My, how Seedy Saturdays have grown!Thursday Feb 26 2015
Once in a while I still get a sideways look when I talk about going to a Seedy Saturday. Then I stop and consider how these seedy events have only been around, in a formalized way, since the 90s. I don't mean to say that people weren't getting together and swapping garden seeds before then. As far as I know, people have always shared seeds with one another -- but these kinds of organized events really started to germinate in the last couple of decades. What is especially important to note about Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays (or any other day of the week, for that matter) is that they grow out of a desire to maintain and develop open pollinated and heritage seeds. And, the events highlight the significance of regional adaptation and local exchange.
I read recently that the first Seedy Saturday was in Vancouver, BC, organized by Sharon Rempel, a heritage seed conservator, and Roy Forster, formerly a curator at the VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver. There are over 100 such events now in Canada. Seeds of Diversity Canada, once called The Heritage Seed Program, loosely organizes the events by maintaining a listing of all the events across the country and providing some great resources for coordinators.
At the Seedy Saturday last weekend in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, we were handed a survey at the end of the day. The folks at Helping Nature Heal, the ecological landscaping business that organized the event, wanted to know why we liked attending Seedy Saturday and what kept us coming back year after year. What drew me to the event? It wasn't just the warm soup, although that's always appreciated. And, it wasn't just the thought of seeds sprouting in the cold of winter. I had to say that it was the people. People who are growing and sharing stories, seeds and ideas. People who express something that I think is absolutely essential.
Whatever your reasons, I hope you find an event in your community, or even just someone to talk seeds with. While the snow blows, it's nice to know there are other seedy people around thinking about and planning how their gardens will grow.
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