, an instructor of organic master gardeners, will be talking about using the brix test to measure the nutritional value of your food and soil; Halmeer, who was voted a “female food hero” by Oxfam Canada will be discussing genetically engineered food; and Claxton, a local veteran gardener, will be speaking about how to grow tomatoes in the less-than-agreeable conditions of the Island.
Additionally, volunteers will be selling raffle tickets outside Qualicum Foods on Jan. 25. Winners will be announced at the event.
The 11-member Seedy Saturday committee has been working tirelessly since September planning and organizing. The actual event will be ran by more than 80 volunteers recruited from the community and local garden clubs.
Come check out Seedy Saturday on Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Admission is by donation.