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

Royal Victoria Yacht Club sends strong presence to BC Summer Games

Oak Bay athlete Max Chapman competes in sailing this week

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

VIDEO: Unique canvas for local artist

Haren Vakil brings joy and smiles to homeowners and passersby

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

VIDEO: Unique canvas for local artist

Haren Vakil brings joy and smiles to homeowners and passersby

5 things to do this weekend around Victoria

The sounds of summer Rock the Shores returns to the lower fields… Continue reading

Beacon Hill off to Little League provincials after big win in district final

Victoria team goes 7-0 for the week in Central Saanich, beats host team 10-1 in final

Proposed charges will cost Saanich housing affordability

The head of the association representing home builders in the Greater Victoria… Continue reading

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Most Read