Last year’s Seedy Saturday attracted more than 2,200 visitors to learn about all things gardening. Photo contributed

“Seedy Saturday” offers something for every garden

Education key to a successful food strategy

For as much as Victoria’s rainy winter has seemingly gone on forever, the coordinator of the James Bay Market Society’s annual Seedy Saturday says spring is on the way.

“This is Victoria’s premier garden show and there’s a reason we’ve been around for more than 25 years,” said Amber Brown, adding this weekend’s show (Feb. 17) offers a good chance to start imagining this year’s garden.

“We go way beyond simply offering the sale of seeds, tools and other gardening materials by really promoting the educational side of things. We have a full program of 18 speakers who will cover everything from the very basic gardening techniques to more specialized and advanced topics. These are some of the Island’s finest and most innovative growers and it’s a great chance to tap into their knowledge to make yourself a better gardener.

Several of those speakers will augment their presentations with hands-on opportunities, for those who want to get a little dirt under their fingernails in preparation for the gardening season.

There will also be a group of 64 vendor booths offering everything one might imagine when it comes to gardening.

Another favourite attraction at Seedy Saturday is the ever-popular seed exchange. That’s where gardeners have the opportunity to trade extra saved seeds from their garden, perhaps for a new and exciting variety they’ve never before seen.

“What really drives me to work on this show is that I’ve seen the increased level of control exercised by governments and corporations over the supply of seeds,” Brown said.

“There are seeds that are engineered and infused with chemicals, and some of the basics are being forgotten. We want to be supporting local food production and the option for seeds that are organic and varied, so we can enhance the choices we have when planting our gardens.”

It’s a passion shared by scores of Victoria gardeners, with ever-increasing attendance at the show serving to inspire the organizers and more than 100 volunteers that make the show possible. Last year’s attendance topped 2,200, and Brown noted that young people are becoming increasingly interested in the gardening culture.

“It’s something we feel very passionately about, because we recognize the long-term benefits of creating that connection with the land, and educating young people about raising food in an urban environment,” she said.

“These days it’s too easy to get lost in our phones and devices and lose our perspective on the important things in life. Knowing where our food comes from and how it’s grown is important.”

To that end, the Market Society has involved the Youth Food Network and has introduced attractions like a photo backdrop that will let visitors take ‘selfies’ in what appears to be a hugely successful garden.

And, for curious visitors with a more analytical approach to gardening, Camosun College has donated the use of a series of microscopes to allow folks to see close up what makes up the variety of seeds and plants on offer.

The one-day show takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre, 720 Douglas St. Admission is $7, or free for those under 16.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

New Carnarvon Park field-house could cost $4.3M

Both tennis and pickleball courts are included in new draft plan

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read