Thunder Bay’s 9th Annual “Seedy Sunday”

Are you dreaming of spring and the taste of fresh lettuce and homegrown tomatoes?  You don’t have to wait much longer! Kick off the growing season early with other gardeners at the 9th Annual Seedy Sunday event, Sunday March 2nd from 1 to 4 pm at the Baggage Building Arts Centre.  There will be something for every green thumb and the garden curious: displays, workshops, refreshments, door prizes and of course, our 9th Annual Seed Exchange.  Admission is free!

If you have open pollinated seeds to share, bring them to the seed exchange.  If you don’t, come and take some home to grow out and share for next year.  In addition, EcoSuperior will be on hand to sell organically-grown, open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds from local growers and Ontario producers. Lots of community gardening groups will be on hand with displays and resources, and Roots to Harvest youth will be on hand to provide children’s activities.

We will be joined this year by Cate Henderson from north of Kingston, who is a gardener and seed saver for the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. Cate’s motivation to save seeds stems from a family history of seed saving and she wants to ensure seeds are available to the next generation. Cate will do two presentations including “Seed Saving Q & A – Anything Goes” and another on “Northern Seeds – Why we need them and how we get them”. The presentations will be offered across from the Baggage Building in the Mariners Hall starting at 2pm.

Why save and share seeds? Home gardening and farming is more fruitful when you’re growing varieties that can survive in local climatic conditions.  Saving seed from open pollinated (sometimes called heritage or non-hybrid) plant varieties helps ensure that the world retains a diversity of plant varieties that can be grown directly from their own seed.  Maintaining the genetic material of many varieties promotes food security by ensuring that there are always some species that can survive adverse conditions.  This is important, because nowadays, most of our food crops come from only a few commercial varieties.  If a farmer plants 10 different varieties of broccoli and a disease spreads through the crop, chances are at least a few varieties will survive.  If there is only one variety, and it is susceptible to the disease – no broccoli, and no broccoli seed for the next year!

Seedy Saturdays happen all over the country every spring.  They were launched by Seeds of Diversity, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the conservation, documentation and use of public domain, non-hybrid plants of Canadian significance. The cross country, citizen based membership shares, grows, propagates and distributes over 1500 varieties of open pollinated vegetable, fruit, grains, flowers and herbs.

For more information on this event, call Kim McGibbon at 625-8813.  Check www.nwofood.ca for the full agenda.