Stock up on knowledge

Experts on site to talk about challenges and opportunities at Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach

Wayne and Sharon Osborne of Omega Blue Farms show off their seeds at last year’s Seedy Saturday.

Wayne and Sharon Osborne of Omega Blue Farms show off their seeds at last year’s Seedy Saturday.

In what is seen by many as one of the first signs of the impending spring, organizers are gearing up for Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach.

Organizer Sandy Glazier said the many people expected to attend the annual event will have a lot more to look forward to than stocking up on seeds for the coming growing season. They’ll also be able to stock up on knowledge.

That knowledge will be supplied by a series of speakers who will impart their expertise to help local gardeners deal with a variety of horticultural challenges and opportunities.

In the challenges category, entomologist Linda Gilkerson will speak on new pests and bugs that have been identified and can be threats to the garden. Her hour-long talk, entitled, Don’t Panic: Keeping Up with New Pests, kicks off on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

“There could be issues related to global warming or it could be new plants from different areas attracting different things,” Glazier said.

In addition, Gord Hutchings will speak on Bumblebees in B.C. and Yukon in his talk entitled Bumble Bees: Our Only True Native Hive Bee, slated from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

The theme for this year’s event, Glazier said is, Pots and Plots; Sowing and Growing our Food and  that theme will be played out with a talk by Arrowsmith Greenhousees’ Cathy Claxcon, entitled Plots in Pots: Growing Food, slated to run from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“We are focusing on people who can grow food in a backyard garden,” Glazier said, “not on larger acreages. We’re not talking about Victory Gardens but more and more people  are getting into it. People are downsizing. Her talk, From Plant Pots to Crock Pots, runs from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

This year’s event, slated for 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, is expected to be bigger than ever, Glazier said.

“We were booked up by early November,” she said. “It sells out earlier each year. We can’t fit into the main hall anymore, but fortunately this lends itself to being outside, too.”

She said she expects more than 70 vendors, a farmers market, seed swap, door prizes and a raffle. Admission is by donation.