Seedy Saturday seeks to sow interest in local growing

The 15th year of Seedy Saturday takes place at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

By Brennan Phillips

Special to the Western News

Celebrating local seed-producers and encouraging people to grow their own plants, the 15th year of Seedy Saturday takes place at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College on Feb. 24.

“We’re seeing an increased popularity in the event from people becoming more environmentally conscious, as well as the benefits of growing their own fruits and vegetables,” said organizer Laurel Burnham.

Seedy Saturday began in Keremeos with a local gardener’s search for heirloom seeds. Since then, it has been taken up by the Seeds for Diversity non-profit in Ontario and spread across the country.

The event features workshops by local gardeners and experts, as well as vendors of organic seeds, bedding and house plants and food. A number of tables are held by local vendors, such as Tim Skrypiczajko of Naramata Handmade Seeds and the non-profit Incredible Edibles. There are also activities for kids, such as gourd painting.

Returning is the seed swap table, co-ordinated by local Rebecca Ogden. At the table, anyone can come and swap seeds they have produced for seeds Ogden has collected or already traded for with others.

“One of the benefits of buying locally produced seeds is that they are already adapted to the dry and heat of the Okanagan,” said Burnham.

In addition, this year features a table where visitors can participate in the Citizen Seed Trial. A joint project between the University of B.C. and the Farm Folk City Folk program, the Citizen Seed Trial, offers free seeds for anyone interested in growing them. Last year ,the seeds were for lettuce, and this year the seeds are for four different types of cherry tomatoes. In exchange for the seeds, the project seeks to keep track of how well they grow.

Seedy Saturday runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and entry is by a $2 donation that is split with the Naramata Market and the Seeds for Diversity.

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