While much of the rest of the country is buried in snow, local gardener kick off their season next weekend with the 13th annual Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach.
“I just came in from the garden,” said event spokesperson Louise Kelsey Tuesday. “People have snowdrops blooming, buds are swelling, the humming birds are around, it’s like spring.”
The annual event started as a way for gardeners to exchange locally viable seeds and information, promoting seed diversity, and has grown into a major community event that saw an estimated 2,400 people last year.
The foundation is still the seed swap, where people can trade for, or purchase small packages of seeds for 50 cents, but other popular aspects include experts speaking through the midday, the Roots with Shoots children’s program from Milner Gardens, Seedy Cafe delectable from the Galloping Gourmet, over 70 vendors from across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and an exciting raffle.
The raffle prizes this year include a glass vase by renown artist Ted Jolda, a $200 Quality Foods gift certificate and prizes from Lee Valley Tools and Home Hardware.
“A lot of families come and of course it’s the major hobby for retired folk,” Kelsey said, adding that the kids love the chance to go around and get little packets of seeds they can directly plant as a way to promote getting them out in the garden.
Along with master gardeners and vendors on hand to discuss gardening, the speaker series focuses on growing food with local expert Diane Sharpe at 10:30, Kate Green at noon on “the vibrant seed movement in Canada,” and a panel with Kathy Claxton, Kim Hammond and Kay Howard.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre next Saturday, February 7, admission by donation with all proceeds going to promote local gardening initiatives.